It's just photography...

Is it just a photography class? This question comes up after we dive into week three. Can it ever just be about photography? A family tree.

A blurry Barcelona picture.

A blue sky, three rusted blue pipes

A purple fuzzy blanket

A smile, that makes you smile.

It’s about these images that appear in class, after the students take home the cameras for the first time. Its about learning responsibility, you get to take home a camera. Something special that is just for you to use, no one else. It is your responsibly to make sure that your sisters and brothers don’t break it, don’t spill something on it or steal it. It is your responsibility to do the assignment. To return the camera, to sign it in and download the pictures.

 Then, you have to talk about it.

You have to allow others to see your photograph; you must name it and share it. You must own that photograph as your own. Because no one else could of seen what you saw, or how you saw it.

Now, tell me is it just about photography?

It is about the story.

The story of one image, one photograph that can tell us so much. With light, color, line and composition a photograph can express emotion and meaning into something beautiful. This one image captures a moment that that begins a story, like a ball of thread it unravels and captivates us with curiousity. The story begins with this visual image of the actual photograph. This flat image is only the first page.

Then there is the story behind the image, the middle layer of creation. The story of who took the photograph. What they choose to see and how they choose to see it. Every photograph can tell us something about it's maker. Every photograph is autobiographical as the photographer is subjective in what they see and how they choose to capture it.

The last layer leaves the background. The context into which the image is presented is the last page, when we as the view take over. It can change the entire meaning of what the actual photograph is. The culture that the image is received in, the time period, the spectator viewing the image all make up the context. The power of the image and what it means to us changes with who we are. The final page leaves it up to us.

These three layers make up the story of an image. They are three aspects of our class, that directly connect to our goals of identity development(confidence in who we are) and our ability to make change with our story in it's larger context(community and change). Can you un-layer the images bellow from our first couple of weeks in class. Does it matter who took the photograph, does that add more meaning? Does it matter where it was taken and who is looking at it?

Unraveal pictures from our class and see that it can never just be about photography.