Street Photography – History, Composition, Practice

It is through pictures that we perceive the city. Piazza San Marco, el Malecón, or the streets of our hometown? Pictures, mixed with memories and atmospheres. And we think in pictures, when we design squares or urban spaces, when we think of a place we want to live or a home we envision.

Often it is about pictures in our mind, created by the experience of a place we have really been to – but maybe more often we think of photographs from the internet, from a book, a movie, an advertisement. These pictures are preformatted, they were made and often edited by someone, they construct a certain view and may become part of a public memory.

Some of the earliest photographs showed scenes of a city and ever since photographing the city has become a genre of its own: street photography. In the first part of this seminar we will learn about how photographs shaped our image of Paris or New York, how they interpreted the city, how they turned urban space into two-dimensional compositions and pictures of people on the street into social studies.

The seminar’s second part is an experiment: We design our own image of the city. If it is a cell phone, a digital camera or an old-fashioned analog reflex camera – we will take snapshots or composed photographs to get to an understanding of how we interpret the city by taking pictures. It will be object of discussion if we focus on Weimar or any other city. The outcome will be an exhibition, a book or a website depending on what direction the participants choose to take. Thanks to funds provided by the university’s international office we will be able to invite photographers and other specialists for guest lectures and consultations.


Blog: Streetphotography2013

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