The Art of Documentary Photography


Working in a highly subjective medium, documentary photographers often use nonfiction material to express personal artistic visions. Sometimes it is even necessary to employ fiction to tell the “truth.” This course examines the proposition that every photograph is a self-portrait and explores how this idea can create friction as well as opportunity for the artist/truth-seeker. Through assignments and classroom critiques, students will learn to identify elements of documentary photography that have the power to transcend the simple recording of images, as well as develop their own philosophy and artistic mandate. Weekly projects will be assigned in conjunction with presentations of iconic photographers who have developed original approaches to documentary work. Students can meet with the instructor individually to discuss their course portfolios. (15 hours/All Levels)

Douglas Vuncannon is a visual artist, composer, freelance photographer, and writer. His short documentary films have screened at numerous film festivals in the United States and Canada. Vuncannon's recent projects include Fukushima Travelogue (2015), which consists of writings and photographs from the radioactive ghost towns of Japan, and Sabungeros (Cockfighters) (2017), a series of photographs from the Philippines that was exhibited at Through This Lens in downtown Durham in February and March of 2017. On October 6th, 2017, his Sinfonietta Fukushima, a one-movement satirical tone poem, had its world premiere in Sydney, Australia, performed by the sixty-piece Sydney Contemporary Orchestra.

Additional information:
There will be no class on April 15.


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