Ways of Seeing – An Urban-centric Workshop on Photography

You are here: Home > Urban Practitioners’ Programme > Courses > Ways of Seeing

Programme Date: To Be Announced

Today, visuals compete for our attention everywhere — on the internet, smart phones, billboards, advertisements, newspapers and magazines. Yet, some photographs catch our eye and remain etched in our minds more than others. Why?  Is it the camera or the technique? Is it the aesthetics of the photograph? Is it the emotion that the image conveys, that strikes a chord with our own? Or is it the result of effects and image enhancement? Perhaps, it’s a combination of these.

The “Ways of Seeing” workshop highlights the importance of observing and absorbing the tiny details that can create telling images. Understanding the grammar of the language of photography alone cannot produce an image that communicates. The process of creating an image starts with an idea, which is captured using technique. It is complete when processed, if necessary, and the presented to the right audience.

During the course of the workshop, participants will understand through interaction with their peers and facilitators how aesthetic choices further the idea the image conveys and grasp ways to sharpen the narrative of the image from photographs that have told stories that go beyond the frame of the image.

The workshop intends to be a space to consciously recognise the manner in which images are created, modified and read, to discuss and debate the current issues on visual representation and processing–both of which will contribute to the photographer gaining control over the utilisation of the tools of photography to tell effective stories. Practica will help understand theory, and examples from the work of eminent photographers will draw attention to the importance of colour, angle, composition, framing and processing in making images, and not just taking photographs.

Learner Profile

Photographers / photography enthusiasts interested in representing the ‘Urban’ in their work, or expressing their connections / concerns about various issues aesthetically. Individuals looking to hone their photography skills to further their visual storytelling abilities.

Current Challenges
  • Technical knowledge is in abundance; however, aesthetics and storytelling fall short.
  • Lack of maximising the potential of the medium and oneself to tell stories through pictures.
  • Lack of understanding/appreciation of the history behind the art of photography and its connection with the current, commercial application of it.
Learners will be expected to achieve the following
  • A heightened sense of awareness of the power of the medium that they are handling.
  • An understanding and appreciation of the pillars that founded photography.
  • The ability to use the medium to tell stories through photo essays / photo sets. How to use photography for various purposes, e.g. documentary photography, photojournalism, landscape photography, architectural photography etc.
  • Knowledge of post-processing images (digitally) to suit the purposes of the project / vision.

The workshop will be a mix of theory, practice and appreciation of participants’ work as well as the work of noted photographers to create an environment of interaction between theory and application. Theory will be taught through discussions and can be furthered by the readings provided, and the same is put into practice through exercises. Practice focused sessions along with the deconstruction of iconic images will help crystallise the concepts that are being taught.

Course Requirements

Learners are expected to bring their own DSLR cameras for the course. If, for some reason you cannot, do get in touch with us.

Lesson Plan

DAY 1 – Introduction | Ways of Seeing, stories as representation and truth | Digital Photography | Techniques and basic appreciation | Practical exercise | Shoot (technique)Review exercise | Critical Appreciation

DAY 2 -Short history | The transition of science to an art – Master Photographers and their work | Images in context | Practical exercise | Shoot (storytelling)Review exercise | Critical Appreciation

DAY 3 –Discussion | Current debates around visual representation | Introduction to Post production | Processes and software | Practical exercise | Edit Review exercise | Critical Appreciation

Sessions Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Session 1

10.00 -11:15

Introduction to ‘Ways of Seeing’

– Why do we take photographs

– Do photographs capture ‘truth’

– Photography and processed images as method of representation

– Is photography an Art or a Science?

History | Evolution of Photography from a Science to an Art.

–        Examples of early photographers who were scientists experimenting with creating images

–        Read and see the work of artists who facilitated the shift from the realm of science to Art.

–        Various movements in Photography ; Landscape, Portraiture, Street Photography, to selfies and Instagram

Current debates around visual representation

–        The omnipresence of the camera

–        Ethics of processing images

–        What, when, who do we shoot? Do we shoot everything or do we choose?

Session 2

11:30 – 13:00

Digital Photography | Techniques and Appreciation

Introduction to mechanics and electronics of photography:

·    Shutter, Aperture, ISO, Lenses, white balance, composition

·    Using the above to create images that evoke emotion / feeling

·    Conveying a message / story / narrative through a photograph

Master Photographers and their work | Images in Context.

–        Appreciating the work of Master Photographers

–        Deconstructing iconic images

–        How placing images in a variety of scenarios changes their meaning.

–        Creating meaning by using creative techniques.

Introduction to Post Production | Software and Processes

–        Learn techniques to correct images after shooting. How much is ‘okay’?

–        Use of software to process images. The Digital Dark Room.

–        Various processes that are used to create new meaning from pictures that exist.

Session 3

14:00 – 15:30

Practical exercise | Using technique

Making mood boards – Use elements of photography mechanics to convey a mood / emotion in an image

Practical exercise | Storytelling

Make an image that tells a story

Understand how multiple images placed in context can make a story.

Practical exercise | Editing

–        Use processing to correct colour and enhance the mood of the photograph

–        Use processing techniques to create an alternative meaning from an image.

Session 4

15:45 – 17:30

Framework for critical appreciation of photographs

Review exercise

Lessons learnt

Review exercise

Lessons learnt

Review exercise

Lessons learnt