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Degree Requirements 

1.   Successful completion of 120 credits, including all required courses, with a basic distribution of at least: 

• 72 credits in studio art
• 30 credits in humanities and sciences 
• 15 credits in art history 
• 3 elective credits

2.     Students must meet all requirements of the BFA Photography and Video Department and complete a portfolio review at the end of each year. Students may enter their next year level only after all Photography and Video Department requirements have been satisfied in their current year.

3.     Students must successfully pass a departmental evaluation of studio work at the end of the fourth year to be conducted either by faculty committee or by the chair.

First-Year Requirements

AHD-1090 History of Photography I
PHD-1030 Photography Workshop I
PHD-1035 Photography Workshop II
PHD-1060 Photography on Assignment
PHD-1080 Introduction to Digital Imaging
PHD-1110 Video I
HCD-1020 Writing and Literature I
HCD-1025 Writing and Literature II 

Second-Year Requirements

The recommended course load is 15 credits per semester. All students should see their advisor about individual art history and humanities and sciences distribution credit needs. 

Second-year photography and video majors are required to take one semester of:

PHD-2040  Studio Photography I
PHD-2045  Studio Photography II
PHD-2060  Photo Critique I
PHD-2065  Photo Critique II
PHD-2070  The Critical Eye I: Writing, Reading, Seeing, Discussing
PHD-2080  Intermediate Digital Photography
AHD-2090 History of Contemporary Photography
PHD-2090  Video II
PHD-2120  The Professional Community

Third-Year Requirements

The recommended course load is 15 credits per semester. All students should see their advisor about individual art history and humanities and sciences distribution credit needs. 

Third-year photography and video majors are required to take:

Requirement A

One semester each of:
PHD-3040  Photography Seminar I
PHD-3045  Photography Seminar II
PHD-3060  Visual Literacy Survey
PHD-3083/3091 Digital Photography

Requirement B

One 3-credit studio elective chosen from the following departments: animation; computer art, computer animation and visual effects; film; fine arts; photography and video.

Note: Third-year students are required to pass the Photographic Literacy Exam in order to be eligible to enter their fourth year. This exam, which evaluates knowledge of contemporary photography since 1960, is a portion of the focus of the Visual Literacy Survey Course. The exam is administered at the end of the fall semester. 


Fourth-Year Requirements

Fourth-year students must submit their finished thesis portfolios to the department chair no later than two weeks before the end of the semester. In addition to the requirements that follow, students may take other supplemental portfolio courses for credit. 

Fourth-year photography and video majors are required to take:

Requirement A

One semester each of:
PHD-4080  Photography Thesis I
PHD-4085  Photography Thesis II 

Requirement B

9 studio credits of photography and video electives, chosen from the elective courses for photography majors only (please refer to the Photography and Video General Course Listing for course descriptions and information). 

3 elective credits chosen from any undergraduate area, including photography. 

Students must see their advisor early to determine remaining credit needs and requirements and must be able to complete all 120 credits of the BFA degree, including all course and credit requirements, within the fourth year to be eligible to graduate. 

Photography General Course Listing

First-Year Course Listing

History of Photography
One semester: 3 art history credits
Serving as introduction to the history of photography, this course will examine the beginnings of the medium and continue through to the work of the present day. Particular attention will be given to major photographic movements and technological advances of the 19th century through the first half of the 20th century. Prominent photographers from this period will also be studied. 

Photography Workshop I
One semester: 3 studio credits
With an emphasis on extensive darkroom work and group critique, this course will cover printing, negative development, spotting and mounting. Assignments will be given and students will submit a portfolio at the end of the semester. 

Photography Workshop II
One semester: 3 studio credits
With an emphasis on extensive Lightroom work and group critique, this course will focus on making archival pigment prints from color negatives and digital files, and color correcting. Establishing a strong technical foundation in color and developing a personal, aesthetic direction will also be stressed. Assignments will be given and students will submit a portfolio at the end of the semester. 

Photography on Assignment
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course in photographic nuts and bolts will include technical demonstrations and assignments concerning the use of meters, filters, lighting, flash and color film, among other topics. Students will be given location assignments, which will imitate those of a commercial or editorial photographer working in the current marketplace. The course emphasizes the practical, and will help students be flexible and resourceful in their problem solving abilities. Students will receive individual critique of their work. 

Introduction to Digital Imaging
One semester: 3 studio credits
Gaining a fundamental understanding of Adobe Photoshop, Bridge and Lightroom applications will be the focus of this course. Topics covered include image size and resolution, flatbed and film scanning, color modes, file formats, painting and editing tools, file management, image adjustments, working with layers and layer masks, and output options. By the end of the semester, students will have a basic understanding of how to work with photographs in a digital environment. 

Video I
One semester: 3 studio credits
The goal of this course is to familiarize students with video in its technical form as well as its conceptual possibilities. Various genres of the medium will be explored, and students will articulate their interests in narrative form. 

PHD-1230 through PHD-1250
Foundation Symposium
One semester: 3 studio credits
Foundation Symposium is designed to introduce the student to a variety of photographic practices and ideas. The symposium is composed of five-week courses that will explore career, language and technique. 

