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We are the Corcoran College of Art + Design Fine Art Photography Class of 2012, and this is the online home for the PH3000: FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY CORE III course.  Nine of us meet on Tuesday mornings, ten of us on Tuesday afternoons.

Our professor and blog moderator is Jared Ragland.

From the syllabus: PH3000 is designed to introduce students to increasingly sophisticated ways of looking at, thinking about, discussing and producing photo-based work.  This is achieved through a combination of technical and aesthetic instruction, a study of theory and criticism, critical writing assignments and participation in an online blog.  Assignments are designed to promote a better understanding of the critical process while encouraging the student to develop a personal voice and artistic vision.  This includes projects involving non-silver processes, mixed media and collage, meta imagery, issues of sequencing and narrative, and constructed imagery.

. . . . .


Photography education is about teaching people to think
in a visual world.  Photography and its related practice
are a matrix and nexus for relating to the real and
imagined worlds in which we live.  The essential goals of
any good, creative academic environment are simply to
help students learn how to look and engage with the
world responsibly.  In addition to the development of
craft and technical skills, there is also a language and
intellectual base that must complement any
photographic practice.  It is clear to us that the best
students are those that are able to relate their
practice not only to the evolving technical potentials
of the medium, but also to its rich history, theory
and practice.

The greatest hindrance to any student is the
overemphasis by academic institutions on careerist
goals at the expense of a rich and meaningful artistic
practice.  The short-term rewards of the market have the
potential to derail and cloud the vision and potential of
an emerging artist.  An arts education must not only
push students to challenge themselves, but also nurture
their creativity, idiosyncracies and vision in the face of
larger temptations and distractions.  Arts education can’t
create talent, but it can teach students that true talent is
honed by practice, ideas and hard work.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the digital revolution
is over – artists can no longer afford to ignore its radical
changes and implications for the medium. Digital
technology, along with every photographic innovation,
has forced artists to reengage with the language and
possibility of the medium in creative ways. Learning to
transcend and push past the novelty and limitations
of each such innovation lies at the heart of any real
engagement with the medium.

Charles Traub + Adam Bell, from Words Without Pictures, 2009

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