Photos at Zoom


  • Henry Wessel Jr, Santa Barbara California, from "The New California Views" portfolio, 1977
  • Harry Callahan, Eleanor, 1947
  • Carrie Mae Weems, Untitled #2451, 1990
  • Sandy Skoglund, Ferns, 1980
  • Dawoud Bey, The Birmingham Project: Don Sledge and Moses Austin, 2012
  • Barbara Kasten, Architectural Site #17, The High Museum, 1988

While our recurring series Photos at Noon has been put on hold until the museum reopens, we are thrilled to introduce our new online photography course: Photos at Zoom! Every week, Photos at Zoom will explore different topics relating to photography. Read on for more resources, recordings of past sessions, pdf guides to images discussed, and more.

Please note: All Photos at Zoom webinars will be recorded and transcribed.  If you require special accommodations, please contact mocp@colum.edu.


 Week 1: Fundamentals of Photography

March 25, 2020

Let’s start with the basics! In this discussion, we will analyze artworks that demonstrate a range of techniques including use of vantage point, framing, lighting, and depth of field. This selection will also introduce viewers to a variety of traditions, including portraiture and street photography. Join us online as we dig into some of the fundamental principles artists employ to create their images with works by Harry Callahan, Roy DeCarava, Clarissa Bonet, and Berenice Abbott, among others.

Additional resources: 

Week 2: Photographing the Domestic 

April 1, 2020

For this week, we will discuss works artists have made inside their homes  and intimate spaces as well as of family members and friends. We will build on topics discussed in Week 1 to introduce documentary and conceptual approaches in personal storytelling. Select artists featured include LaToya Ruby Frazier, Kelli Connell, Carrie Mae Weems, Cecil McDonald, and Melissa Pinney.

Event details
Watch video recording


Week 3: Landscape and Place 

April 8, 2020

Now bring your camera outside! This print viewing addresses various approaches to the genre of landscape photography from the late-19th Century to the present. We will discuss the numerous ways photographers have imaged the land, its use, and its place within the popular imagination. Select artists featured include William Henry Jackson, Marilyn Bridges, Henry Wessel, Jr., and Barbara Diener.

Event details 
Watch video recording 

Additional resources


Week 4: Color Theory 

April 15, 2020

How does the use of color change the way people see your photographs? This session will focus on the fundamentals of color theory and how factors such as time of day, light source, and composition impacts the viewer's perception of color in images. Artists discussed include William Eggleston, Barbara Kasten, William Christenberry, Nakeya Brown, Hyers + Mebane, and more.

Event details 
Watch video recording 

Additional resources

 



Week 5: Constructed and Staged Images 

April 22, 2020

What can you build within your home to photograph? The sky is the limit. This session introduces artists who create narratives by carefully composing their settings, altering photographs, or going to more elaborate ends to construct images based in imagination rather than a record of “real” events.  Techniques vary, including handmade montage, collage, and stitching together multiple images in the darkroom or digitally.  Artists discussed include  Cindy Sherman, Endia Beal, Omar Iman, Cortis + Sonderegger, Colleen Keihm, Ayana Jackson, Jennifer Greenburg, and more.

Event details 
Watch video recording

Additional resources


Week 6: Portraiture and the Human Subject 

April 29, 2020

This session introduces works by historical and contemporary photographers who depict the human subject and where visual information such as setting, clothing, body language, and facial expression speak to the identity of their subjects. Artists discussed include Hannah Starkey, Julia Margaret Cameron, Myra Greene, Natalie Krick, Dawoud Bey, Laurence Rasti, and more.

Event details 
Watch video recording

Additional resources 


Week 7: Socially Engaged Photography

May 6, 2020

This session introduces artists who use their practice to elevate awareness of social, economic, and cultural issues and to inspire positive social change. In this photographic approach, the process of collaboration is often as important as the physical artwork and the relationships between subject, audience, and community are paramount. This selection of work encourages consideration of the perceptions of social issues and how photography can either represent or misrepresent these topics, while also navigating the artists’ formal choices. Select artists include Darryl Cowherd, Susan Meiselas, Barbara Kruger, Lorenzo Triburgo, Zanele Muholi, and Danny Lyon.

Event details 
Watch video recording 

Additional resources


Week 8: Recent Acquisitions

May 13, 2020

Are you interested in learning more about historical and contemporary works the MoCP has recently acquired? Would you like to learn what it’s like working behind the scenes in the museum’s collection? Join Collections Assistant, Madeline Heuer, as she takes us through some of her favorite artworks that have been added to the museum’s collection in the past year as well as some insights on a day in life in the museum’s vault. Select artists featured include Marsha ‘Red’ Adams, Dorothea Lange, Donna Ferrato, Joanne Leonard, Bruce Davidson, Patti Smith and Lynne Goldsmith.

Event details 
Watch video recording 

Additional resources 
Download the PDF of images discussed


Week 9: Into the Vault with MoCP Director Natasha Egan

May 20, 2020

Ever wonder where the MoCP stores its collection of 16,000 photographs? This week for Photos at Zoom, join MoCP executive director Natasha Egan in an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek into the vault! Learn about the MoCP's vast collection of photographic objects and how these works inform the curatorial process, including curatorial approaches from former guest curators Teju Cole and Jan Tichy. Egan will discuss works by Dawoud Bey, Binh Danh, Roy DeCarava, Walker Evans, Vera Lutter, Shi Guorui and Penelope Umbrico.

Event details 
Watch video recording 

Additional resources 



Week 10: Latin American Street Photography

May 27, 2020

This print viewing explores the tradition of street photography in Latin America and Latinx communities in the United States. The selection of images encourages viewers to question what is defined as Latinx, how the photographers' cultural identities might influence their perspectives, and the fine line between street photography and ethnography when it comes to capturing marginalized communities. Select artists include Rebel Betty, Dawoud Bey, Jack Delano, and Graciela Iturbide. 

Event details 
Watch video recording (link to come)

Additional resources (links to come)



Week 11: Queerness and the Image

June 3, 2020

This print viewing introduces a range of images that focus on the spectrum of identities within the umbrella of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer). The images focus on topics of youth, aging, identity, performance, and the notion of living an authentic life. The selection of works encourage students to discuss perceptions on identity and how photography can either represent or misrepresent that identity, while also navigating the artists’ choices in color, composition, point of view, and staging techniques. Select artists include: Iké Udé, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jess T. Dugan, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst.

Event details 
Watch video recording (link to come)

Additional resources (links to come)



Week 12: Alternative Processes

June 10, 2020

Throughout photography’s history, technological improvements have caused many photographic processes to fall out of widespread use. This print viewing features artworks made by contemporary artists who utilize 19th Century processes. Also included are artists who have invented their own processes or use hybrid processes in order to achieve particular visual or conceptual effects. Select artists featured include: Binh Danh, Ann Hamilton, Alison Rossiter, and Lorna Simpson.

Event details 
Watch video recording (link to come)

Additional resources (links to come)


Week 13: Approaches to Documentary

June 17, 2020

This print viewing exposes students to various ways that photography has been used to document aspects of reality. Whether engaging in storytelling, activism, or reportage, the artists included take varied ethical and personal approaches as they use pictures to engage with the world that surrounds them. Select artists featured include: Gordon Parks, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Graciela Iturbide, Diana Matar, and Alec Soth.

Event details 
Watch video recording (link to come)

Additional resources (links to come)

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Museum of Contemporary Photography

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