With emphasis on artistic development coupled with critical thinking, historical analysis, and communication skills, the Photography Department prepares students to become effective media artists and professionals. Development of a personal creative identity begins with a highly structured sophomore curriculum. Graduates are expected to demonstrate excellence in artistic vision and professional skills, innovation, and a contextual understanding of their work in contemporary culture.
The program emphasizes an awareness of fine arts traditions as well as the professional disciplines of the contemporary media artist. Students work in documentary, experimental and in narrative. The department promotes critical thinking and independence across the spectrum of media making.
Survey of Photography: 1839 to Present
This course is conceived as an introductory survey of photography from its beginning in 1839 through 2014. The material is organized around the motivations of individual photographers and the development of various movements. It includes the study of criticism and emphasizes photographer's books. The format is interactive and allows for student participation in addition to written work and exams.
Black and White Photography
This is an introductory course in black-and-white photography. The course will introduce basic techniques, including small-camera operation, film exposure and development, and the contact printing, enlarging, and finishing of black-and-white photographs, as well as concept development and image content. Emphasis will be placed on the ability of students to master the technical skills necessary to begin developing their own artistic style and using the medium as a communicative tool. Visual presentations will acquaint students with photographers who have influenced the development of the medium.
This course is the first in a project-and-seminar sequence in which students develop a sense of analysis, synthesis, assessment, and self-reflection regarding their own photographic production, the work of peers, and cultural production at large. This course focuses on approaches to project development and critique. Readings and discussions will examine the dissemination of images and ideas as it relates to the aesthetics and social significance of photography.
This is an introductory course in digital photography. In this course, students are introduced to color techniques and theories. The course will cover the basics of color photography, including image capture, file management, image processing, and digital printing. Students will gain a broader understanding of photography as an artistic medium through readings, critiques, class discussions, and field trips.
Intermediate Digital Photography
Expanding upon the photographic techniques and concepts introduced in Digital Photography, students in this course will gain an in-depth understanding of digital file management; editing and processing; and printing techniques. The discussion of photographic and media artists who use the internet and digital-imaging software will help students understand how these tools are being used today.
Digital Photography Expanded
This course introduces students to digital video production in the context of expanded photographic practice. Students will learn camera operation, lighting and sound recording video and sound editing, and exporting techniques using digital video editing software Assignments, readings, screenings, and discussions will draw upon the work of artists and filmmakers employing single and multichannel formats.
Between Image and Word: Why Photographers Write
Captions, artists' statements, essays on their own and others' work, extended critical essays, theoretical statements about the nature of photography: all of these are forms of writing undertaken by photographers. In this course, we will study the writings of photographers with an eye to understanding the many contexts in which photographers write and the expectations for good writing those contexts create. The course will be both theoretical and practical, in the sense that students will study the writings of photographers in order to understand the various contexts of photographic writing and the ways photographers have responded to them and will develop their own skills in meeting the demands of the good use of words. All readings will be by artists who use both photographic images and words to make meaning.