Teaching with Contemporary Art

Shooting in Broad Daylight


Many teachers I met over the summer had some connection to teaching photography or working with a variety of students who are photographers (for example, in an AP Studio Art class). During a few conversations the subject of Art21’s developing collection of featured photographers came up, so the purpose of this week’s TWCA column is to highlight various Art21 artists that allow students both traditional and non-traditional approaches to taking pictures.

Some photographers, like Robert Adams and Gabriel Orozco walking with his camera, give students the chance to see photographers who inform their work through discovery and re-discovery  of the landscape, be it beautiful, surprising or desolate. Others like Laurie Simmons (who clearly says she is an artist who uses the camera simply as a tool) and Eleanor Antin meticulously set up their photographs, arranging the compositions and designing the space in particular ways with models, props and even stagehands. Then there are portrait photographers, to use the term loosely, such as Oliver Herring and Sally Mann, who create more than a representation of the person photographed through particular interaction with the model(s).

Juxtaposing these pairings, or across these pairings, can give student photographers a chance to look into how a camera in the hands of an artist with a patient and experimental eye can stretch common themes and subject matter- making viewers look again.

Have any of these artists, or other Art21 artists who use photography in their art, influenced your work or the work of your students? Please share with us by posting a comment and even links to images…

Have a good start to the new school year!


  1. Pingback: Thirteen/WNET » Teachers: Share Your (and Your Students’) Photos with Art:21

  2. Ellen Luzy says:

    My teaching was based on Man Ray: his black & white photography impressed me as I saw his prints in an exposition in Stuttgart Stategallery some time ago. Also I like political photography as shown by Andy Warhol on the riots of the 60s which I saw in Heidelberg some time ago! Also I like to remind my students to step back and observe without their camera, which I supply if they have none!
    Other influences are Rudolf Steiner whose photograph I like: it is one of the first in the world as popular photography and widely spread in the world as the image of this spiritual leader in Anthroposophy!
    My own photography started as a child with my father’s box camera I was allowed to hold on my belly to take my first photos black & white! Some are saved with my sister Gaspara Giovannini who plays an important role in my life of course: she was elder!
    The most important photo course I give is for youths who see a lot of TV, observe ads in newspapers and posters but are not allowed to learn to do things themselves: workers often. The unfortunate have opportunity to catch up with me!
    Some reasons why I teach photography in my artclasses and teachings throughout the world is to document one’s own life as an artist: women often are left out for decades in groups which represent as one with men leading. This misinterpreting method by men I fight with impertinence by photographing indivual states of my life and posting them in the internet at once to create puplicity of course!
    As egocentrist the artist needs to expose himself or herself to the public! Not all are as fortunate to have wifes to serve them: some work alone, others have jobs to stay above water! The fortunate are by numbers men, who serve as donators of art in great foundations though!
    Gendre prejudice is not to be erased in this centennium: still people need to reproduce, art families fight for places in the numbers of foundations all throughout the world and I am born in Aachen, a worldwide known city, as a child of a merchant who supported the arts, but never thought his daughter could be an artist and learn to step in the footsteps of grandfather who was successful. His wife quite contrary had a small stand and died early: she had as much activity in the spirit making his success as I have in my husbands success as a businesman. This is theory on art which must be sequentially documented with photography for a black & white photo does not lie! The evidence found proofs the exisence of good artists!
    Ellen Luzy

  3. Joe Fusaro says:

    Ellen, you state that “I teach photography in my art classes and teachings throughout the world to document one’s own life as an artist…”
    Have you come across students who have done this in interesting and unique ways over the years? Please share any links and/or stories of students using photography as a way to illustrate their own autobiography. Many thanks!

  4. Pingback: Questions for Artist-Educators | Art21 Blog

  5. sahin says:

    it is important when you are going to shoot.I think there is two good times you must shoot in a day: down. You can shoot about 15 to 30 minutes before the first light of day and then from 30 minutes to an hour. The other time is coming of darkness. You can picture from 15 to 30 minutes before sunset, and up to 30 minutes subsequently.

    I can say that these times are the only times which donate you smooth, warm bright and soft shade that give professional quality lighting for photograph of scenery.

    When you stand on the right time there, positioning the things to the right place can be the additional landscape photography tip.

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