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Essays On Documentary Photography Degree

J210 News Photography and J213 Advanced Documentary Photography are taught every semester, along with a workshop-oriented class that gives students practical experience shooting and and composing photo essays. These courses are integrated with reporting and writing courses, allowing collaboration on reporting assignments and publications. In the advanced course, students gain experience working on an in-depth visual storytelling project, and focus on developing a personal style. The advanced class creates intensive in-depth documentary projects. Students also edit, design and publish the Center for Photography's annual student magazine, "realeyes."

"Studying photography at the J-School goes deeper than getting to know your way around a camera. We explored the role of documentary photography and its relevance in today's intensely competitive photo environment. We learned how to look after the business side too, including the costs of doing business, grants, copyright and most importantly, making contacts, which is critically important to a professional photographer. But making great photographs is also about passion. There is ample room at the J-School to exercise that creative drive—and not just in photo classes. Taking reporting classes as a photographer and learning to report and tell stories visually proved to be immensely valuable and fun."
—Mark Murrman, MJ 2004, freelance photojournalist

Students can use an array of 35 mm camera lenses and medium format equipment provided by the J-School.

Each year, students also have the opportunity to meet and work with master photographers. Sebastião Salgado, Don McCullin, Eugene Richards, Susan Meiselas, Paul Fusco, Catherine Leroy, Antonion Kratochvil and Marc Riboud have visited the J-School, conducted workshops and participated in public lectures and/or exhibited at our Center for Photography gallery.

The Center for Photography

The Center for Photography aims at highlighting the important role of journalistic photography in our culture. It has become a Bay Area destination for top photographers and aspiring photojournalists. Since it was created in 1996, the Center for Photography has offered hands-on photojournalism classes to train students in photojournalism and documentary photography; opened a first-class gallery to exhibit important photographic images by world-class photographers; hosted a series of public events that brought distinguished photojournalists such as Marc Riboud and Sebastião Salgado to Berkeley; and produced an annual publication to showcase the work of various photographers. The Susie Tompkins-Buell Foundation supports the center.


3Despite initially appearing much more of an objective record than Ut


sphotograph, it is arguably more constructed to be persuasive. Thephotograph is one of a pair, with the other photograph showing the road clearof cannonballs. Although it is a matter of some dispute, it would appear thatFenton artificially altered the scene for dramatic effect, in an attempt topersuade viewers that the situations that he photographed were moredangerous than they were in reality, perhaps due to 1850s technologyprohibiting photographs of actual wartime action. This sort of directmanipulation became scandalous with instances such as Rothstein


s famousFSA image of a skull on cracked earth creating political uproar, suggestingthat the general public expect




documentary photographs to be asneutral a record as possible.However, it is also significant to consider what the photographers in questiondid


choose to photograph. It is unusual to discover photographsdocumenting the poor living conditions of soldiers at war dating fromphotography


s infancy. Fenton is recognised for his documentation of soldiersand the wartime landscape, but in balance, the lack of photos ofdocumentation of the killed or maimed in action, or those wasted to incidentalcauses such as the cholera outbreak, is almost as significant and revealing ofhis intentions. In the words of George Baldwin, a curator more familiar withFenton


s work:“The soldiers, in that first winter, before Fenton arrived, had inadequatefood, inadequate shelter, inadequate clothing. The images that arepropagandistic are the ones that show that the soldiers are adequatelyhoused, adequately clothed.” (Baldwin, 2007)Created more than a century later, Ut


s photograph appears to be a worldapart from Fenton


s photograph, depicting the clear stress of an innocent childas she becomes the victim of an attack by friendly forces that is likely to leaveher alive, yet deformed for life. If the failures of Fenton


s work asdocumentary photography lay within his apparent reluctance to make