Grammar 2


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.

For upcoming sections of Grammar 2, click here.

For an overview of Grammar 1, click here.

For an overview of Grammar 3, click here.


Class 1: Color and Composition

 
Elger Esser

Elger Esser

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.

  • Defining Style

  • Introduction to Color Theory

  • Hue, Saturation, and Value Maps

  • Color Must be Used


Class 2: Light and Tonality

George Tice

George Tice

  • Tonality and the Histogram

  • High Key, Low Key, Degrees of Contrast, and Quality of Light

  • Looking for Light


Class 3: Photographer’s Palettes

Martina Hoogland Ivanow

Martina Hoogland Ivanow

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

Paul Strand and Stephen Shore

Paul Strand and Stephen Shore

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.

  • Comparisons

  • Inspiration Collections


Class 5: Ways of Seeing

Thomas Struth

Thomas Struth

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

 
Bruce Gilden

Bruce Gilden

  • Contact Sheets Reveal the Photographer’s Thought Process and Working Method

  • Comparisons of Contact Sheets with Final Prints


Class 7: Genre, Style, and Attitude

 
Chino Otsuka

Chino Otsuka

  • An Analysis of Categories of Photographs Based on Content, Process and Values


Class 8: Playing with Expectations

 
Edward Burtynsky

Edward Burtynsky

  • Expectations Associated with Genre and Style

  • Studies: Nikki Lee and Paul Graham

  • Photographers’ Quotes


Luigi Ghirri

Luigi Ghirri

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


Jan Groover

Jan Groover

Class 10: Review of Projects

 
  • Review of Artist’s Statements

  • Presentation of Portfolios