HCD-1020 / HCD-1025
Writing and Literature I and II
Two semesters: 3 humanities and sciences credits per semester
The first part of this two-semester offering will help students become capable, critical and independent writers. With its focus on developing an argument, the course offers an introduction to some of the skills necessary for critical analysis of written art. It will include a review of writing basics (grammar, coherence, idea development, sentence and essay structure). Since reading widely is a foundation of good writing, course readings are drawn from a selection of premodern Western works, including drama, poetry, the narrative and the critical essay, which will be used as discussion and writing prompts. The second semester will emphasize essay development, reading and critical thinking. Students will write essays and a research paper, and continue to work on their grammar and essay development. Readings are drawn from a selection of modern works, including drama, poetry, the narrative and the critical essay. 

First-Year Elective Courses 

Students must take one course from the elective choices that follow.

Foundation Studio
One semester: 3 studio credits
Designed for students interested in still life, fashion or portraiture, this course is offered as a prelude to Studio Photography. The fundamentals of the studio will be introduced, including various formats, lightning techniques and exposure methods. 

The Eloquent Photographer
One semester: 3 studio credits
This critique course is designed to help you to refine your personal photographic voice. We will examine such issues as private language, self-expression and artistic expression, context and irony, and the roles played by technique, experimentation and the happy accident. We will discuss commitment, discipline and the importance of failure in the creative process. An array of approaches—from the formalist to the over-the-top absurd—will be part of our conversation. Bring a sense of commitment (and sense of humor) and curiosity to class, as well as a few examples of recent work to the first session. 

Vision and Technique
One semester: 3 studio credits
To be a successful photographer requires a combination of technical skills and visual creativity. Technical knowledge gives the photographer power and confidence to work creatively. This course will explore the connection between vision and the fundamental concepts of analog and digital photography. Through demonstrations, and a hands-on approach, students will explore a wide range of photographic topics and how they impact upon your photographic work and goals. 

Photographic Narrative
One semester: 3 studio credits
Fundamental to photographic content is storytelling, and this course will explore narrative in various forms and genres, from fashion to social documentary to fabricated and theatrical images to those that propose to depict fact. Both single and sequential images will be considered, as well as different ways of grouping photographs to create narrative. Class sessions will be a combination of student work and historical and contemporary models. 

A Picture and a Thousand Words
One semester: 3 studio credits
Word (n): A written or printed character or combination of characters that symbolizes and communicates meaning. Picture (n): A description that conveys an idea in one’s mind of what something is like visually. Through various exercises, lectures and assignments, students in this course will make and connect photographs with their writings (fiction/nonfiction, memoir, poetry, histories, etc.). The goal of the course is for students to think about the interplay between creative writing and photography, and then create a portfolio of work based upon these ideas. 

Shoot, Shout, Change
One semester: 3 studio credits
Conceived to develop an understanding of how photography and politics are directly interconnected, this studio course is structured around critiques, presentations by visiting artists on the work of artists and collectives that have used photography as a way to question and alter social and political realities. We will address documentary photography and film, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary uses of the photographic medium in demonstrations, performances, street actions and social sculpture. This course will prepare students to have a critical voice and strengthen their analytical skills with regard to their own work. 

Upper-Level Courses 

PHD-2040 / PHD-2045
Studio Photography I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester

The techniques of shooting in the studio are covered in this course. Working in both a daylight studio and in a studio with incandescent lights and strobe lighting will be explored. Exercises in still life, portraiture and other aspects of studio photography will be given; 4x5", medium format, 35mm cameras and digital capture will be used. 

PHD-2060 / PHD-2065
Photo Critique I and II
Two semesters: 2 studio credits per semester

Photo Critique initiates an in-depth conversation about photography as driven by content, and each student’s exploration of subject matter. Intention and articulation will be emphasized.

The Critical Eye I: Writing, Reading, Seeing, Discussing
One semester: 2 studio credits
This course will introduce the photography student to critical discourse. Its aim is to enhance in-class dialogue through readings, writing, and the methodology of observation and criticality, to serve aesthetic production in all photographic genres. 

Intermediate Digital Photography
One semester: 2 studio credits
Adobe Photoshop and software extensions will be used in this course to explore image construction, manipulation, retouching and collage techniques. Emphasis will be placed on an exploration of the full potential of all aspects of the application. In addition to exploring various advanced digital imaging techniques, students will be encouraged to apply these techniques to their work, and to critically examine the profound effects that new imaging technologies are having on the ways we see and make art. A variety of topics will be covered, including advanced selection techniques, shape-and-text tools, channels, paths, blending modes, filter effects, service bureaus, color management, monitor calibration and digital cameras. 

History of Contemporary Photography
One semester: 3 art history credits
This course will emphasize the last 40 years of photography, and by a thorough analysis and discussion of the work, it will articulate the dominant cultural and aesthetic ideas of the time. All genres of the medium will be considered, as well as the gradual rise of photography as a major visual art. Of particular importance will be the influence on current photographic ideas and students’ work. 

Video II
One semester: 2 studio credits
This course expands upon the technical concepts introduced in PHD-1090, Video I. Its emphasis is on an enhanced understanding of the medium through critical discourse. 

The Professional Community
One semester: 2 studio credits
Through a series of field trips and lectures, students will become familiar with the varied aspects of the professional photographic community. Students will also develop an in-depth understanding of self-promotion and résumé building, and skills required for professional communication. Trips to galleries, museums, studios and auction houses, to name a few, will give students firsthand knowledge of professional opportunities. Through guest lecturers, a variety of topics will be addressed: from copyright law to how to work with design, advertising and stock photography agencies, as well as magazines and book publishers. Other practical topics will include grant writing; portfolio design; introducing work to galleries, museum and nonprofit spaces; and alternative means of presentation. 

