Digital Photo Documentary Syllabus F15

Digital Photo Documentary SYLLABUS

ASSIGN MOPA: You are REQUIRED to see the two exhibitions at MOPA by SEPTEMBER 13, when 7 Billion Others closes

Julianne Kost: Getting Started with Lightroom
Julianne Kost: Recent Lightroom Tutorials
Julianne Kost: What’s New in Lightroom CC
or, if you haven’t used lightroom or photoshop, or even if you have and you want to home your skills:
: $25/month
Lightroom CC Essential Training (2015) Chris Orwig

Online Photographic Mentors:
You will choose two photographic mentors for the semester with whom you’ll have ongoing conversations when you’re shooting. Why are they important to you. Why do they inspire you. And, you can ask them for assistance: how would they shoot this scene, person. How would they process the photo. Why?

Elaine Jamir
Moons Lke Suns

You’ll research their work, watch any videos about them, spend time with their photographs.

This syllabus is PROVISIONAL. Depending on interests of students, level of technological expertise, potential guest artist visits, etc, I’d like you to be flexible so we can accomodate the maximum number of learning possibilities as they arise over the semester.

“A worthy subject is the most important discovery for artists—it’s the magnetic passion that burns at the core of their work, attracting or repelling us, and determining whether they will attempt to evoke what is deepest and highest in us.” —artist Alex Grey

WEEK 1  09-01
This is freely adapted from Barbara Kopple’s Foreward to The Art of the Documentary: Documentary has always been about taking the time to go beneath the surface and find the heart of the story. Documentary photographers create unforgettable and entertaining projects that introduce us to people we never would have known, or show us a different side of people we thought we knew already. They take us halfway around the world, or maybe just to the other side of the tracks, but either way, it’s a journey that can change us forever.

What makes this journey possible is collaboration with the subjects of your photographs. Documentary photographers encourage and inspire subjects to tell their stories, and subjects learn to trust the photographer to tell it with honesty and integrity and beauty.

Introductions: Circle naming. As a collaborative class, it’s important for all of us to get to know one another.

Review: course requirements, objectives, and learning outcomes.

Create: a BLOG at If you already have one, help someone who doesn’t.
Connect your blog to your facebook page?
View a few blogs from Spring 2015 semester
Sarah Hopper
Jerry Slough
and many more . . .

student projects: content and aesthetics: a balancing act
Michael Sutliff
Aubriele Rowe
Tatianna Montoya
Rahim Baker

Lance McCormick

Blogging: As artists, what are your sources of inspiration? Please be as specific as possible. How do you feed your head/heart/hand, your work/passion/mission?

James Nachtwey: A Look Back at James Nachtwey’s Career (5 min): Slide presentation with music and voice-over
Michael Wolf video
Michael Wolf website: Bastard Chairs
Michael Wolf Multiples

Assign MOPA: You are REQUIRED to see the two exhibitions at MOPA by SEPTEMBER 13, when 7 Billion Others closes:
21 Feb, 2015 – 13 Sep, 2015
A. 7 Billion Others
A ground breaking, multimedia exhibition, 7 billion Others brings voices and compelling video portraits from more than 6,000 individual interviews filmed in 84 countries by nearly 20 directors. For its premiere in the United States, the 30-week presentation will allow visitors to identify what separates and unites us by giving direct access to individuals as diverse as a Brazilian fisherman, a Chinese shopkeeper, a German performer and an Afghan farmer. These interviews touch on our most visceral emotions and pose many thought-provoking questions and answers that speak to the human condition.

B. Hendrik Kerstens: Model and Muse:
Inspiration comes from many sources. For the artist Hendrik Kerstens, it is his daughter, Paula, who inspires his photographic explorations. For more than two decades, self-taught photographer Kerstens’ primary subject has been his daughter. From the beginning his images were not the traditional snapshots of a child growing up, rather his formalised portraits of her had and continue to have far more in common with traditions in painting — light, gaze, gesture and scale. These are the foundation upon which Kerstens creates his on-going body of work. By directing the viewer’s gaze to images that closely reference painting and yet are the product of modern technology, the artist has created work that is sublime, provocative, and endlessly fascinating.

an extended blog entry on Michael Wolf for the next class
BRING: external harddrive to the next class to set up for Lightroom

WEEK 2  09-08
Check-out policies & procedures
SET-UP:  external harddrive
REVIEW: blogs and view yours

