New Partnership Brings Digital Photography to Seniors

Beginning January 9, 2018, Greenwich House, in partnership with Lifetime Arts, will add Photography 101 to its roster of senior citizen health, wellness, arts and education classes. The inaugural class will be a nine-week course held at Greenwich House’s Judith C. White Senior Center at 27 Barrow Street. During the term students will delve into photographic history, aesthetics and techniques and have ample time to practice their photography using digital cameras. 

The class will be led by Brooklyn-based documentary photographer and filmmaker, Robert Pennington. Over his 25 years in media arts, Pennington has developed a strong reputation for photography that investigates socio-political, cultural and economic phenomena, and their impact on the human condition. In his own work, Pennington is known to focus on the margins of society, where oftentimes hubris and virtue are easily transposed and human architecture gravely affected. The impressions embedded in these communities and the narratives discovered impel his practice. 

At Greenwich House, Pennington hopes to help participants develop an appreciation and familiarity with the physical aspects of photography, even as the art form is increasingly digital. 

“This curriculum uses a variety of hands-on activities, history, aesthetics and technical instruction to impart a sense of process even without access to a traditional darkroom,” said Pennington.  

At the end of the class, students will have an understanding of the three major genres of photography: Landscape, Portraiture and Documentary, as well as a foundation in aesthetic elements like leading lines, rule of thirds, triangles, rule of odds and symmetry. The mechanics of cameras will also be studied including how the body, lens, sensor, flash card and battery function. 

The new class is being offered at the Judith C. White Center in January through funding from Lifetime Arts, a nonprofit service organization that works nationally to encourage creative aging by promoting the inclusion of professional arts programs in organizations that serve older adults. According to Lifetime Arts, when embedded in socially rich community settings, sequential, skill-building creative aging workshops, like photography, are proven to help combat isolation and reinvigorate learning among seniors. 

Two more nine week sessions will be held at other Greenwich House Centers; dates and details will be forthcoming. Classes are intended for senior center members. For more information, contact Anthony Cilione, Judith C. White Center Director at or 212-242-4140 ext. 254.

About Greenwich House

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