11.309J | Fall 2003 | Graduate

Sites in Sight: Photography as Inquiry


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 4 hours / session

Course Overview

This course explores photography as a disciplined way of seeing, of investigating landscapes and expressing ideas. Readings, observations, and photographs will form the basis of discussions on landscape, light, significant detail, place, poetics, narrative, and how photography can inform design and planning, among other issues.

Students keep a journal of writings and images throughout the semester and develop a portfolio of photographs that express the qualities of a particular place, sequenced as a web of narratives. Each student selects a site for the focus of his or her work in the course. The place may be anywhere in the Boston region – urban, suburban, or rural; it may be a studio site or place studied in another class. Work is in color slide film or digital format. Images are projected for class discussion and posted in an online gallery designed and maintained by each student.

Students must have a rudimentary understanding of photography and have access to a camera. Although this is not a lab class, the course includes an introduction to digital printing and its potential for adjusting contrast, hue, saturation, and other qualities. Prior experience with Adobe Photoshop and web authoring is recommended, but not required. Expenses include the cost of film and processing for at least five rolls of 35mm slide film.

Student work will be evaluated in five ways: class attendance and contribution to discussions, (20% of final grade); a journal, turned in weekly via email (20%); three shooting assignments due in class (30%); final photo essay, posted in online gallery (30%).

Enrollment is limited to twelve students.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2003
Learning Resource Types
Media Assignments with Examples
Written Assignments