ARTS 624
The Documentary Tradition: Photographing Daily Life

Sasha Rudensky


Sept. 9th         Introduction: Class Structure, Expectations, Syllabus

                        Slide Lecture: What is Documentary Photography?

                        Critique: Pre-Existing work


Assignment:    Roll #1: Familiar/Unfamiliar theme

                        Reading: Handouts



Sept. 16th       Critique: Familiar/Unfamiliar Assignment

Review: Exposure and Metering; Histograms

                        Slide Lecture: Seeing and Translating Light


Assignment:    Roll #2: Seeing Light

                        Reading: Handouts



Sept. 23rd       Critique: Seeing Light Assignment

                        Review Cont’d: Reading Negatives & Contacts, Processing Digital Files

                        Lecture and Discussion: Ethical and Legal Issues in Photography


Assignment:    Roll #3: Ordinary as Extraordinary theme

                        Reading: Cartier-Bresson, Cotton



Sept. 30th       Critique: Ordinary as Extraordinary Assignment

                        Lecture: Visualization (slides)

                        Discussion: Charlotte Cotton’s Essay


Assignment:     Roll #4: Minimalism/Complexity

                        Reading: Szarkowski, handouts



Oct. 7th           Critique: Minimalism/Complexity

                        Lecture: Photographic Design


Assignment:     Roll #5: Your Choice

                        Reading: Coles




Oct. 14th         Critique: Your Choice

                        Lecture: A Brief History of Photography (Slides)


Assignment:    Roll #6: The Layered Photograph

                        Reading: Lethem



Oct. 21st         Critique: The Layered Photograph

                        Lecture & Discussion: In Search of Personal Style

                        Lecture & Discussion: How to Approach/Find Subjects

                        Discussion: Lethem’s “The Ecstasy of Influence”


Assignment:     Roll #7: Your choice

                        Reading: handouts



Oct. 28th         Critique: Your Choice

                        Guest Lecturer


Assignment:     Roll #8: Photographic Series (Preliminary Shooting)

                        Reading: Berger



Nov. 4th          Quick Critique: Preliminary Shooting (work prints)

                        Slide Lecture: Photographic Series

                        Discussion: Berger’s Another Way of Telling


Assignment:     Roll #9 & 10: Photographic Series

                        No Reading



Nov. 11th        Critique: Photographic Series – Work Prints

                        Guest Lecturer



Assignment:     Roll #11: Photographic Series

                        No Reading



Nov. 18th        Critique: The Series Assignment

                        Slide Lecture: Documentary Tradition in Contemporary Practice

Discussion: Documentary and Postmodernism


Assignment:     Roll #12: Option: Directorial Approach or Continuation of Series

                        Reading: handouts


Nov. 25th        No Critique

                        Slide Lecture: Sasha’s Work

                        Lecture & Discussion: Continuing to Do Photography



Assignment:     Prepare Portfolio for Final Review





Dec. 2nd         Final Review – 12 Final Prints (Minimum of 5 Prints should be the “Series” Assignment