Documentary Photography (Section 2)

Discipline: Studio Art
Instructor: Gentry
Credits: 3

Field Work: Day 1 - Wednesday, 9 March | Mauritius 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: Mauritius
Day: 1 - Wednesday, 9 March

Together we’ll take our learned photographic techniques on location and start to develop a creative vision. Learn more about your camera settings and how to make photographs with both technical and creative intent. Explore the natural wonders and photographic history of the beautiful island of Mauritius situated in the Indian Ocean. We’ll begin by visiting the small yet historically rich Museum of Photography to learn more about Mauritius and its photographic roots. Next, we’ll challenge ourselves to make images outside the realm of “tourist snapshots” while visiting the natural island wonders of Trou at Cerfs in Curepipe a dormant volcano, the Mauritius Holly Lake Grand Basin, the Black River Gorge view point and the curiously colored earth and waterfalls of Chamarel. We are sure to return with a lot of photographic material to edit and share with our peers, family and friends. Recommended to bring: sunscreen, sunglasses, camera capable of manual exposure, plenty of digital media cards, a fully charged and/or extra battery, a tripod, sunhat, comfortable hiking shoes and plenty of enthusiasm.

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
4. Basic introduction to the History of Photography on Mauritius Island