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These activities focus on works of art in the Whitney’s collection and special exhibitions. Through discussion, research, art making, and writing activities, we hope to encourage close looking, foster conversation between students, and connect artwork to classroom learning. Learn about our four artist-centered themes.

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Change a photograph.

In Crow, William Wegman plays a trick on the viewer. A stuffed parrot is positioned on a pedestal, illuminated by dramatic, ominous lighting, but upon closer inspection it becomes clear that the shadow cast by the parrot is not the parrot’s own, but rather that of a crow. Although photography is used to document places, people, and events, photographs can be manipulated in the same way a painting or drawing might be.

Think about how Wegman uses lighting and shadows to change this photograph. What are some other techniques that photographers can use to change or play with their photographs? Brainstorm a list, and then using Photoshop or iPhoto, have students manipulate an image. What changes did they make? How did they change the mood or meaning of the photograph?

William Wegman, Crow, 1970  92.15  On view For Teachers