Category Archives: Photo

SFMOMA Field trip prep Art 2thruAP and Photo


We will go over these links in class and guide you through them with some in-class discussions and some further reading/listening at-home.

  1. New installation of large-scale works which will be the first thing you see – this link provides background to your understanding and appreciation: Mehretu

2. We will use this as our gathering point before we leave the museum and this short video shows the incredible installation of this monumental sculpture:  Serra’s Sequence installation

3. The main special exhibition is Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules. In preparation, we will focus on the art historical context, the creativity, the use of painting, photography, dance, performance, sculpture, assemblage, collage, conceptualist ideas, and art as political action.

This is a preview of the museum exhibit: Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules

4. The introduction to this video below is (0-4:12) is a summary of his art historical role. The remainder of the video is optional but highly recommended!

5. The SFMOMA bio and works pictures below the bio also present his unique role as an artist: bio and works

6. Black and white photography is a major interest early in his career: Rauschenberg’s photo Quiet House

7. Another interesting correlation is this interview discussing the relationship between Evans’ and Rauschenberg’s exploration of American culture: Rauschenberg and Evans

8. This short older film has some great footage of him discussing ideas about ROCI, the desire to make political and social change through art and his reaction to the commercialism of the art world.

9. A small but valuable display of political art and posters is previewed here.  Scroll down to “more on the artists/ see all”.  From The Art of Corita Kent (activist, artist, nun) to Jose Montoya: the Royal Chicano Air Force are both interesting and inspiring. Be sure to consider how the artistry of these posters reinforces the message: Get with the Action – political posters/ activist artists


Exhibit: Richard Gordon: Metaphotographs

Richard Gordon, photographer

How do we use photography?    How does it change how we see?      Do photographs preserve or spoil?

How do photographs tell us about ourselves?   What can a photograph tell us about who we are?     Do photographs have a moral obligation?

Exhibit: Nothing Stable Under Heaven



Photo field trip preparation – due 2/1 and 2/2


Read the following Weston quote and consider the insights into his method and whether it relates to how you photograph.

“My work-purpose, my theme, can most clearly be stated as recognition, recording, and presentation of the interdependence, the relativity of all things – the universality of basic form… In a single day’s work within a radius of a mile, I might discover and record the skeleton of a bird, a blossoming fruit tree, a cloud, a smokestack; each of these being only a part of the whole, but each – in itself – becoming a symbol of the whole, of life.” Edward Weston

Take notes to hand-in on each of the following links.

1. Listen to Weston’s account of photographing nature and respond to his ideas and your own experience photographing.

In Weston’s words

2. Look at some of his pictures and note which are your favorites.

3. Listen to the Curator’s account of Tina Modotti and Edward Weston and comment on the photographs and this relationship.

Tina Modotti and Weston

4. Listen to B. Ruby Rich’s discussion on Weston’s photo and the personal and art historical context behind it. Make note of the many gender issues she brings up.

5. Read the following excerpt from an article and comment on the formal /personal /objectification aspects of Weston’s nudes.

Parmanter comments on Weston

6. Read about Charis Wilson in the obituary and watch the video. Comment on her role as muse and collaborator in the nude photographs of her.

Obituary Charis Wilson

7.  Look at the following video as a preview of our visit to the show, Pt. Lobos and the historic Weston house. Comment on three aspects you find interesting and what you are most interested in experiencing in person.

8. Familiarize yourself with the following, and comment on the article on “Point Lobos and iconic Weston photographs” since you will be shooting photographs there also.

What do you hope to find as a photographer? What will you be looking for and thinking about as you photograph there?

Point Lobos and iconic Weston photographs

Point Lobos history

Wiki on Weston

Photo 1 – Sabatier effect


Look at the following sites and write a journal of notes on each site. Attach a photocopy of your favorite example:

cool samples (darkroom and digital)

sabatier steps

technical discussion of sabatier

After working in the darkroom on the sabatier effect, write journal comments explaining things you learned that were successful procedures to share with others. Make references to the best and least effective of your experiments.

