Transforming Landscape Photography Winter 2024

This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

This course will explore how contemporary photographers and students themselves can challenge, expand, and reinvent traditional photographic genres, with a particular focus on landscape. The instructor, visual artist Elena Dorfman, will guide students as they experiment with landscape photography both in the field and in the classroom, exploring the landscape in relation to photography, and photography in relation to mixed media art practices. Over the course of the term, students will work on their own photography-based projects that employ these techniques, and present them to one another in the final week. The class will start by examining the invention of photography and the flâneur tradition by reading about the work of artists such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Helen Levitt, Robert Frank, and Garry Winogrand. Working in groups or individually, students will then create landscape photography projects centered on campus or adjacent communities. The instructor will provide practical hands-on instruction in photography as well as various art practices for “altering” the photographs in creative ways: digital collaging, crumpling, painting, gilding, and other mixed media techniques. An optional overnight field trip near the middle of the course will give students the chance to feed their own creative process by viewing photographs in New York City museums and galleries. Students will work primarily with their own phone cameras (though those who have previous experience may choose to use DSLR cameras or other equipment). Images can be shot “straight,” but we’ll also explore more unconventional ways of using the camera, including prisms, gels, and cracked filters. The focus of the class will be to expand each student’s own visual language with hands-on experimentation, as we learn to shoot and re-make landscapes in new and surprising ways.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 15
Expected: NA
Class#: 1116
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: Creative project(s); Other: Weekly instructor critiques of student work
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: Students majoring in Comparative Literature
Unit Notes: A teacher, visual artist, and finalist for the BMW Prize, Paris Photo, Elena Dorfman has exhibited her photographs and video installations worldwide. Her work is the subject of three monographs, most recently "Empire Falling" (2013).
Materials/Lab Fee: $315
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses
SLFX Winter Study Self-Expression

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