Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Classes in Visual Literacy and Personal Vision at Pratt CCPS

When I’m walking down the street with a beginning photo student, the student will often point at something and say something like “that’s a good photograph” every now and then. And almost always, my response will be: it might be a good subject, but it’s not a good picture. And of course, that leaves the student wondering what’s the difference between the two.

Initially, for many students, the way to make better photographs is to find “better” subjects. But finding the right subject is only half of the problem of making an interesting photograph, and in my opinion, it is the lesser half.  One of the most useful realizations that a photographer can have is that a photograph always shows two things: the subject and how the photographer sees the subject. While the subject itself is often not under our control, how we see is a skill that can be considered, practiced and refined.

About 2 years ago, I started to teach at Pratt Center for Continuing and Professional Studies. What began as a single course in composition and visual literacy for photographers has grown into a sequence that develops students’ ability to see, makes seeing personal, and then fuses personal visual style and subject matter. The end result is pictures not just taken, but also made with a point of view.

The Grammar of Photography
Wednesdays, 6:05 - 9:05, May 27 - July 29

Developing Your Personal Vision
Wednesdays, 2:05 - 5:05, May 27 - July 29

Photography Portfolio
Tuesdays, 2:05 - 5:05,  May 26 - July 28

You can download the Pratt CCPS course catalog here. Photography classes are on pages 26-27.