To prepare for Monday’s class

Hallo all –

Looking forward to seeing everybody on Monday evening!  There are four things to do to prepare for our class meeting.

1 – Read through the blog posts here on our class site, taking a look at the photo essays included.  We’ll talk about Richard Misrach and some Detroit photo essays in class.  Come with questions you have and note particular photos that you’d like to talk about or series of photos.

2 – For exercise #1, choose a photo essay online (or it can be one from our resources page that you’d like to draw our attention to).  Create a page on your photo blog, introduce the photo essay (see our class site’s page exercise #1 for more details) and write about why it interests you and how it’s built/its structure.  Looking forward to talking about these together!

3 – Please choose three of your own photographs to post on your photo blog.  See the class blog post “Pelican Diving Board” as an example.  It includes a title and also a caption. It makes a little story about what is happening within the frame.

Play with a photo of your own and see what you come up with!  This will give us some practice thinking about the interplay of text and image.

Notice how even adding a title to a particular photograph changes it, or begins to transform how we see it.  For example, in the pelican photograph the birds are sitting on a short dock in a marina somewhere.  By calling it a diving board, it changes the photo into something that asks the viewer to see the birds lining up to perhaps take a dive into the water.  So, it becomes a bit different–just by adding a title.  Then if a caption is added, in this case “time to dive in!” the text continues the story, the narrative.  It adds some action–and maybe some humor: the pelican is being told what to do.

To think even more about this one photograph (& why not?  this may be the longest you’ve ever contemplated a pelican yet!), why do you think this photo and text is placed as the first blog post: “welcome to the art of the photo essay!”  What work is it doing?

Have fun with choosing these three photo posts! See what you come up with! It’s just a way to start thinking about layers of meaning while playing with words and pictures.

4 – Print 10 photographs (photos that you’ve taken) and bring these to class.  You can print them at CVS etc or print them out on a copy machine/printer (if you do this, make sure to print one-sided only and cut them up so that you have a separate photo on each piece of paper; you will need to be able to move the photos around, order them in different ways, etc in class)

If you have any questions or comments or clarifications, send me an email!

Office Hours:

On Monday May 15th, I’ll be in the office at Sweetland Center for Writing (once inside the writing center lobby, head down the hall to 1323NQ, on your left) from 3-5pm.  Please come by if you would like to talk about photo essays– or if you would like to work on wordpress together– or if you have questions at all!  I will also be available after class for questions or help with wordpress too.

Campus Resource Note:  ScholarSpace in Hatcher Graduate Library is open Mon-Fri 10-5pm and it is a great resource.  Folks there can help with wordpress or you are welcome to work in the space and ask questions as they arise.  Our class contact in ScholarSpace is Breanna Hamm.


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