Introduction to Alternative Process
One semester: 3 studio credits
Do you want to get your hands dirty? Are you looking to go beyond the traditional gelatin silver darkroom? This course is an introduction to analog alternative processes: hand-coated emulsions and nonsilver darkroom processes. Students will become self-sufficient in creating works using chemistry and raw material based techniques and processes, including wet-plate collodion, cyanotype, Van Dyke, kallitype, palladium, gum bichromate, and more. 

Go Shoot Yourself
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is all about you. Every part of you. Every feeling, every thought, every desire, every fantasy, every relationship, every anxiety and joy. All these factors go into making self-portraits. It doesn’t matter if you’re introverted or extroverted—who you are inside and out becomes your work. You conspire with your camera; you get to be in front of and behind the lens at the same time, alone and/or with others. Plus you have the support of everybody in the class who wants to make intimate, personal pictures. 

Advanced Alternative Process
One semester: 3 studio credits
Using gum bichromate, platinum, kallitype, cyanotype, Van Dyke, salted paper, or any other antiquated and alternative photographic processes, students will work with the process of their choice to create a body of work. Experimentation is encouraged.

Exposing History
One semester: 3 studio credits
History is subjective, murky and hazy, and as time marches forward it can blur even more. History is generally a series of seemingly factual events, but within places, persons and dates, there are revisions and even fictions spun alongside it. For the first century of photography’s existence, it was assumed that the photographic image was a “truthful” document of reality, but we now know that even Alexander Gardner, photographing the Civil War, manipulated what was in front of him for the sake of a better story. This course directs students to actively reinterpret the past through photography. The use of primary archival materials, examined through the filter of photography, is the focus of the course. 

The New Hegemonic: Explorations of Gender, Race, Ethnicity and Sexuality in America I
One semester: 3 studio credits
In this critique course, students will begin a new project or reconsider an existing one in relationship to the shifting cultural landscape of 21st-century America. Taking into consideration the election of the first African American president, the championing of female, LGBTIQ, and minority individuals, and the growing support of same-sex marriage, we will attempt to locate an aesthetic sensibility, which embodies the multifaceted visions of identity, ethnicity, race, gender and sexuality that have entered the American mainstream over the last 20 years. We will look closely at the growing presence of the other—women, African Americans, Asian Americans, American Indians, Latinos and LQBTIQ individuals—in positions of recognition and power in fine art and popular culture to expand the sense of aesthetic possibilities for all visual artists today. This course will feature readings, screenings and discussions of the work of minority photographers and artists, who are often overlooked or undervalued in the traditional canon, to inform and inspire the class with the production of their own projects. 

The New Hegemonic: Explorations of Gender, Race, Ethnicity and Sexuality in America II
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is a continuation of PHD-2308, The New Hegemonic: Explorations of Gender, Race, Ethnicity and Sexuality in America I. Students will have the opportunity to continue a project initiated in the first semester or begin a new one. Building upon readings and conversations around feminist and queer theory, we will consider how scholarship in these fields overlaps with American Indian, Latino, African America and Jewish studies and what roles new technologies play for contemporary artists as they navigate these areas. Readings and topics of discussion will include post-Internet art and cyberfeminism as we ponder new aesthetic possibilities for the 21st century. Lectures by visiting artists and topical field trips will supplement course work. Collaboration is encouraged. 

Production and Logistics
One semester: 3 studio credits

The ability to make powerful images is not the same as the ability to make them on demand. A big photo shoot requires planning and non-photography expertise completely unrelated to your creative skills. This course will address how to approach and manage the activities necessary to execute projects for commercial clients. Estimates, contracts, releases, securing an advance, location permits, sourcing specialized equipment and talent (like stylists and make-up artists), shoot schedules, transportation and logistics will all be covered, demonstrated and discussed. This course will provide the detailed knowledge necessary to successfully coordinate people, facilities and supplies for complex photography assignments, with the aim of helping you retain clients, attract new ones, increase your income and enhance your reputation. 

PHD-3040 / PHD-3045
Photography Seminar I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester

A continuation of the discourse begun in PHD-2060, Photo Critique I, these seminars will culminate in a body of work that is self-motivated. A commitment to this process is required, as well as the progression of the students’ understanding of their work and the ability to articulate their ideas. 

Visual Literacy Survey
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course has two purposes. The first is to provide an overview of contemporary photography and its trends since 1960—not only fine art, but also advertising, photojournalism and any other commercial applications—presented not as an isolated academic study, but something relevant to working today. The second purpose is to encourage students to develop their own criteria for looking at photographs. Students will report on current developments, and their perception of and reaction to contemporary photography. They will write about and present their observations in order to formulate and articulate their own critical aesthetic. 

Digital Studio: Advanced Lighting Techniques
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will explore the mastery and control of light as well as lighting concepts used for professional editorial and advertising photography. Through visual presentations of printed matter, students will review examples of the direction and quality of light and understand its function in the photograph. Students will acquire a repertoire of lighting techniques to heighten the expressive capacity of their work. Students will shoot tethered with the latest available digital cameras and software in a full digital studio environment. 

