Photographic Concepts

Course Information

Course code: ARTS39599
Term offered: Third year, second term

Course Description

This course is a mix of studio, lab and location photography that will broaden students? understanding of photography and lighting as creative tools for self-expression. We begin with studio portrait lighting to develop a keener eye in observing and controlling light in other situations. Conceptual and stylistic approaches in the evolution of photography present a wide range of visual, social, critical and experimental uses of the media, encouraging students to experiment with different approaches. Students then develop a sustained series of images exploring their own unique photographic vision.


Assignment One

The first project builds on a series of portrait lighting demonstrations and exercises in the studio. Students will create a variety of portraits using various types of lighting, and then apply this knowledge to the creation of an expressive and unconventional portrait.

Photo credits

Zhang Jingna, Lily-Olsen-Ecker
Janieta Eyre, from The Book of Revelations
Herbert Bayer, The Lonely Metropolitan

Assignment Two

A survey of styles, conceptual approaches and philosophies in the evolution of photography will deepen students? awareness of the medium. Students will then shoot a subject or concept of their choice in three different stylistic genres.

Photo credits

Oscar Gustave Rejlander
Enrico Scotece, Open Air Cinema
D.Aksjonov, Schizophrenia Self-Portrait

Assignment Three

The meaning of photographs can be deepened, skewed or focused through the sequencing and presentation of multiple images. Students will shoot a sustained series of photographs, including diptychs, and explore sequencing options to enhance or shift their interpretation.

Photo Credits

David Simonton, Polk Prison Diptych
Mark Laita, Prisoners, Curlers, Abortionists
Robert Frank, Mabou 1977