Documentary Photography (Section 2)

2511-502:
Discipline: Studio Art
Instructor: Critcher
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1550
End: 1705
Field Work: Day 1 - Saturday, 31 October | Senegal Download Syllabus

Documentary Photography explores conceptual and practical concerns of documentation using photography as a tool for objectively exploring different cultures while introducing technical principles of digital photography.

Students consider ethical concerns of documenting different cultures and peoples as well as conceptual positions such as the range of perspectives a photographer can adopt: from objective observer to subjective participant. The final project involves constructing a thematic photographic portfolio of images made during the voyage, considering their images in sequence and series to construct a narrative. The technical emphasis of the class is on camera operation, file management, digital imaging, and digital editing.

Students learn camera operation with a concentration on DSLR cameras as well as current practices in photographic workflow using Adobe Lightroom. It includes an overview of photographic history and theory with an emphasis on documentary photographic strategies.

Field Work

Country: Senegal
Day: 1 - Saturday, 31 October

After crossing the Niaye greenbelt surrounding Dakar, you will discover at about 20 miles, north of the Senegalese capital, the amazing marvel of nature known throughout the world as the Pink Lake Retba. It is famous for it is remarkable pinkish coloured–water due to a micro organism and its high density of salt (one of the highest in the world). Depending on the intensity of the sun rays, the colour may even turn to purple. Around the lake, different ethnic groups have organized different ways of living. In one of the neighboring villages, you will come in direct contact with the most authentic Senegalese uses and customs of hospitality. Academic objectives:

  1. Using photography to explore and document native villages and the fishing community of Lake Retba
  2. Practical time with photographic equipment; creating a visual narrative that captures the energy and variety of a native fishing village.