Compositing with Adobe After Effects
One semester: 3 studio credits
Compositing video and photography using Adobe After Effects is the focus of this course. Students will explore fundamental animation techniques, including key frame animation, masking and applying effects using the timeline. Combined with technical knowledge, there will be an emphasis placed of art direction and storyboarding to create projects. Advanced compositing techniques using green screen, rotoscoping and 3D will also be covered. This is an introductory After Effects course; however, students must feel comfortable compositing in Adobe Photoshop and have an understanding of shooting and editing video. 

3D Portraiture
One semester: 3 studio credits
Photography is no longer only a 2D medium. This course is for students interested in using photographic techniques to create 3D scans of the world around them. We will explore various techniques of computational photography (photogrammetry, structured light, laser scanning, Microsoft Kinect) and learn how to navigate 3D modeling environments (Autodesk Maya), print in 3D, and create virtual and augmented reality environments (Unity3D and Unreal Engine). With these techniques, students will build a virtual environment to explore. Previous experience with 3D modeling is not required but students must have a strong understanding of digital photography and editing. 

Digital Studio: Your Camera, Your Computer and Your Work
One semester: 3 studio credits
The fundamentals of working in a studio that is fully integrated with digital technology will be covered in this course. Students will be working with medium format Leaf digital backs tethered to a computer and Adobe Lightroom, and will progress to an understanding of digital workflow. Processing images from creation to finished print is increasingly the responsibility of the photographer, and this course will help to streamline that process. 

Digital Photography: Fashion and Beauty
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will cover specialized retouching skills needed to attain successful fashion images. Adobe Photoshop will be the primary software. The course will help students gain increased competence in digital manipulation. 

Digital Photography: The Fine Art of Digital Compositing
One semester: 3 studio credits
With advanced image processing, this course will focus on image-making from concept to output. We will examine the essential elements of a successful composite using layers, layer adjustment, advanced masking, retouching techniques, selection, printing and color management. The creative workflow needed to produce compelling and seamless photomontage images will be emphasized. 

Digital Photography: Imaging and the Internet
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will focus on utilizing web-authoring software and other Internet-related applications to create websites and online artwork. In addition to learning how to prepare images for use on the web, we will explore the unique dynamics of interactivity and the fundamentals of effective web design. 

Digital Photography: Printmaking and Color Management
One semester: 3 studio credits
The goal of this course is to develop a working understanding of the materials, practices and aesthetics of contemporary fine art digital printmaking, especially the use of digital color management tools. Through lectures, demonstrations, project-based assignments, as well as studio visits and field trips to digital labs and galleries, students will expand their proficiency and confidence in producing a personal artistic vision through various digital printmaking techniques. Included with the practical aspects of the course will be an exploration of historical and contemporary uses of digital imaging in commercial and fine art photography. 

Digital Photography: Branding Yourself
One semester: 3 studio credits
Creating a brand identity as a photographer and artist is paramount to professional success. In this course, students will produce cohesive projects based on self-promotion, such as business cards, promo cards, photo books, portfolios and websites. The course is designed to further your Adobe Photoshop skills and introduce new skills using Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. 

Video: Using Alternative Techniques to Create a Unique Vision
One semester: 3 studio credits
The ways in which videomakers can employ alternative techniques and sound to produce an original vision will be examined in this course. We will explore concepts around sound and students will be introduced to working with alternative cameras, such as Super 8, Pixel 2000 and VHS in order to help create a unique aesthetic. In addition to working with LUTs to produce an unconventional palette, advanced techniques with Adobe Premiere Pro CC will be demonstrated, and there will be an introduction to working with footage in Adobe After Effects. Students will build a solid body of video work through open and collaborative assignments. Class time will be spent exploring videos produced over the last 10 years (including the Internet), discussions of readings, critiquing student work, learning green screen, and concepts related to the contemporary video scene. There will also be guest lecturers and gallery visits. 

Advanced Black-and-White Printing
One semester: 3 studio credits
For those who want to extend their printing skills to develop a personal printing style, this course will consist predominantly of work in the darkroom with technical critique of prints by the instructor. Students will explore and refine various advanced printing techniques. 

Advanced Black-and-White Printing and Critique
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will offer an engaged and inspiring perspective on black-and-white photography, offering not only advanced darkroom instruction with its nuances and subtleties, but also critical input toward the selection and content of a portfolio. The work of other photographers and visual artists will be viewed and discussed. 

Principles of Color for Photographers
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will focus on how to unleash the power of color to give maximum impact to your photographs. Whether it’s fine art, editorial or commercial work, successful photographers know the secrets of color that painters and designers use to create effective color images. Exploring both the technical and aesthetic aspects of color, we will examine such topics as the psychology and symbolism of color, contrast and harmony of colors, and the interaction of colors. Taking advantage of New York’s resources, we will visit galleries and museums to examine contemporary color and to see how great painters of the past handled color. Through lectures, slide presentations, shooting assignments and critiques, students will gain a core understanding of how color works, which will improve their technical ability to shoot and print, with film or digital technologies, as they uncover the aesthetic principles behind creating strong color photographs.

