The Unifying Idea of The Photos Identified Discussion

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Introduction

In the medium of photography, it is common to see sets of photos built around a theme. Some good examples of these photo series are Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills, Nan Goldin’s Ballad of Sexual Dependency, Ali Mobasser’s A Life Told with ID Photos, or Manuel Cosentino’s Behind a Little House. Below are links to familiarize you with these projects.


Assignment Links

  • Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills

https://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2012/cindysherman/gallery/2/mobile.php (Links to an external site.)

(listen to the short intro and then click on some of the examples in thumbnail above)

  • Nan Goldin’s Ballad of Sexual Dependency

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/arts/design/bleak-reality-in-nan-goldins-the-ballad-of-sexual-dependency.html (Links to an external site.)

(this article describes the photo series and reprints some examples)

  • Ali Mobasser’s A Life Told with ID Photos

https://www.lensculture.com/articles/ali-mobasser-a-life-told-with-id-photos#slideshow (Links to an external site.)

(this “found art” project is written about in the article; click the “view images” tab at the top of the page to see the collection)

  • Manuel Cosentino’s Behind a Little House

https://www.lensculture.com/articles/manuel-cosentino-behind-a-little-house#slideshow (Links to an external site.)

(you can read the article and click the “view images” tab at the top of the page to see the collection)


Instructions

In this age of the smartphone, we’re all potential photographers. For this journal, come up with a theme for a photo collection, and try to realize that collection with your own phone photos. Describe the unifying idea in a short paragraph. Then snap photos for the collection (minimum 5), and write a brief title and description for each photo, situating it within the overarching theme you’ve selected. You might also choose to have some concluding paragraph to tie the collection together.

The point here is not to come up with award-winning photos; in fact, you’re not being graded on the quality of the photos at all. The purpose of the exercise is to see how a unifying idea can join different images together into a collection, and to explore how verbal and visual ideas interact.

Once you have this project together, post the photos and text on your blog.

This assignment will be a minimum of 350 words, and will be assessed on its formal clarity, the quality of the writing and editing, its degree of engagement with its topic, its creativity/inventiveness/originality of ideas, and the sophistication of thought it expresses.

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