UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Expressive photography : on the need for a cross-disciplinary approach to the study of photographics Emme, Michael John


The thesis is proposed that an orderly understanding of the expressive capacities of Photography can be drawn from a survey of the disciplines of art history, art criticism, psychology, sociology, and anthropology as well as the field of photo-technology. Photography is defined as including five elements: the camera, the photographer, the subject, the image and the viewer. Topics considered are: the camera's mechanical limitations and qualities; the various behaviours and attitudes involved in picture-taking; the considerations involved in subject choice; the limitations and qualities of expression of the photographic print; and role of the viewer. It is posited that the disciplines and fields listed above have a valuable addition to make toward our understanding of expressive photography. It is proposed that future courses in photography, whether they be intended for elementary school, high school, art school, or teacher training, include a cross-disciplinary approach. Such an approach can be incorporated into the curriculum through the use of the behavioural-attitudinal model introduced in Chapter III. Whether a course is weighted toward studio experience, history and criticism, or cultural education, using a cross-disciplinary approach will enrich the learning experience.

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