What is photography?

Photographers talk about their craft

We are going to watch different photographers talk about their work. Before watching the video we will briefly discuss some questions they will also address. You do not need to answer the questions, you just need to participate in the discussion to get your thinking going. I will copy the questions for you here so you remember them and allow you some room so you can take notes of what was more interesting to you.

You will need to use all this material to justify your choices for your project later on.

1. Marvin Heiferman

    • Is photography a tool or history?
    • Do you need to know about the history of photography to be able to take pictures?
    • What is visual literacy?
    • What do you need to know in order to be visually literate?
    • He says: “Photography lets you step out of yourself to look at the world in a different way.”

2. Vik Muniz

    • Do you need to know what is on the picture?
    • Do pictures need to be clear?
    • Does everyone see the same picture the same way?
    • Who do you take pictures for?

3. Sarah Meister

    • What is the main objective of photography?
    • Are photographs always real?
    • Do photographers need to make choices? Which ones?

4. Mike Mandel

    • Do photographs always tell the truth?
    • Does context affect the meaning of photography?
    • If you change the context do you change the meaning of a photograph?
    • Do you need to photograph around an idea?
    • Do you need to think about the order of photographs, how one affects the other?

5. Nicholas Nixon

    • Where does art come from?
    • Is photography an art?
    • What do you think about when you take pictures?

6. Katy Grannan

    • What is empathy?
    • Can a photograph make you feel empathy?
    • What is real? What is unreal? What is an honest picture?
    • What you feel when you look at a picture comes from the picture of from yourself?

7. Hank Willis Thomas

    • Can pictures tell stories?
    • Can you question prejudices and stereotypes through photographs?
    • Do we need to question the pictures our society is taking?

8. Cindy Sherman

    • Can you explore/question stereotypes through photography?
    • Can you trick the viewer?
    • How multiple images make the storytelling more powerful?
    • What is more important technique or storytelling?

9. Thomas Demand

  • Can you build the environment where you are going to take your pictures?
  • Does photography always imitate reality?
  • Can photography create a different reality?

10. Lucas Blalock

    • Can you start with an object?
    • Can you compose an image by presenting objects that express the same feeling you want to communicate?

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