A Photo Teacher |

An Adventure in Photography – Initiating A Personal Vision

Posted in PHOT 150, PHOT 151, PHOT 152, PHOT 156, PHOT 165, PHOT 167, PHOT 265, PHOT 267 by Paul Turounet on October 15, 2007

Photography is about the visual exploration of curiosities, interests and/or ideas. With photography’s descriptive possibilities together with the effects of chemical and digital processes, the possibilities of visual engagement can begin to suggest the interpretive meanings of one’s curiosities and ideas.



How does the photographer identify their subject matter? What is the process the photographer engages in to determine what he/she should/needs to photograph?

This initial discovery may come in the form of the various genres of photography – art, documentary, fashion, portraiture, landscape or the possibilities of a combination of any one of them. The inspiration may come from one’s world view and the desire to visually explore and articulate these intellectual and emotional concerns. Literature, film, theater, music, and popular culture are all sources to draw upon in formulating curiosities and interests.

Or maybe it is as Garry Winogrand remarked, “I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed.” One photograph is made, suggesting a particular voice, vision and approach, which leads to another photograph and so forth.



Once the photographer has identified their subject matter in combination with their own sense of vision, aesthetic approach and technical execution, it becomes necessary to develop and produce work that challenges this subject matter visually, intellectually and/or emotionally. How does the photographer challenge these considerations and progress so that the work continues to be engaging and vital without becoming static and repetitive? When does the photographer know or realize that he/she has exhausted all conceptual possibilities in relationship to their sense of photographic vision?



Shoot images that reflect focused attention on your curiosities and interests through your photographic vision and sense of technical execution and craftsmanship in preparation of developing a conceptually cohesive portfolio of photographs for the final project.

Thinking about your conceptual concerns and what to photograph, I would propose you gravitate towards what your interests and curiosities are. How would you approach those concerns photographically to reveal what they would look like as a series of photographs? In addition to their visual engagement, what do you want the photographs to reveal, suggest or evoke, intellectually and/or emotionally, in relationship to these ideas and perceptions? Consider how your use of the camera, photographic aesthetics and materials as well as your technical execution will be utilized in making photographs that begin to suggest and inform these curiosities and ideas.

In considering your photographic vision and use of camera aesthetics, give particular attention to your use of the photographic frame, vantage point, moments of exposure and the role and use of light to reveal your interpretation of the thing itself and details. Consider various visual strategies and points of view, including the compositional possibilities with a single frame, multiple-image sequences, the juxtaposition of images (diptychs and triptychs) and multiple-image series (typology – conceptually and/or visually).

It is essential that your idea reflect a sense of considered thought, active visual exploration and is articulated with a cohesive vision and voice. I would encourage you to follow-up with me regarding conceptual development as suggested by your photographic efforts by meeting with me to discuss your work (contacts and prints) in an effort to further encourage your photographic process.



For the informal one-to-one critique, please complete the following:

Contact Sheets and/or Edited Contact Sheets

Minimum of 2 – finished photographic prints made in the Grossmont College Analog | Digital Photography Labs.


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