Explorations in Abstract Photography
One semester: 3 studio credits
The notion of an abstract photograph is illusive. Is it related to abstract painting or a product of technique: a cameraless image, a multiple exposure, montage? Or is it a result of digital imaging and scientific instrumentation—a visualization of the imagination in a non-representational form? Designed for the ambitious student, this will be a workshop and critique course in which participants will explore the concept of abstraction through the production of a body of work. 

Social Documentary
One semester: 3 studio credits
Documentary photographs record the outside world as well as the unique perspective of the photographer. In this course, we will explore facets of image-making and their inherent challenges. Themed assignments will be given each week and will be critiqued the following session. We will focus on developing a unique vision through a body of work while grounding it in contemporary practice. Students will produce an editorially appropriate presentation of the project they have chosen to pursue. 

The Photographer Immigrant
One semester: 3 studio credits
Students creating work outside of their home country and students who are considering and responding to issues that supercede national borders often need to employ a different set of critical parameters for developing their work. This course will focus on making images with an awareness of cultural differences, borders and intersecting identities. It will include discussion of student work, shooting assignments, and consideration of the aesthetic and conceptual history of photographers who work outside of their homeland, culture and familiar zone. 

Experimental Documentary Video
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will examine a wide range of works in cinema, video art and photography that originate from or draw upon the documentation of concrete reality—actual people, factual events and verifiable phenomena—yet yield challenging and experimental results, often seeming not of the real world. This style of work parallels the documentary technique, but ultimately the artist distorts this reality by freely bending the boundaries of the genre. Through discussion and practice, we will explore the notions of subjective time and space, and of memory and interpretation—raising questions about the perception of truth, the creative interrelationship between fact and the imagined, and issues of morality and ethics. Lectures, screenings and critiques of work are included. Artists whose works we will look at include Werner Herzog, Jean-Luc Godard, Stan Brakhage, Guy Maddin, Agnès Varda, Gillian Wearing, Chris Marker, Lars von Trier, Gilad Ratman, Abbas Kiarostami, Christoph Schlingensief and Ulrike Ottinger, among others. 

Writing on Photography
One semester: 3 studio credits
Writing about an image can often reveal meaning that is not always evident from visual examination alone. In this course, emphasis will be placed on the use of language to scrutinize and analyze work by photographers and artists, and give clarity to one’s impressions and, ultimately, one’s own work. There will be bi-weekly assignments, required readings and weekly discussions. 

Lecture Series
One semester: 3 studio credits
This series will provide an introduction to several aspects of, and approaches to, photographic practices. A diverse group of photographers will show their work and share their experiences, providing information and insight into the requirements of working professional photographers. 

Wet Plate Collodion
One semester: 3 studio credits
This intensive course will dive into wet plate collodion, which was the leading process of photography in the 1850s and ’60s. The process is most commonly known in its three forms—tintypes (positives on tin), ambrotypes (positives on glass), and glass negatives (negatives on glass). The basics of the collodion process will be covered and topics will include: hand coating collodion plates, creating wet collodion images, mixing the chemistry, building a darkroom and modifying cameras for the process, as well as how to print pre-existing imagery using an enlarger onto wet collodion plates. Techniques of preparing the plate, cleaning glass, pouring collodion, exposing, developing, fixing and varnishing will all be addressed. Experimentation will be strongly encouraged. All materials, including cameras, enlargers, chemicals, glass and metal will be supplied. 

Photo Bookworks: The Handmade Book
One semester: 3 studio credits
What do you do with all those photos you have made that are sitting around in boxes? This is a hands-on approach to the photo book using simple bookbinding methods. We will investigate several handmade book structures, including scroll, scrapbook, pamphlet, Oriental fold and fan, as well as the concepts of series, sequence and pacing of images within the books. Books will be examined from the viewpoint of both object and container. A historical overview of book arts—photography books in particular—will be presented. Students will create works from groups of photographs, bound together in completed form. Six to eight books and a group project will be completed. 

Photo Bookworks: Zines and Monographs
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will concentrate on the editing and sequencing of photographs to create chapters with narrative structure. Working on individual projects, students will assemble weekly chapters of work. Several of these handmade zines will lead to a combined larger work that will be printed on demand (POD) by an outside publisher. Examples of past and current artist books will be presented and discussed, and visits to publishers and libraries will be scheduled. 

Fashion Critique
One semester: 3 studio credits
Intended to build an original and informed portfolio of fashion photography, this course is structured by assignments that are driven by those in the professional community. Open to students with a strong studio and technical background, as well as those who have a less formal relationship to fashion photography, the course will emphasize vigorous competence with the complexity of fashion photography, and create insight into its particular demands. Visual intelligence and creative ambition are the prerequisites.

Advanced Fashion Critique
One semester: 3 studio credits
Fashion photography as a vehicle for an advanced cultural and conceptual narrative is the focus of this course. Working from assignments, the class is portfolio driven, and encompasses all aesthetic interpretations of fashion photography, and an understanding of the genre as a flexible and nimble entity. A rigorous work ethic is the prerequisite. 

Location Photography
One semester: 3 studio credits
Providing the technical background necessary for versatility and competence in location photography is the aim of this course. The objective is to develop each student’s imagination in order to find visually compelling locations, to study the space and available light, and to determine what additional light to bring to the “set.” This course will be supplemented with individual portfolio projects—both exterior and interior locations—and students will explore areas of their own special interests. 

