UNDERSTANDING PICTURES

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Studio Workshops Online – Live and Interactive via ZOOM
•  04-05 November 2023 (AEDT)

This intermediate workshop is dedicated to how pictures ‘think, emote and misbehave’, that is, how they ‘work’ for and against us and the essential processes underpinning all image creation and affect. For the ‘problem’ with photography, as with all technologically mediated art, is when it gets in the way of our understanding. It is not just Photography’s technological determinism that intensifies this, but that it captures so much in an instant that it can be hard to know what to pay attention to and why. Therefore, like any language the process needs to be deconstructed and demystified so we can work with it, not against it, so that our images have the best chance of achieving what we ‘need them to be’ and to be able to capture ‘hearts and minds’ independently of what it is a photograph of. Specific topics include:

Myths and Illusions
• The ‘burden’ of photography – fact versus fiction
• The human visual system – reality versus illusion
• Representing colour in digital imaging workflows
• Editing colour – what do you desire?
• Imagining colour – what lets you down?

Analysing Pictures
• The structure of images
• Drawing compositions – the relationships within the image
• Tonal compositions – the drama of the image
• Colour compositions – the personality of the image
• Spatial and temporal compositions – our relationship to the image

Building Pictures
• The Elements of Pictorial Design
• Figures and grounds – the organisation of the image
• Line, Direction, Shape, Size
• Texture and Tone
• Hue and Chroma

Designing Pictures
• The Principles of Pictorial Design
• Harmony & Discord, Form & Repetition, Unity & Conflict
• Gradation & Contrast, Rhythm & Melody, Dominance & Balance
• Diagonals, corners, quadrants, edges, shapes and volume
• Syncopation – odds against evens

Creating Pictorial Affect
• Picturing things – Picturing feelings
• The nature of light, shade, and shadow
• Linear Perspective – actual lines and lines of coercion
• Aerial Perspective – time and distance relationships
• Emotional theories of scale and aspect ratios

Case Studies
• Symbols, metaphors, archetypes and equivalents (Pictorialism)
• Inherent versus imposed values (Structuralism)
• Brahms Symphony no.1 – Furtwangler and Bernstein (Classicism)
• Virgil Donati (Contemporary Music)
• Bill Henson (Contemporary Photography)

The workshop is based around looking at pictures; their critical analysis, historical investigation, and real world imaging practice. It is about you understanding, managing and creatively working with the elements and principles of pictorial design. And it is about contemporary photographic practice that goes way beyond ‘rules of composition’. It is about how to make your pictures ‘sing’ and the collaborative image creation process that makes this possible. It is also about how to understand and support your creative practice, how to contextualise and protect it both literally and emotionally, and how to have it represent you to the best of your ability. And while there are no prerequisites please bring along all your questions and anything that you think might be helpful, especially examples of your images (files and/or prints), or those of others you admire or wish to better understand and emulate.

The workshop is also supported by a resource rich website with detailed course notes.

Venue: Interactive Broadcast from Les Walkling’s Studio, Melbourne
Duration: 10.00am – 1.00pm Saturday and Sunday (AEST/AEDT)
Class Size: Average class size of 5
Cost: AUS $330 including GST per person
Bookings: Email or Phone +61 4 38 59 00 93

Updated 18 January 2023