Handouts Preview

What follows is the content of pages distributed by Your Obedient Servant (wait: that was Orson Welles) on the first day of the new academic year.

 

Welcome (and welcome back) to The Wonderful World of Photography.
This is primarily a studio course, a course of picture-making (the shooting is the homework) in which more than half of the days in class are lab time (either film processing or printing). There are also writing assignments, some of which will require a visit to an exhibit. Once every quarter we all take a field trip to a promising location that is not normally practical for you to visit.

You’ll need ready access to a 35mm film camera (or a medium-format roll film camera) every week of the term. Art classes traditionally cover supplies by charging lab fees; currently, $60.00 covers two packages of 25 -sheet packages of paper for printing, chemicals, negative file pages and a minimal amount of mount board. Other expenses include film (typically eight or more rolls, averaging 4.50 each), more paper (15-20.00/pkg.), and more mount board. Advanced students often shop elsewhere for stuff like fiber paper, printing filters and portfolio cases.

Every exercise and project that is on time, and complete with respect to its specific requirements, is awarded a good grade; work of exceptional quality (or that which is done well and early) earns a better grade. Work not turned in by the due date earns no credit.

Typical requirements may include preliminary considerations in writing; contact sheets; number and size of work prints, and of exhibition-quality prints. The making of negatives and proof prints is also important enough to be awarded credit for conscientious work: for each roll’s reasonably accurate exposure, for decent processing, and for a correctly made, useful contact sheet. More film shot earns more credit. In addition to evident effort and nice results, credit is awarded for punctuality, preparedness, start-up stuff (such as folder, camera, film), incentive, occasional collaboration, and, of course, “godliness” (cleanliness). Mounted work, as many as one from each project, is usually required from everyone beyond first semester. Writing projects may take such forms of presentations in class, reviews of selected exhibits, interviews of artists, and responses to essays.

One of the stipulations on the application for pass/fail status allows for reverting to a letter grade if the situation warrants. I’ll probably just record a letter grade at the first or third quarter anyway, since those grades are not kept in the computer, but meant instead to be more of a notice to parents.

I welcome work beyond the problems that have been assigned (each for a specific reason), but extra credit is never in place of assigned projects. Photographers who know what they want to accomplish, or who have unique opportunities, make a proposal in advance rather than sidestep the curriculum. Quite often, those workers are assembling a portfolio or are contributing to some other long-range project.

OK, so here’s what you should do to get started, and when to do it:
1. Complete the quurvey today in class.
2. Get a folder to use just for this course. It needs to have two pockets and a three-ring binder inside. Present your folder to me tomorrow (or sometime later this week) in order to receive credit.
3. Bring to class with you, both Thursday and Friday, a camera you are considering using for the course.
4. Get yourself a roll of Kodak 400TX film by Friday (don’t send Mom!). If you are an advanced shooter and you know you want or need a different emulsion, please tell me about that before you do it.

jdionesotes@barrington220.org
jdionesotes@prodigy.net
https://photodevoto.wordpress.com

 

Fo-Do Fussday Quurvey Votre nom, S.V.P.___________________

1. What is your current e-mail address?

2. Do you know which camera you’ll be using?
If so, what is it?
If not, what leads do you have?
Do you have access to a tripod?
How about a cable release?

3. How much sleep do you know you need in order to function well?
What new (to you) food have you enjoyed in the last year?

4. What music do you enjoy, likely more than most people in the
room? Do you play an instrument; are you one? Do you read?

5. Write much? What do you seek out to read?

6. What other areas of expertise can you claim? Any other expressive outlets? Do you engage in any spiritual activities/disciplines?

7. What do you want to know from me today? (Seriously; ask stuff that will be useful for everyone here to know: about the course, the department, the school; jazz…)

 

 

School is the perfect situation in which to take chances: you won’t go to jail, or to hell, or get beat up for trying and not succeeding. You have people around you who care, who are interested, and are there to help.

Don’t think of this class as one which educates your mind; rather, it will sophisticate you, which is different. Sophistication is knowledge that’s acquired in the course of having a purpose. You know why you want the information at the moment that you put your hand on it. You’re not just storing it up for a rainy day.

Aspects of sophistication: love and style, spirituality and street smarts. Street smarts? Shrewdness and toughness? To protect something soft that is going to be in danger if it’s exposed at the wrong time and place. To protect a soul. You’re learning about the course of art, the course of society, the course of the world, the course of your life.

Set up a personal timetable for the semester and understand it. Break the term into days, weeks, months. You’ll be surprised how little time there is to shoot. Do it at the earliest opportunity you can make for yourself. Don’t put off working on projects that demand a lot of creative thinking until late in the day or night. Attack such problems and creative thinking when you are fresh and rested. At the beginning of each day organize your thoughts; write them down, if that helps.

Always try to understand that you are your own best enemy. Be nice to yourself when you are tackling the unknown. Realize that you are going to fail a lot before you succeed. Allow time for this to happen. Creative work is not mechanical. It deals with your subconscious, your view of yourself and your emotions. If you’re at odds with your friends or family and you are depressed, don’t do creative work. Do mechanical, non-reasoning, unemotional work such as cleaning up or organizing. Don’t try to do more than is possible in the time you have available to you.

Everyone needs to get out more.

Photographs are made in the light.

 Making new negatives releases endorphins.

Where you stand and where you put the edges makes clear your intention; the center takes care of itself.

The earlier in the photographic process you take care of details, the easier everything is.

“If you suffer any sense of confusion in life, the best thing you can do is make little forms.” -Robert Frost
“Be patient; be consistent; be sincere.” –Fred Anderson

1 Comment

  1. “Photographs are made in the light. ”

    Some, very little.


Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s