How to Make It as a Working Photographer
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will focus on developing an understanding of the professional world of photography while maintaining your individual style. Class assignments will be geared toward creative problem solving and developing professional skills, including promotion, marketing, invoicing, budgets and how to manage your life as a freelancer. The course will culminate in two portfolio reviews with industry professionals. 

Fifteen Short Investigations Through Photo-Based Art
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will investigate ideas in culture as they relate to photography and art. We will explore inherent photographic concepts, such as appropriation, decontextualization, multiplication, systems, memory, the archive and technology, as a means for generating photo-based work. Issues concerning context and intentionality, authorship and originality, individuality and collectivity, will be addressed in relation to relevant cultural and theoretical concepts. Weekly photo-based assignments, critiques, readings and slide presentations will serve to deepen the students’ understanding of their work and locate it within the context of these issues. The objective of this course is to gain agility with a broad range of working methods and a fluency in critical art vocabulary, while fostering a personal relationship to contemporary visual ideas and practice. 

Fashion: Concept and Narrative
One semester: 3 studio credits
Through discussion, practice and photographic assignments, this course examines fashion photography as a conceptual vehicle. In the process, we will acknowledge the most progressive and subversive fashion work being created and the cultural underpinnings that have stimulated this work. This is not a studio course per se, but a discourse on contemporary narrative. Verbal participation is essential. 

PHD-3233 / PHD-3234
Advanced Fashion Studio I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester

These courses are designed for students who are seriously interested in fashion. We will cover all aspects of the field: editorial, advertising, beauty and portrait. Both studio (tungsten and strobe lighting), and location (available light augmented by strobe) will be taught. Various camera formats, from 35mm to 4x5”, will be used. Emphasis will be on the anatomy of a fashion shoot: working with models, hair and makeup people, editors, art directors, etc. Personal style will be stressed. 

Commercial Careers
One semester: 3 studio credits
For photography students with commercial aspirations, this course is driven by and focuses on building a body of work. Portfolio reviews will be balanced by the discussion of practical aspects of the field, from assisting to postproduction to estimates, invoicing, stock and resale. Guest speakers, including art buyers, photo editors, producers and photo agents, will add information and insight. 

A Survey of Portraiture
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is both practical discussion and hands-on exploration/survey of portrait photography and camera format (digital or film is an optional choice for each student and both may be used). Planning or producing a portrait sitting, researching the sitter and coming up with ideas, lighting, composition, location/studio and interaction with the subject will be covered through discussion, demonstration and class sessions with models. Review sessions will focus on looking at and critique of the previous week’s in-class assignment, as well as planning and preparation for the following in-class portrait sitting. 

The Inspired Still Life
One semester: 3 studio credits
The emphasis in this course is on originality: to find yourself and the freedom that brings to create still-life photographs. Students will produce inspired works using flowers, water and food, among other items. Students will engage in critique throughout the semester. 

Still Life: Objects of Desire and Disgust
One semester: 3 studio credits
Fruit, lipstick, corpses, skin, insects, purses, diamonds and seashells: all items that have been imaged in modern photographic still life. The Dutch classical masters defined it as an expression of consumption and mortality through static physicality, but today still life images are most often associated with commerce. This course will lead an inquiry into the differences between the historical significance of still life and its modern possibilities, and students will be encouraged to experiment with the genre. Commercial and self-expressive motivations will be equally addressed. 

One semester: 3 studio credits
The role of sexuality, long a part of photographic history, is intimately related to part of ourselves and to culture. How do images of the body tap into our notions of eroticism, seduction, sensuality, sexual values and feelings? What perspectives broaden traditional ideas in heterosexual and LGBT imagery and challenge gender depictions? Do we create a balance between artistic value and sexual content in an image? Does censorship and politics play a role? Students will be encouraged to explore, examine and produce images in any photographic medium through class discussion and critique. 

Laughing All The Way To The Bank
One semester: 3 studio credits
What’s so funny? Does tragedy + time = comedy? Want to have more fun in your work? And expand your audience? If so, this is the course for you. Because we explore visual humor—seriously. How? By looking at photographers’ work that successfully employs it. And not just photographers, also filmmakers, artists in other disciplines and comedians. We go to comedy clubs. We have funny guests. We’ll talk about visual puns, irony, wit, ingenuity, the comical, the kitschy, the absurd, the incongruous, the ludicrous, the funny, the clever and the just plain dumb. Then what? We make new work utilizing all this info and crack up doing it. 

The Dark Stuff
One semester: 3 studio credits
The social taboo as theme has preoccupied photographers from E.J. Bellocq to Robert Mapplethorpe to Larry Clark and Terry Richardson. This course will focus on why the obsession with sin makes for powerful images. We will screen historically important photographs—and often-controversial works—that are synonymous with the subject matter. Students will receive positive influence on current and future projects through discussion that arises from the lecture and critique portion of the course. They will be encouraged to push the envelope of their work, drawing inspiration from the visual and psychological aspects of the existing tradition. 

Photography in Fine Art
One semester: 3 studio credits
While pronounced “dead” every so often, the painted “picture” never really goes away. Instead, painting survives (and flourishes) as a result of its collaboration with a medium once perceived to be its greatest foe—photography. This course will examine this historic co-dependence through lectures, gallery visits, guest lecturers and critique of student work. Artists as diverse as Salvador Dalí, Gerhard Richter and Tina Barney will be discussed in relation to art history and in parallel developments in photography and print media. Of central concern will be recognizing the reasoning process and decision-making employed in the production of a work of art—be it a painting-scaled photograph or a snapshot-size painting. 

