Page-Walker Center

Night Photography Class @ Duke with Hal Goodtree

Page-Walker, Cary NC. Photo by Hal Goodtree.

Page-Walker, Cary NC. Photo by Hal Goodtree.

Durham, NC — CaryCitizen publisher Hal Goodtree will be teaching a Night Photography class at Duke this fall. Even if you’re not a student, you can sign up.

Center for Documentary Studies

The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University teaches the art and technique of filmmaking, photography, writing and audio with a sharp focus on real life. The Full Frame Film Festival is a project of CDS.

Documentary Night Photography is offered as a course this autumn.

Documentary Night Photography

I asked Hal about the fall course.

“We live half our lives at night. And we like to take pictures,” Hal said. “But when it comes to night photography, most people are scared of the dark.”

The course examines three basic concepts of taking pictures at night:

  • Speeding up the camera (sensor)
  • Taking long exposures
  • Stabilizing the camera

“I want students to come away feeling confident about taking pictures at night,” Hal said.

But what about the Documentary part? “Documentary basically means you didn’t build a set or hire actors or stage the action,” Goodtree said. “It’s real life, framed.”

“Because this course is at CDS, I also want to talk about the history of night photography, and examine the notion of what makes something ‘documentary,'” Hal said.

Paris at Night, by Brassai.

Paris at Night. Photo by Brassai.

Taking It to the Street

Each class features one hour of class time and two hours on location taking pictures.

4 Fridays in October

Documentary Night Photography is offered on four consecutive Friday nights in October (10/2/2015 to 10/23/2015) from 6 – 9 PM.

Classes meet at:

Center for Documentary Studies
1317 W. Pettigrew Street
Durham, NC 27705

Any Camera

Whether you have a DSLR or an iPhone, this class will improve the way you take pictures at night.


Documentary Night Photography is open to students and non-students alike.


Durham Bus Station. Photo by Hal Goodtree.

Durham Bus Station. Photo by Hal Goodtree.


Hal Goodtree has worked with documentarians including Academy Award nominee Albert Maysles, Candid Camera producer Bob Schwartz and NFL Films director Tripp Dixon. His latest project, “Because No One Else Would – American Tobacco & the Durham Renaissance,” earned a #1 rating in prime during its broadcast debut on WRAL in 2014. To see more work, go to:

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