SCREEN: Annenberg Space for Photography
Anna Davidson: Annenberg: Cuba & Northwest farming
Anna Mia Davidson is a freelance photographer who has worked on long-term photographic projects in Cuba, Ukraine and El Salvador. Her work has appeared in The New York TimesThe Christian Science MonitorVanity FairThe International Herald Tribune and more. Davidson captured the beauty and importance of the sustainable farming movement in the Northwest through photographs from her long-term book project, Human Nature: Sustainable Farming in the Pacific Northwest.
Lecture Iris Nights
Behold: The Photo Blog
Daylight: We Were Here


Demo: Introduction to Library and Develop modules in Lightroom; discuss using  tutorials

WRITE: about MOPA exhibitions
WATCH: Library module and Develop module: Kost or
BRING: external hard drive to the next class
POST: About your photographer from the Annenberg Space for Photography site that you chose in class. What it about their work that compelled you to choose them.

Week 3      09-15
BRING: external harddrives to class

Photographer Renee Owens at Elfin Forest Interpretive Center: Escondido Creek Conservancy
Please go!!!
Connecting to the Wild: Saving Species, Saving Ourselves
More about Renee Owens
Peeking Into the Wild
Finding Harmon-y in the Desert
: a great blog post
Much Loved, Often Hated . . . Coyotes
“. . . coyotes are integral, sentient cogs in the wheels of our ecosystems. . . ”
WHEN: Saturday, 09-26-15  3-7 pm: drop in anytime for the opening and refreshments

“. . . an impressive array of local and exotic wildlife. Meet Renee Owens, a conservation biologist, college instructor, activist, and photographer. She’s dedicated her life to studying and protecting endangered wildlife while helping people peacefully coexist among them. Her biological field survey on property owned by The Escondido Creek Conservancy in 2014 resulted in the discovery of the first observed gnatcatcher nesting within the preserve in over eight years. Her research on the green anaconda, giant otter, and Orinoco crocodile has been featured on Nativional Geographic TV and magazine, Discovery, and BBC. One of her photos is featured in Time’s Great 100 Images of the 20th Century.

LOCATION: 8833 Harmony Grove Road, Escondido 92029

POST: make sure your post from the Annenberg Space for Photography is uploaded: we will look at these
COVER: Exposure Triangle
SCREEN: Rick Smolan, Robyn Davidson, and the making of Tracks:

: Grid Project: a series of images inspired by Michael Wolf and others

HOMEWORK: Grid Project: Shoot and post a series of images inspired by Michael Wolf and/or your Annenberg photographer, but think of Michael Wolf re grids. Try some HDR and Pano shots to play with the new Lightroom HDR/Pano filters.
If you’re not familiar with the Print Module to make your grid for 16 x20 printing at Costco, we’ll go over it in class next week

BRING: CAMERAS and Tripods for Outdoor CSUSM Photo Shoot at 5 pm

WEEK 4     09-22
BRING: CAMERAS & TRIPODS for Outdoor CSUSM Photo Shoot at 5 pm
CLASS: Print Module: Set up your grid from your series of images:
post grid and print at Costco: see Jerry’s grid photos

FIND: SECOND Annenberg Artist
PRINT: Grid at Costco
SHOOT: with your second Annenberg photographer in mind, a  series of photographs inspired her/him: again, if these photos can be used in some way for your  documentary project you’re thinking about, that’s great.
1. photos from CSUSM outdoor shoot
2. photos from shoot inspired by second Annenberg Photographer

WEEK 5     09-29
Google Nik Collection
POST: discuss and 2nd Annenberg Photographer
ASSIGN: Triptych Project: a series of 3 prints as triptychs using Google Nik Collection and Print Module
SCREEN: Sebastiao Salgado: first half
Ed Kashi Triptychs
Three video
Ed Kashi Essay re Three
Ed Kashi on Vimeo: Three genesis

SCREENJulieanne Kost: Adobe Evangelist
Creating Diptychs and Triptychs part 1
Creating Diptychs and Triptychs part 2
Adding Special Effects

CREATE and POST: Shoot and create triptychs; process in Google Nik Collection and use Print Module: 3 triptychs  (3 different prints x 3; Your shoot should be inspired by first and/or second Annenberg Artist;
Make sure to Post your 3 Triptychs so you can get feedback from the class.
REMINDER: You will present your final project ideas to everyone as we go around the circle. You also can choose to use the faculty computer if you have some supporting materials/photos/links/inspiration, etc that you want to share.

