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See who have been our distinguished past presenters at Fort Dearborn-Chicago Photo Forum.   Archived Events

Peter LeGrand Presentation

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Special Events

January 13, 2016    7:30 PM

Fort Dearborn-Chicago Photo Forum

47 W. Polk, Chicago 60605

What is a Bad Photo?

Presented by James Hugunin

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What constitutes a “bad” photograph? Poor composition? Technical faults? Failure to master one’s camera? Lack of mastery of the subject? Poor taste? Offensive subject? Manipulated too extensively to be a photograph in the first place? Lack of imagination: it’s a mere copy of the subject, lacking personal interpretation; or, this might have been a good photograph fifty years ago, but now . . . ? Upon examining these issues, can we then establish what constitutes a “good” photograph?


James Hugunin, a photography critic, will explore this complex topic of aesthetic evaluation in a group discussion with members while responding to some of the Fourm members' photographs and showing a variety of photographic works from the 1890s to the present.



See our website for info on getting to Fort Dearborn by public transportation at http://www.chicagophotoforum.org

Parking is in the rear or there is street parking.




Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA 1947. Studied architectural and product photography at Los Angeles’ Art Center College of Design (now in Pasadena); B.A. in Fine Art from California State University,

Northdridge; M.F.A. in Fine Art from UCLA (1975). Adjunct Full Professor of Art History, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he teaches the History of Photography and Contemporary Theory (1985 - present). He was a photographer in the USAF (1967 - 71);

worked as a graphic arts photographer in the printing industry and Hollywood special effects production (1973 - 83). He was the founder and editor of two art journals, The Dumb Ox (1976 - 80) and U-Turn (1982 - present), and has self-published numerous artist

books under what would be called “conceptual photography.”


In 1983, Hugunin was the First Place winner of the first Reva and David Logan Award given for Distinguished New Writing in the Field of Photography. As a critic, he has had published over 200 essays (criticism and catalogue introductions), and is the author several  books of photographic criticism. Moreover, he has authored five “experimental” novels, of which Something is Crook in Middlebrook,

2012 was chosen the “Best Experimental Novel of 2012" by nationally published writer/critic Derek Pell, editor of the online blog “Zoom Street”. For his efforts, he was elected a member of Chicago’s Society of Midland Authors.

About James Hugunin

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General Admission online ticket  $20

Student Admission online ticket $15

Fort Dearborn Members ticket  FREE

At the Door price $25

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