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Field Trip #3. Field Trip – Wed, October 19 Martin Luther King Library Meet at the information desk at 9:00am 150 E. San Fernando Street, San Jose, CA 95112 (San Fernando & Fourth Street). Mel Chin’s Art at the Library Mel Chin was born in Texas in 1951 Is a conceptual visual artist

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Field Trip – Wed, October 19

Martin Luther King Library

Meet at the information desk at 9:00am

  • 150 E. San Fernando Street, San Jose, CA 95112

  • (San Fernando & Fourth Street)

Mel Chin’s Art at the Library

  • Mel Chin was born in Texas in 1951

  • Is a conceptual visual artist

  • He insinuates art into unlikely places,including destroyed homes, toxic landfills,and even popular television

  • He believes that art can provoke greatersocial awareness and responsibility

Free 1-hour Guided Tour!

Field Trip Assignment

Please write a few paragraphs about the tour. What

did you like/ did not like about it? What was your

favorite piece or an installation? Describe it in detail

(size, materials, colors, textures, how it was

constructed). What was the concept behind it?

The paper should be no longer than a page and

a half. Please give me a printout.



“The art or process of producing images

by the action of radiant energy and

especially light on a sensitive

surface (film).”

Mirriam-Webster Online Dictionary

The birth of photography
The Birth of Photography

  • Chinese Philosopher Mo Ti – 5th B.C.E.

    Noticed that light passing through a pinhole opening into a

    darkened chamber forms an exact view of the world outside,

    but upside down

  • Alhazen– Arab mathematician and physicist, 11th A.D. Concluded that light travels in straight lines (similar to the human eye)

  • Camera Obscura- Renaissance

Camera obscura dark chamber
Camera Obscura – “Dark Chamber”

Usedduring the Renaissance period.

Camera obscura dark chamber1
Camera Obscura – “Dark Chamber”

Other photographic inventions
Other Photographic Inventions

  • Camera Obscura- RenaissanceOn optical device that projects an image onto flat surface

  • Lens – approx. 1570Help to focus an image projected

  • Daguerreotype - 1837Preserves an image

    4. Improved LensesReduce exposure time to a fraction of a second

Daguerreotype 1837
Daguerreotype – 1837

Image is preserved on a light-sensitive surface –

a copper plate coated with silver iodide

  • Le Boulevard du Temple, Louise Jacques Mande Daguerre, Daguerreotype, 1839

Daguerreotype – 1837

1st Commercially viable method for making permanent

images from reflected light

  • Photographer Unknown. Daguerreotype of a Couple Holding a Daguerreotype, 1850

First portable cameras
First Portable Cameras

A camera is a light-tide box with an opening at one end

to admit light, a lens to focus and refract the light, and

a light-sensitive surface such as film to receive the

image and hold it.

  • French Daguerreotype Camera, 1850 (left) / 5x7 Eastman View Camera, 1885 (right)

First lightweight handheld camera
First Lightweight, Handheld Camera

1888 – Invention of Kodak by George Eastman

Can be taken anywhere you go!!!

Photography becomes a hobby.

  • Kodak Camera & Film, 1888

Mathew Brady - Portrait Photography

  • Lincoln “Cooper Union” Portrait, Mathew Brady, 1860

Julia Margaret Cameron’s Portraits

Charles Darwin (left); The Rosebud Garden of Girls (right), Julia Margaret Cameron, 1868

Landscape Photography

  • Ancient Ruins in the Canon De Chelle, Timothy O’Sullivan, 1873 (left)

  • Colorado River From Camp 8, Timothy O’Sullivan, 1871 (right)

Documentary photography is born
Documentary Photography is Born!

The Role of Photography:

  • Record events as history is unfolding

  • Document and preserve a visual recordof what existed for a time

    Invention of photomechanical reproduction –

    high-speed printing of photos and type (1900)

    gives rise to Photojournalism.

Photography During the Great Depression

  • Migrant Mother, Dorothea Lange, (hired by Farm Security Administration), 1936 (left)

  • Migrant Mother Series, Dorothea Lange, 1936 (right)

Photography and art
Photography and Art

“One aspect of photography that some felt stood in the

way of making art was its detailed objectivity, which

seemed more suited for science.”

Artists tried to make their works look like paintings:

  • Created images that looked painterly (blurry, atmospheric, etc.)

  • Staged things, people to be photographed toresemble a painting

  • Created images by placing objects directly onphotographic plates, etc.

Photography and Art

Fading Away, Henry Peach Robinson, 1858, Composite print

Tableaux vivants contained high art themes and were designed to resemble classical paintings
Tableaux Vivantscontained“high art” themes andwere designed to resemble classical paintings.

Composite Photograph, John P. Morrissey, 1896

Photomontage Technique

The technique of making a picture by assembling

pieces of photographs, often in combination with

other types of graphic material.

How Were Photomontages Made?

1. Composite pictures made by darkroom masking(multiple exposures made onto the same plate, unexposed areas – masked by pieces of black velvet ) 2. Images were created using “cut and paste” technique, than re-photographed 3. Double Exposure4. Direct contact printing of objects placed on photographic plates

Examples of Photomontage

Man With the Rubber Head, Film Still, 1902

German Postcard, Anon, 1902

Rayograph” images

Direct contact printing of objects placed on photographic plates, Man Ray,1922

Pure photography
“Pure” Photography

“For photography to be an art, it must be true to its

own nature; it should not try to be painting.”

Alfred Stieglitz

  • Emphasis on formal values: composition,line, value

  • Images framed with the viewfinder;not cropped, not manipulated

  • Composition, tonal values, etc. are visualizedin advance

Photography and Art

Bridalveil Fall, Ansel Adams, 1960, photographic print (left)

Untitled, Alfred Stieglitz, 1924, photographic print (right)

Photography itself becomes the subject matter
Photography Itself Becomesthe Subject Matter

  • As everyday life gets flooded with photographic

  • images which start to compete with direct

  • experience, artists start to examine the role

  • of Photography in society (the particular

  • vision of the world it promotes, and the

  • assumptions we make about it).

What is photography
What is Photography?

  • Is it a tool for making images

  • or a toolfor recordingthe world?

“Found” Images and Collage

Cut With the Kitchen Knife Dada through Germany’s Last Weinmar Beer Belly Cultural Epoch, Hannah Hoch, 1919, collage

Contemporary Photography

Untitled #209, Cindy Sherman, 1989

Untitled #123, Cindy Sherman, 1983

Contemporary Photography

“I wanted to make something

that anyone off the street could

appreciate... I wanted to imitate

something out of the culture,

and also make fun of the

culture as I was doing it.”

Cindy Sherman

Untitled Film Still #14, Cindy Sherman, 1978

Contemporary Photography


Photography & Computer – 1980s to Present

ChtulhuPeople, Image #d6, GulnurGuvenc, Adobe Photoshop

Peter Kennard – London, 1980s

“There is a problem with montage in that you see it everywhere now because of digital technology. There is so much transformed imagery around that people accept constructed images without questioning their meaning. I think my work is losing impact because of that.” – Peter Kennard

Peter Kennard,

Protect and

Survive, 1981

Peter Kennard,


  • JR – French graffiti artist, photographer