The Siena Art Institute's courses in image-making with photography are grounded on the desire and necessity to discuss, express and communicate our views, interests, and fascination of the world we inhabit, how our personal and unique vision along with technical ability allows each of us to tell our own original stories photographically. Instruction is offered at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Many photographers, artists and performers from all over the world have been invited as guest artists to our photography courses, and have been involved in various experimental, theoretical and technical workshops to provide a stimulating and highest quality of teaching methods and results.
Our courses in image-making with photography are grounded on the desire and necessity to discuss, express and communicate our views, interests, and fascination of the world we inhabit, how our personal and unique vision along with technical ability allows each of us to tell our own original stories photographically.
The students are encouraged to explore and relate to their new surroundings, the experiences and feelings they have here in this fascinatingly intricate and beautiful city, with the people they meet, the culture, history, traditions and aspects of Sienese society here. Using photographic techniques to document and express what they find here, students are able to discuss openly new and valid topics, learning to have a visual voice, a language perhaps still unknown to them.
Great emphasis is put on using one's imagination and creativity, in researching subjects, organizing them visually, and finding individual 'style' to make strong, dynamic, interesting and poetic photographic work.
This course uses a wide variety of photographic and printing methods, from instant polaroid and digital work, to S.L.R colour and black and white work, to pin-hole and hand-prepared sensatized materials. Once the students have grasped the basics of using cameras and dark-room techniques they are encouraged to experiment freely.
Many photographers, artists and performers from all over the world have been invited to the Siena School Photography course, and have been involved in various experimental, theoretical and technical workshops to provide a stimulating and highest quality of teaching methods and results.
During the course, the following weekly workshops are held to develop the students observation, selection of subject, composition, and technical ability:
- Polaroid and Digital Images, immediate image-making being an exciting way to start the course. The students are asked to work in pairs to create images revealing qualities in themselves. Group bonding activities and working on ideas and creativity.
- SLR Cameras and Digital Cameras: Photographing with manual options and having more control over the subject and the lighting of the subject.
- Lighting: Studio lighting, daylight and reflecting light, complicated contrasting light sources and exposures, over-exposing and under-exposing. Creating a still-life, making portraits and interiors with available and artificial light.
- Dark-room workshops: developing films by hand, contacting negatives and printing in the dark-room. Working with multigrade filters, burning in etc.
- Pin-hole cameras and photograms: how simple exciting images can be produced with very little technology. To develop creativity and ideas.
- Field-trips into the town of Siena, to villages, to visit historic monuments and buildings, to the countryside, to visit artisans at work.
- Playing with technology and multi-imaging: double exposures, slow exposures, collages and series work. How to go further with the creative possibilities of making photographic images and working images together to build a strong series of images to tell a story.
Slide shows and powerpoint presentations to look at historic and contemporary photographic work. Looking at the importance of finding new and exciting ways to represent a subject photographically, the importance of selection and composition in the making, and the elements, relationships and dynamics in images.
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