WEEK 6     10-06
Post triptychs and get feedback from the class before printing at Costco
You will present your final project ideas to everyone as we go around the circle. You also can choose to use the faculty computer if you have some supporting materials/photos/links/inspiration, etc that you want to share.
Preston Keres
Patrick Farrell: website
Patrick Farrell: Pulitzer Prize photo documentary in Haiti
Natalie Fobes & Phil Borges: Blue Earth Alliance
Natalie Fobes website
Natalie Fobes: Salmon Story and 10 year project
Natalie Fobes: Iris Nights Lecture

Photographers are the eyes and conscience of society. Our photographs illuminate the dark corners of our cultural and environmental tapestry. These images record, for all time, the split second that the shutter remains open. Life in the present becomes history in the future. —The Salmon Story to Seeking Out Adventures

Getty Multimedia

Some suggestions of points you might include in your proposal

• Who is the primary audience for your documentary project?

• What is the story that you want to tell through your photographs.
What is the general theme/focus of your project.
What other content elements (interviews, voice-overs, text, sound, music, text panels, etc).
Other content elements are required for the documentary project.

• What are the smaller stories within your overall story

• What research do you need to complete your project

• Why do you believe your project is worthwhile. How will it add to people’s understanding/appreciation of your subject. What is unique about your project.

• What equipment will you require: technical needs to photograph, record, print, or project your story: lenses, camera, tripod, audio equipment, video, software and hardware for post-production, etc

• What form/s will your final project take: publication, exhibition channels:
series of prints
photos & text panels
multimedia project with interviews, voice-over, sound, music . . .
book project
large-scale projection in/outdoors
online site

• How will you disseminate your project: how will you promote your project once it is completed

• What will help you to improve the overall quality and effectiveness of your finished project

• Please include a general timeline for your project

HOMEWORK: write Documentary Project Proposal
PRINT:  final 3 triptychs

WEEK 7    10-13
HANG: Triptychs
: 3 different triptychs, each with 3 images
REVIEW: FINAL DOCUMENTARY PROPOSALS: each student will present their proposal to the class. You can included photos, diagrams, whatever is helpful.
: a series of images for your FINAL PROJECT outlined in your proposal. Hopefully, your Annenberg Photographers will assist you with all of your shooting for your final project.
EDIT + POST: photos loaded to your blog
INTERVIEW: someone for your final project; or use another medium that you will be adding to your photographs for your final project, e.g. video, sound, etc.

WEEK 8    10-20
1. Your edited and enhanced photos for your final projects, as well as your other medium. Get feedback from the class
2. Books of Ice: Audio + Photography
3. Mexican Photographer Graciela Iturbide: from Arts 21
REVIEW: More on Book Module/Blurb with examples from former classes
Continue work on your projects: post to your blogs each week re progress on your projects
Post another series of new images for your project. Also post images, diagrams, text, audio, video, etc, from your second medium.
Next class, we will look at the photographers from the Disorder exhibition: Prix Pictet

WEEK 9     10-27
1. Present your project progress including a new photoshoot to the class. 
We will begin with the students who have not yet presented. Please remember to post about your second medium.
3. In class viewing of a documentary photographer: choose one and write about the photographer and their work
Prix Pictet: Disorder
Sophie Ristelheuber
Ilit Azoulay
Gideon Mendel

3. Camille Seaman
Camille Seaman Ted Storm Chasing
Camille Seaman Ted Ice

1. Continue work on your projects: post to your blogs each week re progress on your projects
2. Please be up on all of your posts, as I will meet with each of you individually to talk about your overall progress in the class while you work on your projects.
You should have the following up to date: this is the handout I passed out in class:
PDF OF EVERYTHING THAT IS DUE BY 11-03 from the beginning of class: click on the link:
UPDATE- Digital Photo Documentary Midterm what’s due

WEEK 10     11-03
BLOG POST: Every week post your progress report
DISCUSS: Please be up on all of your posts, as I will meet with each of you individually to talk about your overall progress in the class while you work on your projects. You will be formally presenting your work next week.
1. Pedro Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey: PBS Documentary
2. Scott Schuman: The Sartorialist PBS
Scott Schuman: Evening Standard
The Sartorialist
Shoot and work on second medium for your projects.
Next week, you will be presenting your work-in-progress to the class at the faculty computer. Please be prepared to discuss your plans for your final output.

