Category Archives: Photo

Photo: Portfolio Prep – Journals


A photo journal is a way to reflect upon your photographic interests, your contemplation of critical issues in photography, and the progress of your own work.  It is a visual and conceptual resource.  You will get weekly prompts and will write and collage images as you consider these prompts. This is important supporting work.

Here are some examples of the photo journals, each addressing different ideas, with comments.


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Look at the following 5 sites for examples and ideas about photo journals.

List at least 3 ideas  – in your journal – that you will consider using in your journal from each site:






Photo 1 – Photo Quality, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Martine Franck, Elliot Erwitt


Take notes on each link. Be sure to summarize quotes from the photogapher and as you look at their work, describe their style (subject, framing, lighting, unusual approaches, and/or meaning/ideas presented.) These notes and responses are due by the end of the week – before you shoot your 2 rolls for the book assignment.

You must also submit your book topic before you start shooting your rolls.  You may want to shoot/develop, 1 at a time, to be sure you are on the right path for your book.

We have briefly looked at Cartier-Bresson’s work in looking at important photographers and iconic photos (remember the puddle jump, the “decisive moment”?).  We will now look more closely at some discussion about his work.  Read the following article about a past retrospective in Paris and the insights into his work. (If the link takes you to google first, then follow it from there.)

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Read through several of the posts at the next blog (return to view more over the course of the next 2 weeks for more insights as you shoot your book rolls).  Pay attention to comments about the myth of the decisive moment, the use of contact sheets, his name during the war as a cover for Jewish photographers, Magnum photography, etc.  Feel free to go to other sites for biographical overviews of him if you want. You may also want to look more at the history of Magnum, a photo agency founded by Cartier-Bresson and other photographers in Paris in 1947 so they could have a greater voice in the use and promotion of their photos.  According to Cartier-Bresson: “Magnum is a community of thought, a shared human quality, a curiosity about what is going on in the world, a respect for what is going on and a desire to transcribe it visually.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson Iconic Photos

Martine Franck an important Magnum photographer and also was Cartier-Bresson’s second wife.  Unlike Cartier-Bresson, she often made significant alterations in the darkroom on photos. The following is a discussion of her personality and work, despite often being in Cartier-Bresson’s shadow.

Martine Franck

View her full portfolio at the Magnum site, paying careful attention to the compositions and deep blacks in some of her work, moving the photos to greater abstraction and impact.

Martine Franck’s Magnum portfolio

Look at Elliot Erwitt’s work; make notes on his advice in the quotation in the first link and his “handbook” in the second link.  Look at more of his work or at any other magnum photographers (see top menu bar from home page) for inspiration for your book.


Due at the end of next week, read the following and take notes.

In thinking about the upcoming art show, come up with your own list 3-5 elements that are the most important for your work as a photographer, after you read the following 2 lists. Strive for those 3-5 elements in your own work.

12 elements of award winning photos

6 elements of award winning photos


Photo Critique & next roll – 3/20&3/21


Take notes on advice for your photography from the following two videos.

Think about how you can consider these points for evaluating quality in photos.

Before you shoot your next roll, watch the following video on Emmet Gowin.  Listen carefully to his words, even though he speaks slowly.  Notice the evolution of his work from personal, familial pictures, to larger humanistic concerns about man and nature.  He talks about how families change and feelings change, the personal vision,  what you do and do not want to reveal, and what fits into the lives of other people.

Roll #4 will be about California (see contest link )


your personal vision (what is the story of your life, how is it evolving, what fits into the lives of other people, how are your feelings changing, what issues are key to your personal history or what issues have grown out of personal experience.)

It is important to watch the Gowan video (first, before you shoot!) so you know that your photos may seem uniquely personal or may even seem impersonal because they address larger issues that you find personally relevant. (The roll is due when we return from spring break along with your notes on the Emmet Gowin video).




Photo 1 – Homages, Allusions, Retake, Revisit


Do this blog BEFORE you start shooting photos.

Roll #3: half of this roll are homages or allusions and half are retakes or revisits to be shot and developed by 3/1,3/2.

In your notes on this blog (due next Tues/Wed) comment on the ideas you have and which photographers you want to pay homage to in your photographs.

Spend a good amount of time looking at each of the links above to familiarize yourself with famous and iconic photos in photo history. Take notes on photos and ideas you get from the following links.

Click on each photo to learn about it.

Look at both links and the images of each photographer mentioned to understand the conclusions.

Here is a link to how the Simpson’s pay tribute to iconic photos (make sure you click on “original” under the description to see the comparison. (The Avedon link is not accurate though.)

Here is an article about a photographer who pays homage to Lange’s Depression Era FSA photos:

Also, google: “puddle jumping munkasi cartier bresson avedon” for some photo homages.

(And, if you are interested, you may look at the very staged recreations of photos using John Malkovich by Sandro Miller.)




Photo 1, Photo Portf Prep – Danny Lyons: Message to the Future; Japanese Photography: Postwar to Now;


Take notes on the following articles, podcast, and interviews about DANNY LYONS. What kind of photographer is he?  What is his style like?How did he get his start? What different kinds of photos/ subjects did he take?  What is important to him? What did he have to do to survive, creatively?


Watch 2 of the videos about the photographers (you will be assigned 2, specifically, in class.) Look up some of their work on the internet and be ready to report on what they say in the interview and to show and discuss 2 important photos by them by next Tues/Wed 17/18.


Photo 1 – Sabatier effect – 1/10


Look at the following sites and take notes to hand in:


cool samples (darkroom and digital)

Sabatier steps

technical discussion of sabatier


After working in the darkroom on the sabatier effect, write a short journal explaining things you learned that were successful procedures, to share with others.