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Kevin C. Downs
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2011 SUMMER PHOTOGRAPHY
Throughout its history, Coney Island has drawn many famous photographers: from Walker Evans to Weegee; Lou Stettner to Bruce Gilden. All have come to document this part of Brooklyn that is full of energy and creativity. During this workshop, students will be documenting the changing conditions of this historic and magical place. Students will be shooting during the day and night, the icons of Coney Island: the Cyclone, Denos Wonder Wheel, the Mermaid Parade, and the personalities that inhabit the boardwalk and surrounding areas, from the water to Mermaid Avenue, developing their powers of observation and their techniques.
Students will be asked to think of a specific documentary essay that is a combination of art and journalism to focus on for the entire 8 sessions. The class will work on a narrative essay that will focus on telling a story through a sequence of events or actions. They may follow an individual or activity over a period of time and present this story in chronological order. A thematic photo essay focuses on a central theme (e.g. homelessness, the environment, Amusements, The Economics of Coney Island, etc.) and presents photos relevant to that theme. The theme you choose will need to be approved by the instructor.
Students will present their work every week, (only in-class participation will be allowed) where the instructor and students will review it for guidance and feedback. Students will gain insights into staying focused on the theme and how to improve upon the body of work. Although some technical support will be offered, this is neither a technical nor darkroom course.
Students should have a working knowledge of their equipment and a willingness to engage in discussion, the book for the class is Photojournalism, Sixth Edition: The Professionals’ Approach by Kenneth Kobre.
All Sessions except June 18 (Mermaid Parade) begin with a review at noon in the Coney Island Museum (1208 Surf Avenue). Come and document what is left of the real New York! The Real Brooklyn! Registration will be ongoing.
Click here to see a photo pool of pictures from prior classes.