What is style in photography? Photographs by Lee Friedlander, Richard Avedon or Nan Golden are instantly recognizable as such because we see not only the subject depicted in the photograph, we also perceive the photographer's way of seeing the subject. As photographers, we want to create images that bear the imprint of our thoughts, values and experiences. The decisions we make - where to stand, when to press the shutter, and how to arrange the subject within the frame - have to be right not only for the subject, but right for the photographer. This class is about fostering your personal vision: how you see what you see. In The Grammar of Photography, Part 2, through regular shooting assignments, lectures, and critiques, students will gain a clearer sense of subject and develop a greater consistency in how they see.
Class 1: Color and Composition
Color gives us narrative information: time of day, season, information about place, or the passage of time. Color can also be used to help identify the subject of a photograph. Color can be organized and simplified by pairing complements, offsetting saturated and de-saturated areas, or through the use of a restricted palette. Color can’t just be there, it has to do something.
Introduction to Color Theory
Hue, Saturation, and Value Maps
Color Must be Used
Class 2: Light and Tonality
Tonality and the Histogram
High Key, Low Key, Degrees of Contrast, and Quality of Light
Looking for Light
Class 3: Photographer’s Palettes
Color and tone can be an essential part of a photographer's style, used consistently within a series or even from one body of work to another.
Practical Examples: Nadav Kander, Elger Esser, Martina Hoogland Ivanow, Martin Parr, Rinko Kawauchi
Color Grading Technique
Experimenting with Palettes
Class 4: Alike But Different
A photographer's way of seeing is embedded in how he or she shoots. Ideas about what is significant in the subject, the moment or place, as well as what is valuable in photography itself -- all have an impact on the way the image appears. Comparisons of similar subjects shot by different photographers brings these embedded values to the forefront.
Class 5: Ways of Seeing
Choices photographers make about light, the significance of gesture or moment, choice of lens and aperture, framing and vantage point, and color palette or tonality combine to give their work a particular look.
Class 6: Working Methods
Contact Sheets Reveal the Photographer’s Thought Process and Working Method
Comparisons of Contact Sheets with Final Prints
Class 7: Genre, Style, and Attitude
An Analysis of Categories of Photographs Based on Content, Process and Values
Class 8: Playing with Expectations
Expectations Associated with Genre and Style
Studies: Nikki Lee and Paul Graham
Class 9: The Elements of Style
The Elements of Style
Camera, Lens and Light
Your Way of Seeing
The Rendering of the Image
Attitude Towards the Subject, Genre, and What is Valuable about Photography
Writing a Short Artist’s Statement
Class 10: Review of Projects
Review of Artist’s Statements
Presentation of Portfolios