Form and Concept
One semester: 3 studio credits
A broad range of artistic endeavors will be considered in this course—painting, sculpture, literature, music and theater—in an attempt to expand each student’s frames of reference to his or her work. While diverse mediums and information will be included, student presentations will be based on individual interests and enthusiasms. 

PHD-3277 / PHD-3278
Free Money I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester

The premise of this course is the pursuit of content: the investigation of a sensibility that is unique to each individual. This process is a task of encouragement and permission, with an attitude of risk-taking, experimentation, courage and conviction, and a general subversion of preconceptions about the photographic medium. The agenda is for students to use the medium as a notation and discovery of their thought processes, and as a vehicle to express themselves from their hearts and minds. Inspiration and information will be sought everywhere. A commitment to this process and a strong desire to develop a body of work are required. All photographic genres welcomed; a sense of humor is appreciated. 

Sexy Snapchat, Picture Consequence
One semester: 3 studio credits
How much time do you spend on social media? And how often do you text or tweet, use Instagram or Facebook, or blog with pictures? Have you thought about how this common use of photography applies to your creative practice as an image-maker and artist? In this collaborative course, students will produce pictures and anonymously post them to a blog in response to visual catalysts provided by the instructors and invited artists in order to facilitate conversations between the classroom and the photo world. Taking into consideration the rise of the Internet as the primary platform for reading and disseminating photographs, students will engage in an online exchange with each other, the instructors and other art professionals exclusively through their images. Critical discussions about the resulting picture conversations will follow. Students who are interested in careers as artists, commercial photographers, photo editors, book editors and curators can benefit from this exchange and from the contemporary discourse it encourages. The current relationships between the printed pictures and pictures on screens (computers, smartphones, tablets, etc.) will be closely examined throughout the semester, giving students a stronger understanding of how to navigate their presence as picture-makers in both physical and online spaces. 

Real and Possible
One semester: 3 studio credits
Addressing innovative aspects of photography and lens-based arts, and examining the notions of time, space, light, point of view, banality, models of reality and the enigma of vision, this course intends to provide new means and insights to reflect upon the questions posed by the practice of contemporary photography. Students will be encouraged to develop their own vision, expression and identity. Through discussions of works, the goal of this course is to achieve an integrated understanding through theory, critique and art practice. The class offers an environment in which to share knowledge and experience, and students will develop their personal vision and nourish their intellectual quest through the art of photography. 

The Secret Sits in the Middle
One semester: 3 studio credits
Robert Frost said, “We dance around in a ring and suppose, but the secret lies in the middle and knows.” This course embraces the idea that a photograph can be an outbreathing of a deeply personal self, a reflection of one’s inner journey, and a way to honor one’s own life by discovering or, more accurately, uncovering one’s own poetry—a poetry that resonates with the richness of our unique history, dreams and feelings, one’s center and soul. The course is about finding images from the inside out—finding that place within where imagination and intuition, the conscious and the unconscious, begin their dance, enabling us to truly become the source of our own photographs. We will explore the workings of the creative process and investigate our own sensitized surfaces, mining our discoveries for information, inspiration and the necessary courage to let our vision flow out into the world through our work. Guest artists in different mediums will discuss their processes, and will foster the kind of receptivity and awareness that will allow our best work to emerge.

From Documentation to Interpretation: The Contemporary Landscape
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will examine the definition of an ever-changing genre of photography and strive to find new meaning and possibility. We will challenge and redefine conventional approaches to landscape photography by working beyond a tradition of documentation while focusing on the engagement of interpretive methods. From Christian Patterson’s Redheaded Peckerwood to the Berlin-based collaboration of TONK (Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs), the goal of the course is to identify and develop a narrative utilizing today’s landscape. 

Wood, Rubber, Leather and a C-Clamp
One semester: 3 studio credits
There’s a long tradition in photography of the photographer/inventor. This course will help students to develop skills while they pursue a specific project that aids in the realization of their vision and personal style. Students will construct cameras, lenses and accessories; make modifications to existing equipment, or create a device to help achieve specific photographic results. We will learn to select appropriate materials, develop problem-solving strategies and acquire the necessary skills to see each project from concept to functional device. Projects can be large and complex or small and simple. Class time will be spent on design and construction. As work progresses and projects begin to yield images, they’ll be adjusted and refined to provide superior results. Participants will be taught basic shop safety and will be supervised when using power tools. 

One semester: 3 studio credits
Focusing on the application of theory and practice, this course will explore the uses of visual information in space. We will concentrate on the implications of the relationships among artist, object and audience. Using photo editing, drawing and drafting, model construction, computer and digital technology, experimental materials and nontraditional approaches in installation, students will explore the formal, spatial, conceptual and political aspects of presentation and installation. Class time will employ discussion, slide and electronic media presentation, guest lectures, gallery and museum visits and student experimentation. Assignments are geared toward an end-of-semester exhibition. 

