Monday, July 3, 2017

Grammar of Photography Student Work: NY Places

Grammar of Photography, student projects. In class, students choose a shooting project for the duration of the term. In the posts that follow, I'm including a selection of images made during either Grammar of Photography or its follow up course, organized into loose groups. In this post, you can see images made in Coney Island, Gleason's Gym, Rockefeller Center, the Meatpacking District, Central Park, Chinatown, and Flushing, Queens. One approach to choosing a shooting project is to pick a place that is conveniently located and simply go and shoot there once or twice a week. The best work is the result of finding one's subject every week.


Roxana Gheorgie


Paul Diamond


Yang Chen


Doug Caldwell


Dorothy Clementson


Susan Henle-Christensen


Michael Christofferson


Josefina Fernandez Moran


Grammar of Photography Student Work: Fresh Eyes

Grammar of Photography, student projects. Sometimes the nature of a place is the thread that holds the work together. Museums, places of worship, libraries, notable architecture -- all have been frequent subjects in class. It can be a challenge to go back to the same location every week and be able to see that place with fresh eyes. That is the point of emphasis in class: not what we see, but how we see it.


Fred Linstone


Karyn Ginsberg


Jo Ann Wanamaker


Luisa De Luca


Fred Linstone

Kevin Fuhrmann


Ji Hyeon Park



Beatrice Cheng





Grammar of Photography Student Work: Daily Life

Grammar of Photography, student projects. Subject matter can be the stuff of daily life. Bookstores, antique shops, restaurants, laundromats, corner markets, friends hanging out, stuff at the side of the curb, even the contents of your fridge.


Suzette Dushi


Fumi Kamigama


Bruce Cunningham


Bovey Wang


Beverly Logan


Natalia Galan


Tal Hurwitz


Harriet Josephs


Pinelopi Gerasimou


Minglu Zheng


Aimee Levine

Grammar of Photography Student Work: Subway and Street

Grammar of Photography, student projects. Random connections and the play of light make the public spaces of the city fertile ground for photographers.


Roxana Gheorghe


Suan Lin


Gili Levinson


Kit Puangpithayawut


Sidney Goldberg


Netnarin Padungjirapuntip


Aline Muller


Libia Camargo Urdaneta


Gili Levinson

Grammar of Photography Student Work: People

Grammar of Photography, student work. Portraits, environmental portraits (people in spaces that say something about them -- home, work, neighborhood, etc.) family and friends, strangers on the street.


Jay Mathews


Thais Aquino


Rong Zhao


Sarah Ong


Judith Stockman


Pinelopi Gerasimou


Ajuan Song


Sam Hagler


Jill Inbar


Irene Wolpert



Nadide Goksun


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Fostering Creativity

If you know of John Cleese, it is probably through British television shows like Monty Python or Fawlty Towers or movies like A Fish Called Wanda. In addition to being an actor, he is also a screenwriter. Cleese also has thought quite a bit about the creative process. Below is a link to a video on YouTube in which he discusses how to foster creativity. The context is a business setting, but the ideas in the speech are easily applied to all disciplines. A significant point is that creativity is not an innate talent, but the result of a process. We can facilitate being more creative by setting aside regular, fixed, time intervals for brainstorming and resisting the urge to come up with solutions prematurely. What is essential is giving yourself the freedom to play with ideas and persistence. As Cleese says, "if you just keep your mind resting against the subject in a friendly but persistent way, sooner or later you will get a reward from your unconscious."



Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Grammar of Photography: A 4 Person Show at Pratt SCPS Gallery, Opening February 19



Photographs can be many things. Some document a fleeting moment. Others transform their subject through light or perspective. Photographs tell us about the world as it is, or as the photographer imagines it.

Almost 3 years ago, I began teaching a course in visual literacy at Pratt SCPS called The Grammar of Photography. The goal of the course is to develop students’ ability to see in photographic terms and begin the process of aligning visual style and subject matter.

This exhibition showcases the current work of four alumni of the very first Grammar of Photography class: Debra Bilow, Ed Forti, Paul Kessel, and Felice Simon. While style and subject matter may differ, each of the exhibitors has succeeded in producing work that bears the stamp of a clearly defined personal vision. The result is photographs not just taken but made with a point of view. That’s not an easy task. I commend each of them for their hard work and dedication.

The Grammar of Photography
featuring the work of: Debra Bilow, Ed Forti, Paul Kessel, and Felice Simon

Exhibition Dates: February 19 - March 21, 2016
Opening February 19, 6:00-8:00pm

Pratt SCPS Gallery
144 14th St., 2nd Fl, New York, NY




Debra Bilow


Ed Forti


Paul Kessel


Felice Simon