Documentary Photography (Section 1)

Discipline: Studio Art
Instructor: Gentry
Credits: 3

Field Work: Day 2 - Friday, 19 February | Myanmar (Burma) Download Syllabus

In this course students will begin to use photography as a means of documentation and cultural investigation. Assignments are designed to help students understand the visual language of documentary photography. Students will make photographs during this trip and will use Adobe Lightroom 6.0 to edit and adjust them. The desired goal of this course is to give students a working knowledge of the materials and methods of the medium, including an understanding of basic camera settings, exposure choices, file management organization, post-production processes and delivery modes for documentary photography. Course projects are designed to engage students with core concepts intrinsic to photography and photographic language. Students will use time on board to download, edit, and color correct photos. Readings and discussions are aimed at helping students get a better understanding of the history and practitioners of documentary photography. Students will use time on board to download, organize, edit, and develop images to ready them for digital delivery and display. Over the course of the journey students will make and edit images that document through their own lens different cultures, places and people.

Required Materials:

  1. Laptop computer
  2. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6.0 or CC (installed and ready on your laptop.)
  3. A digital camera with RAW and capabilities, preferably with manual shutter speed and aperture controls.
  4. 1-2 media cards compatible with your camera
  5. 1 portable USB drive 256 gigabytes+ to back up all images off of the laptop and run your Lightroom catalogue.
  6. Required Book: Witness in Our Time, Second Edition: Working Lives of Documentary Photographers by Ken Light
  7. Recommended: smart phone external microphone

Field Work

Country: Myanmar (Burma)
Day: 2 - Friday, 19 February

This is our first outing as a group. Together we’ll take our technique on location and start to develop a creative vision. Learn more about our camera settings and how to make creative photographs with technical and creative intent. Have lunch in the Indian quarter and then set out to explore the streets of central Yangon photographing the faded colonial architecture and city life. Ride the Yangon Circular Train making portraits of passengers. Spend the late afternoon/sunset photographing the glittering Shwedagon Pagoda. Potential partnerships with the creators of the Yangon Photograph Festival and local photographers.

Academic Objectives:
1. Measure light using in-camera and handheld meters.
2. Estimate depth of field and motion based on creative intent and camera settings.
3. Solve problems in visual story telling from research to presentation.