Saul Leiter

Haircut
(1956)

Alice Li

Jukebox Reflections
(2014)

Saul Leiter

Snow
(1960)

Alice Li

Shopper
(2014)

Saul Leiter

Walking
(1956)

Alice Li

Reflection
(2014)

Saul Leiter

Shopper
(1953)

Alice Li

Blinds
(2014)

Saul Leiter

Straw Hat
(1955)

Alice Li

Motion
(2014)

Saul Leiter

Tanager Stairs
(1954)

Alice Li

Shoes
(2014)

Saul Leiter

Kutztown
(1948)

Alice Li

Chalk
(2014)

Instructions & Examples

Below are the assignments for this year’s course. Select each link for full assignment instructions and to view examples for each activity.


Nominate a Photo Icon

Select a photograph to nominate as a photo icon. How did your photograph influence the direction of photography? Why do you believe the photograph is “iconic?” What are the historical, cultural or technical effects of this image and why has it remained an important image over time?


Compare Photo Icons

Select two iconic photographs by Jewish photographers. Compare and contrast them, discussing why each is a strong visual representation of modern Jewish society and how each photographer’s personal background influences his/her work.


Create a Photo/Caption Combo

Submit your own photo to The Liberating Lens multimedia exhibition: one that you like, but isn’t immediately easy to decipher. Look at the picture for longer than usual, and write a brief caption inspired by Steiglitz’ reflections on his photos of clouds. What do you notice about your photo that you didn’t notice before? What do you feel?


Build a Final Portfolio

Immerse yourself in a Jewish photographer’s body of work. Analyze how the artist’s family background, personal history and historical context may have influenced his or her choices. Then, study his or her techniques, subject matter and creative process to develop a set of guidelines for taking photos of your own.


Make a One-Take Video

Start by viewing a photographer’s work and reading what s/he said about it. Select a statement that interests you and record yourself reading it. Then, using a digital video camera or smartphone, shoot an image inspired by the statement (alternatively, you can find a shot online on sites such as www.archive.org). Marry the image and the words using a video editing program, such as iMovie or Final Cut Pro.


Make a Documentary

Collaborate with a peer to create an interview-based documentary video. After immersing yourselves in a body of photographic work, decide together what primary and secondary source information you will read. Then, interview one another about the photographs you have chosen to study. Combine these photographs, music and your own narration into a “visual essay” that you can upload to Vimeo or YouTube, and embed into your Liberating Lens portfolio.

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