*note: you will see it spelled differently in reputable places and also confused with solarization (which is a similar effect, on film)

OPEN STUDIOS – Art 1,2,3, AP, Photo classes, and Ceramics – Oct. 7-8, Oct. 14-15, Oct. 21-22 – Due by Mon. Oct. 23


Over the next 3 weekends, Santa Cruz County artists will open their studios to visitors to show their art and art making processes.

Attend a total of 3 artist studios. (AP, Photo, and Ceramics students must attend at least 3 that are specific and relevant to their current work.)

For each visit, write down the artist’s name, take notes, and be ready to share in class:

1. your impressions of each studio and artwork. Include a small drawing of something that interests you in the studio (the art, materials, work space, etc.).

2. the artist’s techniques and processes (this information is posted in the studio; if you don’t see it, ask about their technique).

3. the inspiration for your own art work (either by a desire to emulate the artist or for a manner to differentiate your work from the artist).

For extra credit, Sept 30-Oct. 22 attend the Preview Show at the Santa Cruz Art League at 526 Broadway ( or attend the R. Blitzer Gallery Preview Show 2801 Mission from Oct 6-22 ( Make sure you check the hours before you go.  For the credit, share the artist and title for what you would award as the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in the whole show and explain why.

Students may attend the studios together but must have independent notes.  You may become interested in visiting particular artists by hearing others’ comments.

Do all three on one weekend or one each weekend, but don’t leave until the last day! You can share your visits each Monday over the next few weeks, or on the final Monday (October 23rd). Plan it out.

There are Guide Booklets in art rooms 216 and 222 with maps if you want to plan your weekend trips.  North County is the first weekend,  South County the second, and some artists are open for the third All County weekend.

Photography – Composition and photographic heroes


A.Read the article below, choose the 3 compositional techniques that interest you the most.

Photographic Composition Tips

B. Look at the importance in cropping and the difference it made in these pictures.

The Bigger Picture – the uncropped version

C. As you have time over this quarter, refer to this list of 100 photographers to know and get to know the ones you like.

100 photographers to know – with active links to images

Over the next couple of months, you will be giving a “nutshell report” on an assigned photographer from this list (write your notes to keep in your binder) at the start of each class.

Touch on the 5 w’s (Who – name, What – they photographed, When, Where, Why – their purpose and intention in photographing.)

Choose 1 particular work to share and explain what you like about it.

Why does it stand out to you?  What does it tell you?

What does it make you wonder or feel?

Photo 1 – Photograms


Read the following article

Man Ray to Thomas Ruff

In  your  journal, 1  page, handwritten or typed

1. comment on how Photograms changed Man Ray’s career.  How did his work compare to Fox Talbot’s or Christian Shad’s work?

2. Explain how his work caught on and the role that composition and choice of materials played.

3. Does Ray’s abuse of women or his evasiveness about his Jewish background cause you to look at his work any differently?

4. How has Ruff has updated photograms with digital technology?

5.  Read the links about Moholy Nagy:

6. From these sites (and others on a google search), print the photogram you find most aesthetically pleasing.

7. Comment and explain why you like that photogram and how you think it was made.


Photo 1 – Reading photos and the 1963 March on Washington


From the series Mad Men, an ad pitch for the Kodak Carousel product: This provides an introduction to considering the role of nostalgia in a photograph’s appeal (as well as the role of nostalgia in this television show’s appeal.)  By the way, also be sure to notice the style of photography in the filming of the show as well. How many times do they use the silhouette?

Look at the following iconic photos from the March on Washington, 1963.

(for quick reference, from On August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 Americans gathered in Washington, D.C., for a political rally known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Organized by a number of civil rights and religious groups, the event was designed to shed light on the political and social challenges African Americans continued to face across the country. The march, which became a key moment in the growing struggle for civil rights in the United States, culminated in Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, a spirited call for racial justice and equality.)

Photos from March on Washington

Consider how each of these photos tells a story. Specifically, focus on “who” is in the photo, “what” emotions and ideas are expressed, and “how” the photographer made artistic choices.

Does nostalgia play a role in how we see these photos?

Do any other “filters” play a role in how we see these photos?

Look at the images slowly and choose one (other than one with King actually in it) which best conveys the emotions and ideals inspired by King’s presence in Washinton? Share your ideas about your “reading” of the photo and how it signifies that important event in history.

Here is the background story to one image that does this.