PG 328 - Understanding Photography: Decoding the Still Image

The aim of this course is to deconstruct the role of the still image in media and society and compare the relative photographic vernacular of the USA and Europe. Photographs surround us, and inspire us, and become our memories and our present. We exchange them, go see them in galleries, see them on the news, and in magazines. Photography transcends language and is universal in its ability to communicate. It defines our present situation, our history, and makes our experiences come alive. This course will look at the mechanics of making images, of how images are used in galleries, magazines, advertising, propaganda, and the ethics and dynamics of making and seeing. We will study the influence of the still image on popular culture, through fine art, fashion, reportage, and the movies. Students will make images and projects to deconstruct the theoretical process through practical experience, to present, and share their work. Students will gain further knowledge of the basics of shooting color and black and white images with traditional SLR and digital cameras. The course is divided into four sections, with the three later sections providing practical and theoretical evaluations through project-based continuous assessment.

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