Enjoy! Student Work From Harvey Stein’s Documentary Street Photography Workshop

Harvey Stein during a field trip with the Documentary Photography class. Photograph by Kate Medley.

Acclaimed documentary photographer Harvey Stein visited the Center for Documentary Studies in the fall of 2012 to give a talk related to an exhibit of his photographs then on view, Coney Island 40 Years, and to teach a documentary street photography workshop in our Continuing Education program. The nineteen fortunate participants—the class was wait-listed in short order—enjoyed a jam-packed three days as the group went to work in various Durham locales, including a street fair, a flea market, and a busy stretch of local businesses. See a slideshow of some of the students’ images below. (Course assistant Wolfgang Hastert, a student in the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts program, also shot a video of himself and Stein walking into the “The Uncertain Museum,” an interactive installation by by Olafur Eliasson at Duke’s Nasher Museum of Art. Click here to view.)

“Harvey’s class exceeded my expectations,” wrote Mary Samouelian. “Blending discussions about street photography, technical aspects of cameras (e.g., external lighting, exposure, etc.), slide shows, and field trips where we were encouraged to take pictures of people we didn’t know, Harvey gently, yet assertively, nudged us out of our comfort zone.” Donna Kay Smith was struck by the power of the group experience: “The long days bleeding well into the nights as we scrambled to complete the day’s work in preparation for the next was reminiscent of children’s camps, retreats, or the early days of college when lack of sleep and enclosure with strangers-become-classmates opens doors to an intensity of experience and comradeship . . . that no weekly two-hour class can re-create. For seventy-two hours I lived, worked, and breathed street photography in the midst of a quickly formed and closely-knit community; they gifted me with themselves, and I became a better photographer for it.”

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