Prof. B. D. Colen
Description and Overview
We live in a constantly moving world, and everywhere we turn we see moving images of that world. Even our music has been transformed into moving images through the medium of music videos. Given that, one must ask what role, if any, still photography in general, and traditional documentary photography and photojournalism in particular, play in our perception of the world around us.
In Documentary Photography and Photo Journalism: Still Images of A World In Motion, you will be exposed to the work of a number of great documentary photographers and photojournalists, as well as to writing about the documentary tradition. Further, you will work throughout the term on a photo documentary project of your own, attempting to reduce a tiny area of the moving world to a set of still images that convey what the viewer needs to know about what you saw - without hearing the sounds, smelling the odors, experiencing what was happening outside the viewfinder, and without seeing the motion. You will also write a paper about the subject of your photo documentary.
The class will meet for three hours, one evening per week, with each class divided between a discussion of issues, ideas, and readings, and group critique and discussion of each of your term projects.
Class enrollment will be limited to 15 students, to allow for sufficient review/criticism in class, of your individual work. You will be expected to have your own photographic equipment, and will be responsible for your own processing and printing — which you may do yourself or have done commercially. You need not have sophisticated photo equipment, but you must demonstrate at least basic proficiency with the equipment you already have.
Documentry Photo Project
Each of you will be required to plan and carry out a documentary photo project. You may select your own subject — subject to my approval, but I would urge that you not take on anything too grandiose.
While this is a photography course, it is a photography course offered by the program in writing, and therefore there will be heavy emphasis on writing. students will be required to write four, 750-100 word essays, responding to their reading and class discussion.