Ethics and Photography

Journalists have to deal with ethics in their work all the time. Some things are considered an ‘ethical’ issue (is it morally ‘right’ or ‘wrong’?), even if it may be legal (the law doesn’t say you can’t do it).

Please read this article regarding a photograph taken of a mourner praying in Newtown, CT and the discussion over ethics and photojournalists. Then come back to my blog and leave me a comment discussing your opinion on the topic. What do you think is appropriate in a situation like this?


ANLanza Photography

photo by ANLanza on Flickr

I’m in love with this set of photos by Alexis Lanza. The photos are so simple and beautiful displayed together in this manner. The intensity of the colors gives them the effect that they could be super-realistic paintings, but I think that is because of her use of large format film when taking these photos.

Food Magnification

Caren Alpert‘s art looks imaginary, but it is actually a photograph of the surface of a blueberry, taken using a strong microscope. It reminds me of an intaglio print, with such fine lines and details scratched into the surface. Click on her name to view her gallery of work and see magnified Oreos, fruits and vegetables, and table salt.


Camera Simulator

Ever wonder what the settings on your SLR camera mean, or how they will affect the outcome of your photo? Try out this Online Camera Simulator and see. It lets you see, for example, how your photo will look different at an ISO of 100 versus 3200. Or how to balance your aperture and shutter speed on the Manual setting to get enough lighting. (via Photojojo’s Tumblr)

What’s the Point?

We’ve taken a lot of different photos this semester. Many were taken because they “looked cool”. The challenge of this project is to take a photograph that holds some message or meaning to you, and to be able to convey that message to your viewer.

"Home" by Nina Leonard

Look through the student section on  Juliet Davis Student Photography. The artist’s statement about the above photo reads as follows:

It’s easy to forget that not everyone has the luxury of constant shelter. In this photograph, the little girl who is sitting in the shopping cart is smiling. She doesn’t seem to mind that all of her belongings are stashed in the small suitcase next to her, and that her destination is unknown.

Beginning Article for Editing Black and White Photos

This is a short article introducing the topic of editing black and white photos in Photoshop. Hint: desaturating is not the answer!

Imogen Cunningham


Black and White Portraits

Black and white is the most basic form of artwork, and therefore it is often the most challenging. Without bright colors to “distract” the viewer, they must be impressed with the artist’s handle on the very basics of art. How well did the artist capture an emotion, pay attention to and capture detail, compose an interesting image, or get his/her point across?

Your first project is to create a portrait of someone using only black and white. It can be traditional or experimental. It does not have to be strictly a person’s face; as Alfred Stieglitz shows with his photograph of Georgia O’Keeffe’s hands, you can tell a lot about people besides simply seeing their face.

Your goal should be to convey some sort of emotion through the style, shading, or arrangement on the page (composition).

by Arnold Newman
in the style of Richard Avedon
by Kristian Thacker (in the style of Richard Avedon)
by Chuck Close

by Alfred Stieglitz

Incorporating Art History into Your Work

Your Task:

  • Find artwork from one or more movements which interest you. Make note of the movement, artist’s name, and artwork name.
  • Identify the specific elements of the work that are of interest.
    • Do you like the …
      • Style of the figures / subject matter
      • Application of the medium (ex: the way they apply paint to canvas)
      • Choice of colors
      • Mood of the painting
      • Combination of images
      • Layout (composition) of things in the artwork
      • Attention to detail
      • Use of visual or actual texture
      • Something else?
  • Sketch / brainstorm a work of your own that will incorporate some of the things you liked that you identified above.
    • Examples of projects:
      • Richard Avedon style portraits (contemporary photography)
      • Portrait with a dark mood and high contrast, like Rembrandt or Caravaggio (Baroque movement)
      • using Vincent van Gogh‘s style of applying a thick layer of paint to the canvas with your own subject matter (abstract expressionist movement)
      • Incorporating images from the Lascaux cave paintings into your own drawing
      • create an installation piece inspired by Sandy Skoglund (click link, then click Images on left)

Some other examples of movements in art history, all worthy of investigation (try Googling a few)

  • Ancient Greek
  • Ancient Roman
  • Hellenism
  • Gothic
  • Medieval
  • Renaissance
  • Surrealism
  • Cubism
  • Expressionism
  • Impressionism
  • Art nouveau
  • Hudson river school
  • Environmental art
  • Pop art

Behind the Scenes: the Empire Strikes Back

an original movie poster for The Empire Strikes Back

It might be hard to imagine with all the amazing things computers can do these days, but filming a movie back in the day was actually quite a challenge. If you wanted something animated (like, say, an entire Disney movie), you had to draw everything out by hand – characters, backgrounds, everything.

This article shares behind-the-scenes photos of George Lucas’s 1980 film Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back. Besides being great photographs, you can see some movie tricks that were used to create now famous scenes from the film.

Click here to view the article.

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