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Photograph New York, Create Your Vision

Semester and Year SP 2019
Course Number ARTS-UG1480
Section 001
Instructor Jeff Day
Days T
Time 6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Units 4
Level U



By giving us a sense of place, the city we inhabit recreates us. This documentary photography course explores New York City as the ever-changing environment in which we are involved. Embarking on a photographic project of their design, students depict a highly visible urban space (viewed as a world financial, cultural, artistic capital) through their own relationship to it: their ways of interacting, acting, and being moved. Classes prepare students to work on their position as photographers: as they make pictures in the streets of New York, they determine their own perception (vantage point, angle, point of view, framing) and establish a particular relationship with the audience (through scale, rhythm sequence, position, color). Exploring the boundaries between public and private space, feeling space and scale with the body (and not only with one's eyes) and creating a personal color palette are strongly encouraged. Students also explore a photographer's power to change audience perception, for example, through large scale installations inciting viewers to inhabit particular vantage points. Though documentary imagery is traditionally considered to establish a transparent relation to 'reality,' this course challenges students to recognize its created character and to recreate the city by influencing with their photographic intervention the ways it is perceived. Classes are highly collaborative, offering technical instruction, critiques of student work, debates on street photography, visual analysis and discussions with invited artists. Open to highly motivated students with or without experience in documentary photography; digital or film cameras welcome.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Arts Workshops (ARTS-UG)