The Observer's Frame

On View


A two-week exhibit of student photographs exploring the documentary tradition as lead by faculty in three three courses at the Center for Documentary Studies:  Documentary Photography and the Southern Landscape, Color Photography, and Digital Documentary Photo: Capturing Transience.


Documentary Photography and the Southern Cultural Landscape
Professor Tom Rankin
Emphasizes the tradition and practice of documentary photography as a way of seeing and interpreting cultural life using the varied techniques of black-and-white and color photography, and diverse ways of representing the cultural landscape of the region through photographic imagery. The course also covers the roles that objectivity, clarity, politics, memory, autobiography, and local culture play in the making and dissemination of photographs.


Color Photography
Professor Alex Harris
A field-based course with color photography as a documentary tool. Students will gain knowledge about the aesthetic and technical foundations of color photography by using recent digital technology. The class will also conduct an intensive examination of the work of historic and contemporary color documentary photographers.


Digital Documentary Photo: Capturing Transience
Professor Susie Post-Rust
Using digital photography and a documentary approach, the course investigates subjects in transition, with an emphasis on changing and somewhat transient physical and social landscapes of North Carolina. Digital photographic impermanence as well as social transience are discussed in unison as students explore ethical issues that arise as a result of the transient nature of images in the digital age. Students photographed at Club Boulevard Magnet Elementary School this semester.


This exhibit was made possible with additional support from Duke Arts, Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts at Duke University. [Thumbnail photo: Sarah Borst: Forever in the Mirror]

The Observer's Frame: Alex Pfiffner: Devil's Grove
Alex Pfiffner: The Devil's Grove