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Monday, July 7, 2003

Introduction to Photography

Week Two of CDF began with a new instructor (Charlee Brodsky) and a new topic: photography. It's reportedly the first time photography has been included as part of this course and it should be an interesting subject to explore.

Photography, Charlee explained, is in one sense easy to study because photographs are a part of our culture. They are used to sell things, to document news, and to document personal history. Photography is "the mind and they eye working together, with some heart thrown in." Photographs "stop time and are a sliver of space," and provide a frame through which to view what is important. A photograph shouldn't show everything however. If it does, Charlee contents, the viewer doesn't ask himself the important questions.

Photography is all about light. Light reveals the subject, lets us make an image, record something.

There are two main ways of representing subject matter: documentary images (which Charlee likened to nouns) and abstract images, which use surface qualities of subjects to make another kind of image. They can be likened to music in that they are more easily described as feelings.

Similar subject matter can be presented in a miriad of different ways. We looked at two views of suburbia, Mark Rader's Scanscape and Bill Owens' Suburbia as an example of this. We also viewed The Best Part of Me by Wendy Ewald and Shopping by Merry Alpern for different styles in portraiture.

And indeed, our first project is in portraiture, where we pair up with a partner to photograph and, in turn, be photographed. First-year CPID grad student Jenni Miehle was my partner and got to endure not only taking photos of yours truly but also my bad Austen Powers impression ("Work it baby, work it! Yeah!") as I took her picture. Here's an outtake (155k) that I'm not using as part of my "best-of" selection for class critique tomorrow.

In software bootcamp, CPID alumnus Matt Mowczko is taking us through the ins and outs of Illustrator this week.

posted at 10:50 PM in classmates, faculty, photography, projects | comments (0) | trackback (0)


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