Studio of Classic Photography 1

Subject is not scheduled Display Schedule

Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
307EAC1 ZK 4 24S English winter

Subject guarantor

Martin STECKER

Name of lecturer(s)

Martin STECKER

Learning outcomes of the course unit

The classical photography studio focuses on technological procedures and processes in the generation of photography. The content arises from the assumption that the student must master particular technical tasks which open a path to the realization of one's artistic intentions. Procedures are analysed with students which lead to priorly established goals. Part of instruction is a comparison of various technology and their limitations which often may become the single bearer of implementation of the selected intent.

Mode of study

Exercise analysis, projection work in relation to the topic, independent creative work.

Prerequisites and co-requisites

Studio exercise for Winter semester 2019 is „Staging and Arrangement“.

Though often considered an instrument able to represent truth by means

of a frozen moment, photography has straddled the line between fact and fiction

since its inception. Although staged photography emerged as a genre

in the 1980s, staged compositions were made since the invention of the medium,

partly due to the length of exposure required to make a successful image.

The reason why some of the early photographs were staged is not only the given

technical limitations, but also the effort of many authors to convey a more

accurate philosophical or emotional message. This tendency is apparent

in the vanitas heavily inspired by painting, still-lives alluding to the inevitability

of decline and death through objects of allegorical and symbolic meaning,

or in tableaux vivant or „living pictures“, large-scale compositions that usually

depicted historical events or glorified specific ideas.

Similar methods of staging were perfected a century later by the pioneers

of the actual genre of staged photography. Duane Michals, famous for combining

image and text in narrative photo-sequences dealing with the themes of love,

death and immortality, believed that what he cannot see around him is infinitely

more important than what he can see. As he explained, he did not have to walk

around looking for something to photograph since it was already in his head.

Cindy Sherman posed as a variety of female character archetypes of the

entertainment industry in order to reveal its gender stereotypes as unstable and

constructed. Nan Goldin, whose work stems from the documentary tradition,

often employed subtle deceptions, daring the viewer to slow down and challenge

the authenticity of her snapshot-like photographs, in which she was not only

the photographer, but also the subject and director.

Clever use of staging and arrangement may help convey a more precise visual,

philosophical or emotional message, can make the viewer feel uncertain

and questioning the perceived reality, as well as help create a perfectly

convincing fiction. After all, in contrast to other media and in spite of the ever-

lasting debates concerning its authenticity, photography has the inherent quality

of making most viewers subconsciously assume a certain level of facticity,

or in other words what you see in a photograph is often regarded as what really

happened.

The main purpose of the studio assignment for winter term 2019/20 is to find

your own unique way how to use staging and arrangement in your work. Create

new environments, events and feelings through arranging compositions and

deliberately controlling the individual elements. In addition to being

a photographer, become also a director, stage and costume designer, and

a performer!

Your work on this assignment is not limited by the choice of genre,

by the technical approach, or by the amount of staging and arrangement applied.

The final series must consist of at least 7 photographs that were not manipulated

in post-production except for standard adjustments and retouching. To be more

precise, let’s make the distinction between manipulation and staging clear:

whereas a manipulated photograph is altered after the exposure has been made,

the staging of a photograph takes place before or during the shoot. Your work

on this series shall be the subject of weekly consultations throughout the whole

period of the winter term. The deadline to submit completed works is December

17, 2019

Course contents

The classical photography studio focuses on technological procedures and processes in the generation of photography. The content arises from the assumption that the student must master particular technical tasks which open a path to the realization of one's artistic intentions. Procedures are analysed with students which lead to priorly established goals. Part of instruction is a comparison of various technology and their limitations which often may become the single bearer of implementation of the selected intent.

The studio is devoted to working with classic analog photography from cinematic film to large-format photography. Students have the opportunity to work with negatives up to 30x40cm and to subsequently produce on color paper in meter dimensions.

Part of the studio is a workshop focused on historical photography techniques such as flexography, cyanotype, bromoil print or working with gelatine and its transfer to non-standard materials. A unique original, where the bearer of the positive image is the negative, is photography.

The studio is dedicated to technological innovations, research and evaluation of the potential of digital photography and other technologies which take part in the recording of an optical image. Part of the studio are new light sources, managing aerial photography using drones, or acquiring extremely high-quality shots using various robotic devices.

Investigation of the potential for realizing one's creative intentions in relation to the selected technology is, among others, in studio discussions.

Recommended or required reading

Scheufler, Mikš, Růžek, Spevák, Stýblo, Jiráček, Opočenský. Technické základy fotografie 2002

Jan Pohrybný: Kreativní světlo ve fotografii 2011

Kelby Scot: Digitální fotografie 1-4

Assessment methods and criteria

Students may be graded based on attendance 90% and participation in group excursions. Each exercise will be graded according to the criteria given.

Note

none

Schedule for winter semester 2019/2020:

06:00–08:0008:00–10:0010:00–12:0012:00–14:0014:00–16:0016:00–18:0018:00–20:0020:00–22:0022:00–24:00
Mon
Tue
room 113
Studio No. 113

(Lažanský palác)
STECKER M.
09:00–21:25
(lecture parallel1)
Wed
Thu
Fri
Date Day Time Tutor Location Notes No. of paralel
Tue 09:00–21:25 Martin STECKER Studio No. 113
Lažanský palác
lecture parallel1

Schedule for summer semester 2019/2020:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans