The “Real and Imagined” workshop will address the inherent contradiction present in all still photographs: photos are simultaneously fact and fiction. The class will explore how context is imperative for the reading of photographs. There will be a focus on how the “meaning” of photographic images shifts across a variety of texts and media, from family snapshots to global distribution of photographic images.

In response to assigned readings and class discussions, students are required to produce three photo based projects-  one print based project, one web-based project, and one wholly experiential piece. All of the projects must include still photographs you have made. There’s only one paper due, a two page paper describing your experiential project.

Each week in class we will discuss the assigned readings for the week, as well as the individual projects of workshop participants.

Assigned readings are subject to change as the course moves forward.  I will also post a “follow up” to every class with comments, links to relevant to class discussion and additional suggested readings.

Students taking this class better be in for the ride of their lives.

Class meets:

Room F200


All assigned readings are posted on this site and listed under the tab “Class Schedule”  at the top of the page.  There are also several suggested readings.  Rest assured, when a reading is suggested, I genuinely mean “check it out at your leisure.”

One book is required for Real and Imagined:

Believing Is Seeing: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography by Errol Morris

and one book is STRONGLY recommended for Real and Imagined:

Origins Of Form by Christopher G. Williams

click here for a few places where you can buy those books 


All other readings are available on this site and attached to the weekly schedule.


For those following online:

It’s the same structure as the “in person” class, except you don’t physically come to class.

For those enrolled at CalArts:

Come to class

Do the readings

Do the assignments

For online:

Come to class

Do the readings

Do the assignments

Click here for the Class Schedule

The projects do not have to have any direct connection to the readings.  The projects can be about anything at all so long as they are produced in the assigned medium.  Print, web and experiential projects are assigned.

The readings are diverse, my friends.  Included in the readings are outdated text books, germinal photo theory pieces, magazine articles.  Some readings might appear to be completely unconnected and irrelevant to photography.  Trust me, they are connected.  Some readings are academic and some are from “Scientific American.”  There you go.

A few free online academic resources: 
Online Information: “Knowledge Is Power”