Class: Sunshine & Noir: Holga Photography and the Social Landscape with Thomas Michael Alleman

Venice Beach, CA

This class will introduce students to the use of the Holga, a very cheap toy camera embraced by students and artists alike for it’s nuttiness and unpredictability. But the best photographers know, and students in this class will learn, that great images live or die, ultimately, on the success of their photographic qualities, rather than on the “mystique” or the quirky “artsy-ness” of the groovy toy camera that made them. So even though our immediate practical concern might be the specifics of handling a Holga, the context that those technicalities operate in is much larger and very rich – the whole enterprise of Photography will be our subject and subtext.

Essential aspects of the picture-making process will be discussed: lenses and shutters, light and motion, focus and blur and shadow and time itself. We’ll also look at the work of master photographers Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, Stephen Shore and Henry Wessel, among others, who have scrutinized the American street-scene, and brought their own vision of whimsy, grandeur or skepticism. Finally, we’ll consider the way our personalities interact with the photographic process, as we employ instinct and intelligence, patience and chance, in the struggle to see and seize two-dimensional images from the 3-D chaos of an indifferent environment.

This class will meet seven times, on various Mondays and Sundays. We’ll venture into the social landscape three times; the subsequent meeting will include lecture, show and critique of the pictures made on the previous outing.

Enrollment limit: 15 students

7 Session(s)
Mon, Sun Mon, 7-10pm; Sun, 2-5pm; 4/12; 4/18; 4/26; 5/2; 5/10; 5/16; 5/24, April 12, 2010 – May 24, 2010

Instructor(s): Thomas Michael Alleman
Location: Venice Beach

Additional Information:
This seven session course will meet on four Monday evenings and three Sunday afternoons on the following dates and times: Monday, April 12, 7-10pm; Sunday, April 18, 2-5pm; Monday, April 26, 7-10pm; Sunday, May 2, 2-5pm; Monday, May 10, 7-10pm; Sunday, May 16, 2-5pm; Monday, May 24, 7-10pm