PHD-3423 / PHD-3424
Photo Editing/Curatorial Projects I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester

The photograph’s flexibility, its ability to accrue meaning depending on context, is the basis of these courses. Two different but related procedures will be explored: (1) the curatorial process in which exhibitions are formed that explore various themes and (2) photo editing in which photographs are chosen or assigned to accompany printed text. Students will participate in these processes with work from both inside and outside the College community. Pictorial research and an informative attitude are expected; this is also an opportunity for ideas and themes in each student’s individual work to be identified and amplified. 

Visual Storytelling: Photography in an Editorial Context
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will provide photographers with a foundation to work in the editorial realm. We will focus on different genres regularly found in magazines, including portraiture, conceptualism, still life, fashion and documentary photography. The use of historical information and visual references, both current and vintage, will be used to introduce each type of photography. Students will be required to explore the photographic genres through assignments, completing them just as you would for a magazine. Assignments include photographing for published and unpublished editorials. You will develop a “pitch” for a magazine and then complete an assignment based on your own story idea. Group discussion will take place upon the completion of each unit regarding the editing and sequencing process. Students will produce a minimum of three 8x10" prints for each assignment and contact sheets for critique. Assignments will begin with a single portrait and work up to a photo essay. 

No Place Like Home
One semester: 3 studio credits
This critique-based course will explore various notions of home and how our understanding of family and domestic space influences our perception of home. Class discussions will guide students in developing a series of photographs that directly addresses their own ideas of home and family. The role and treatment of the domestic landscape in contemporary art and film will be considered through slide lectures, film screenings and readings. We will look at the work of photographers and directors, including P. T. Anderson, Tina Barney, Richard Billingham, Larry Clark, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Sally Mann, Lee Friedlander, Nan Goldin, Douglas Sirk, Laurie Simmons, Larry Sultan, Wolfgang Tillmans and John Waters, as well as that of visiting artists. This course is open to all genres of photography. 

The Visual Diary
One semester: 3 studio credits
Diaries are intimate, private and personal memoirs that chronicle lives and have long been part of the history of most creative genres. This course will explore the visual diary in a myriad of contemporary approaches. As a class, we will inquire into the boundary between public and private information and the influence of YouTube, cell phones, Facebook, craigslist and other conveyors of information, as well as historical diaristic forms. As a workshop and critique course, participants will explore the relevance of the diary in the production of a body of work. 

For Memory’s Sake
One semester: 3 studio credits
Events and changes occur in our private lives and in our communities that deserve photographic record and interpretation, both for the present and for posterity. This is a vast subject area with great opportunity for students to find subjects that they feel passionate about. Anything considered worth remembering can be pursued. Photo projects as varied as diaristic and quite personal to far more traditional documentary subjects are appropriate. Through weekly critiques, students will be encouraged and guided to produce a cohesive body of work. The work of relevant artists using a variety of mediums, including painters, sculptors, filmmakers and photographers will be viewed weekly. Students will be encouraged to share artists’ work that inspires them. 

Photography and the Cinema
One semester: 3 studio credits
Both mainstream and independent cinema can play a subconscious role in the photography student’s practice, operating like a deep depository of false memories when confronted by the real. This course will deepen the consideration of the moving image and how it informs the still image, using examples from artists in the 1970s who used photography and found justification in film to work in the current artistic community that appropriates film narrative. We will also address the vigorous relationship of commercial photography with cinema. In addition to lectures and critiques, readings will be assigned and discussed. Emphasis will be placed on articulating ideas as part of an individual’s reasoning process. 

Short-Form Video of Long-Form Classics
One semester: 3 studio credits
Students in this course will produce short-form videos of re-enacted classic movies. We will watch and discuss three classics and, after each film, explore different possible synopses of the plot and how it can be distilled into a video of six to fifteen seconds in length. Students will then work together to write, plan, shoot and edit the short-form video of the classic movie for use on various social media platforms. 

Teaching Photography
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is an outreach program in which SVA students will assist in teaching basic photography to a select group of public high school students. Student-teachers will work on the development of lesson plans and assignments, and share their technical and aesthetic expertise in the classroom. This experience will help you to gain confidence in articulating concepts, and, in the process, contribute to the future of the medium and the community of New York City. 

PHD-4080 / PHD-4085
Photography Thesis I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester

The function of this course is two-fold: as critical seminar of depth and insight, which helps each student to build a coherent body of unique work; and also as an information forum that prepares students for careers in photography. 

Phase One Workshop
One semester: 3 studio credits
This is a course for fourth-year students who wish to be trained in Phase One software, which will enable them to assist on professional jobs for a commercial studio. Software proficiency and on-set workflow will be the focus of in-class tutorials. Students will gain hands-on experience, and those who pass an end of semester exam will be certified in Phase One software. 

Independent Study
One semester: 3 studio credits
Junior or senior students who wish to pursue a special project not covered by the parameters of their department’s curriculum are eligible to apply for an independent study course. Students must have earned a grade point average above 3.00 at SVA, and must submit their study goals as a detailed proposal for approval by the department chair. Proposals for an independent study must be made prior to the course adjustment period for that semester.

One semester: 3 studio credits
Students can gain valuable experience and broaden their professional network through an internship with a sponsor/employer. Internships for credit are available to juniors and seniors who have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or better. To receive credit, students must get approval in advance from their department chair, academic advisor and the internship manager. Students must work a minimum of 150 hours (10 hours per week), participate in a weekly online discussion board with other SVA interns, complete self-evaluations and a final project. Elective studio credit is awarded for the successful completion of an internship.


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