WEEK 11     11-10
BLOG POSTWork in Progress Presentations: half the class
: Sebastiao Salgado Part 2
HOMEWORK: Work on Final Project

WEEK 12     11-17
ANNOUNCEMENT: If you have any student photographers you know would like to come out and take PHOTOS of our film festival please let me know. Anderson Gould is our lead photographer and I don’t want him to feel like we don’t think he can do his job, but I think it would be nice for him to have some help, if needed, especially on Saturday. Each night there will be FOOD and FREE parking.

They can reach me via email or my cell: Megan Doughty or (760)707-3770

As for any of your students who still need their FREE tickets, they can stop by the center. If they can’t stop by the center they can email me personally and I can sign them up for the nights they would like to attend.

Please note that I will need the following information from them:

  • Days and screenings they would like to attend
  • First name, Last name
  • Student Email
Here is our official website:
Program: Times for Films

IN CLASS: Work-in-Progress: PRESENTATIONS: other half of the class
HOMEWORK: Work on Final Project

WEEK 13     11-24
WORK: on Final Project: Discuss your final with other students and with Professor Deborah
Catherine Opie on Arts 21 DVD
Roni Horn
: Book or Magazine to BLURB by end of the class
DISCUSS Blog presentations for your final presentations
HOMEWORK: Work on Social Media additions, Blog enhancements

WEEK 14     12-01
FINAL: Blog presentations
Richard Misrach:
Dead West
Richard Misrach:
cultural landscapes Katrina
Steve McCurry: Iconic Photographs
Mary Ellen Mark

SCREEN: Roni Horn, Collier Schorr, Jim Brandenberg

Annie Leibovitz and Pirelli Calendar
Pirelli Calendar New York Times
Annie Leibovitz slideshow
Video short: Studio Leibovitz

HOMEWORK: Work on Social Media additions, Blog enhancements

WEEK 15     12-08
Final presentation of work

Social Documentary
Don Bartletti
Catherine Opie: Arts 21
Sebastiao Salgado: Salt of the Earth
3.99 Amazon; no Netflix
Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning
Ansel Adams
Wasteland: Netflix streaming
Born into Brothels
Aaron Huey
Graciela Iturbide Arts 21
Margaret Bourke-White
Paccarik Orue: “There Is Nothing Beautiful Around Here
Jose Parda and JR: Cuba: Wrinkles of the City
; He Venido
JR portrait inspiration: Ted Talks: street as canvas, street as museum
Working anonymously, pasting his giant images on buildings, trains, bridges, the often-guerrilla artist JR forces us to see each other. Traveling to distant, often dangerous places — the slums of Kenya, the favelas of Brazil — he infiltrates communities, befriending inhabitants and recruiting them as models and collaborators. He gets in his subjects’ faces with a 28mm wide-angle lens, resulting in portraits that are unguarded, funny, soulful, real, that capture the sprits of individuals who normally go unseen. The blown-up images pasted on urban surfaces – the sides of buildings, bridges, trains, buses, on rooftops — confront and engage audiences where they least expect it. Images of Parisian thugs are pasted up in bourgeois neighborhoods; photos of Israelis and Palestinians are posted together on both sides of the walls that separate them.

Sigur Ros: Heima
Phillip Scholz Ritterman
James Brandenberg: Chased by the Light
Environmental/Cultural Landscape
Natalie Fobes website, and at Salmon Story and 10 year project
Iris Nights Lecture
“Photographers are the eyes and conscience of society. Our photographs illuminate the dark corners of our cultural and environmental tapestry. These images record, for all time, the split second that the shutter remains open. Life in the present becomes history in the future.” The Salmon Story to Seeking Out Adventures
Edward Burtynsky: Watermark & Manufactured Landscapes
Camille Seaman
James Balog: Chasing Ice

Multimedia projects
Phil Borges: Documentary Photography and Film website
Phil Borges: Blog

War Photography
John Morris: Get the Photo
War Photographer: James Nachtwey
Bang Bang Club
1000 Times Good Night: free on Netflix streaming
Susan Meiselas

View: Ed Ou Interview:
Getty: watch this

New York Times: One in 8 Million

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