Centre for Contemporary Photography

Dr Les Walkling Understanding and Curating Pictures | 23–24 June 2018

Dr Les Walkling
Understanding and Curating Pictures

23–24 June 2018

The ‘problem’ with photography, as with all technologically mediated art, is when it gets in the way of our understanding. Photography intensifies this by capturing so much that it can be hard to know when, and what, to pay attention to. Therefore, like any language the process needs to be deconstructed and demystified so we can work with it, not against it. But just as we are the ones who breath life into stone and canvas, our pictures, at their best also transport us ‘somewhere else’. This two day course is dedicated to how pictures do this, that is, how they ‘think, emote and misbehave’, and the essential processes underpinning all image creation, organisation and display. Specific topics include:

Analysing Pictures – The Structure of Images
• Decisive moments and effective compositions
• Figures and grounds – the organisation of the image
• Drawing compositions – the relationships within the image
• Tonal compositions – the drama of the image
• Colour compositions – the personality of the image
• Spatial compositions – our relationship to the image

Building Pictures – The Elements of Pictorial Design
• Line
• Direction
• Size
• Shape
• Texture and Tone
• Hue and Chroma

Designing Pictures – The Principles of Pictorial Design
• Form and Repetition
• Gradation and Contrast
• Rhythm and Melody
• Harmony and Discord
• Unity and Conflict
• Dominance and Balance

Looking at Pictures – Thinking about Images
• The nature of light, shade, and shadow – inherent versus imposed values
• Emotional theories of scale and aspect ratios
• Picturing things – Picturing feelings
• Interpretive frameworks – formal, cultural, political, historical, personal
• Symbols, associations, metaphors, archetypes, equivalents, and illusions
• Photography – a way of seeing

Curating Pictures - Sequencing and Exhibiting Images
• Developing, discussing, and supporting your work
• Telling a story, making a point, iterating the facts
• Stand alone images, sequencing images, and series
• Artist statements: packaging and presenting your work
• Text and image: titling, signing, and annotating works
• Exhibition design, layout, and installation

The course is based around looking at pictures; their critical analysis, historical investigation, and real world imaging practice. It is about you understanding, managing and creatively working with the elements and principles of pictorial design. And it is about contemCopyright Les Walkling 2018 Last updated 18 January 2018 12/12

porary photographic practice that goes way beyond ‘rules of composition’. It is about how to make your pictures ‘sing’ and the collaborative image creation process that makes this possible. It is also about how to support and contextualise your work, how to talk about it, how to protect it both literally and emotionally, and how to display and publish it and have it represent you to the best of your ability.

There is also an extensive workshop resource website with detailed course notes, videos, and test files.

What to bring?

While there are no prerequisites please bring along anything that you think might be helpful, especially examples of your images (files and/or prints), or those of others you admire or wish to better understand, plus anything else that you feel could be relevant.

About Dr Les Walkling

Les Walkling is a renowned artist, educator and art consultant. Les has been teaching specialised workshops since 1977, and was the Program Director of Media Arts (1993 – 2005) and a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Art (2006-2010) at RMIT University. In 2012, he was named a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography, and also serves on museum boards/committees of management and cultural and technical advisory groups. As an artist, his work is exhibited and represented in many public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA), the National Gallery of Victoria, the Art Gallery of NSW, and the National Gallery of Australia. In recent years his practice has expanded to include major collaborative projects with other artists including Peter Kennedy, Polixeni Papapetrou, Peta Clancy, Siri Hayes, and Bill Henson. 

Venue: The Centre for Contemporary Photography, 404 George Street, Fitzroy, VIC.
Class Size: Maximum class size of 12
Course Duration: 10.00am - 4.30pm both days
Enquiries: info@ccp.org.au or +614 38 59 00 93

Image: Les Walkling The poverty of desire 1998

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