Create a series of staged photographs where pictorial narrative is concentrated in to a single, stand-alone image. You can either create your own, or draw from an existing narrative -any fairy tale, fable, folk tale, myth, etc.
The purpose of this assignment is for you to learn about the use of storytelling in contemporary art photography, and help you begin thinking of your photographs as created works.
For this project, you will focus on creating photographic tableau. The term "Tableau Vivant", or "Tableau" is used to describe a painting or photograph in which characters are arranged for picturesque or dramatic effect and appear absorbed and completely unaware of the existence of the viewer. This is also sometimes referred to as staged photography. Tableau vivant is French for "living picture", and typically contains a static scene containing one or more actors or models. They are stationary and silent, usually in costume, carefully posed, with props and/or scenery, and may be theatrically lit. It combines aspects of theatre and the visual arts.
We will look at many narrative photographers in class throughout the project to help inspire you. A tableau series of images does not have to be linear, meaning that each image shows a story unfolding in order. They can be nonlinear, as well as open ended, where each image tells its own chapter of an overall story. Bear in mind that oftentimes the best images leave room for the viewer’s imagination by withholding some information.
Some of the photographs we will look at make obvious reference to fables, fairy tales, apocryphal events and modern myths that are already part of our collective consciousness. Others offer a much more oblique and open ended description of something that we know is significant because of the way it is set up in the photograph, but whose meaning is reliant on our investing the image with our own trains of narrative and psychological thought.
Mystery is the catalyst for imagination. -JJ Abrams
You will be creating all of your images for this project outside of class, so you will need to budget enough time for yourself to make photographs. We will have at least one check in and one soft critique of this work during class, in order to provide you with feedback so that you can go back home and reshoot images or create more. By the end of this project you will have a series of TEN finalized, processed photographs in your series and FIVE of those as prints. Additionally, you will make a page on your class website to show these images. This will be the start of your printed portfolio for this year.
SCHEDULE UPDATES ARE MARKED IN RED PROJECT SCHEDULE/DUE DATES:
Monday 10/21/19: We will go over your project guidelines together in class. We will look at different artists whose work falls under the genre of tableau. Here are your proposal guidelines:
Today you will write a detailed proposal explaining your ideas for Project 2. You will post your completed proposals to your Weebly student website blog. Your posts are due for a grade by midnight on Wednesday, 10/23, and we will go over them together as a class on Thursday. You may also include inspiration images, text, video, etc. into your proposal, if it helps you to get your idea across.
Your proposals should be a minimum of 4 paragraphs long, with 5 sentences minimum per paragraph. In your proposals, you should explain:
What is your idea for your Tableau project? What narrative are you choosing to work with? Is this an existing story or one you have made up? Explain briefly what happens in your chosen narrative.
Why are you choosing the narrative you've chosen for your project? What are you drawing on for inspiration? How can you best communicate your conceptual ideas through photographs? Make sure that your concept aligns with the project goal for Tableau (or staged) photography.
How are you going to shoot your images this weekend? Do you have ideas for images in mind? Will you need to secure models for your shoot? Will you need any special props to make your images? Detail any equipment or technical needs here. (For example, if you plan to do long exposures, you will need a tripod. Or, perhaps you want a wider angle image, so you will need a wide angle focal length lens.)
Where and when do you plan to create your images? Do you have a set location or locations in mind? What kind of light will you need to make your photographs? Be aware that quality of light/time of day can communicate a mood or idea. For example, images made at twilight can signify a turning point between the safety of daytime and the covert, potentially threatening time of night.
Thursday 10/24/19: We will go over your proposals in class. Over the weekend, shoot 100 images minimum towards your project.
Monday 10/28/19: First contact sheet due. Use class time to import homework images and create a contact sheet.
Each time you import your homework images, create a folder for each weekend you shot.
Batch rename your images like this: lastname_firstname_p2_weekend1_1, lastname_firstname_p2_weekend1_2, etc
Label your contact sheet lastname_firstname_p2_cs_1 and turn into your shared Google Drive folder under Projects>Project 2. This is due by midnight.
Tuesday 10/29-19: Go over more examples of narrative photographers, prep images for soft critique on Thursday and Friday.
Thursday 10/31 - Friday 11/1: Soft critique. Weekend homework: Take the feedback you were given and shoot 150 more images towards your project.
Monday 11/4/19: Second contact sheet due. Use class time to import homework images and create a contact sheet.
Batch rename your images like this: lastname_firstname_p2_weekend2_1, lastname_firstname_p2_weekend2_2, etc
Label your contact sheet lastname_firstname_p2_cs_2 and turn into your shared Google Drive folder under Projects>Project 2. Due by midnight.
Tuesday 11/5/19: Demo: Basic editing of your images in Photoshop.
Thursday 11/7/19: Work day. Edit your images in Photoshop. I will have individual check-ins with each student to give feedback and check your progress.
Friday 11/8/19: Printing Demo: How to prep your image files for print. Your weekend homework is to shoot 150 more images towards your project.
Monday 11/11/19: Import your homework images. Contact sheet #3due by 4PM.
Batch rename your images like this: lastname_firstname_p2_weekend3_1, lastname_firstname_p2_weekend3_2, etc
Label your contact sheet lastname_firstname_p2_cs_3 and turn into your shared Google Drive folder under Projects>Project 2. Due by 4PM.
Tuesday 11/12/19: Printing demo. YOU MUST HAVE YOUR LETTER SIZED PAPER BY TODAY!
Thursday 11/14/19: Masking Refresher Friday 11/15/19 - Tuesday 11/19/19: Work day: print and edit your images.
Tuesday 11/19/19: 10 FINAL FILES DUE
You must turn in your 10 final, processed PSD files via Google Drive by midnight.
Label your files lastname_firstname_p2_tableau_final_1, lastname_firstname_p2_tableau_final_2, etc. Place in your Project 2 folder on Google Drive.
Thursday and Friday, 11/21-22: 5 FINAL CRITIQUE/PRINTS DUE
We will have your final critique for Project 2. You will turn in 5 prints for critique and your final grade. We will critique your work in the Photo Lab in the back of the Art Den.