Photography

Bachelor of Fine Arts
in Photography

Contemporary photography goes beyond the technical concerns of mastering the technique; it is about the nature, the power of the content and how it can be used, because the image is not only a tool of transmission but also an instrument of understanding.–

— Klaus Fruchtnis, Chair of Photography

The photography curriculum balances analog and digital technologies with an emphasis on developing a creative vision and gaining a solid understanding of the image-making process. The program considers not only the technical aspects of image creation and production, but also examines how photographs are disseminated, presented, discussed, used, documented or archived: in short, how they function in today’s image driven society. The department equally addresses technical and conceptual skills, since both are essential to any successful photographic practice. Students are encouraged to work cross-disciplinary and may attend courses in other departments such as Communication Design, Fine Arts, or Fashion, in order to think about photography’s broader applications, implications and contexts. Through a progressive core seminar structure, lectures, lab and studio courses as well as an internship, students gain first-hand commercial experience from practicing photographers and learn about innovative, cutting-edge approaches relevant to a photographic practice, while defining their own unique way of working.

The four-year photography program includes a direct-entry option, allowing students to specialize in image-making from the first year. However, students who have enrolled in the more general Foundation year program can still declare their major in Photography after the end of the Foundation year and will need to do three more years to complete their photography degree requirements.

Faculty

Klaus Fruchtnis

Klaus Fruchtnis

Associate Dean for Graduate Studies & Chair of Photography
tara bogart

Tara Bogart

Professor & Lab Technician

Curriculum

Credits

Foundation

fall

Black & White Photography

Code
FHOT 0218
Description

The medium of photography is largely defined by its history of black and white pictures. The course will cover camera operation, principles of exposure and photographic composition concepts. The goal of this class is to provide a solid foundation of photographic black and white photography skills and techniques. It provides an overview of classic black and white photography while discussing camera techniques that apply to both traditional film and digital cameras. Students will learn how to effectively use their cameras in manual mode and make good quality negatives. The class includes camera and exposure meter instruction, technical lectures, effective scanning methods and instruction on film/digital crossover techniques.

Materials and Dimensions I

Code
FFND 0110
Description

This course is an introduction to dimensions in art and design (2D, 3D, Photography and Moving Image) through material processes. Over the course of the semester students rotate for one month through three discipline areas. A common theme links the three courses and projects overlap and develop progressively. All first years take part in a joint critique of their work. Students are taught how to use practical tools and shown methods for handling materials that provide concrete starting points for creative practice. These include, but are not limited to: book-making, basic printmaking, black and white printing, sewing inductions, moving image workshops, and the operation of woodwork machinery.

City as Studio

Code
FFND 0174
Description

Students explore their immediate neighbourhood and the city at large as a site of inspiration. The city and its spaces become an extended classroom. Students respond to a theme designed to encourage interaction and integration with their surroundings and new, unexpected ways of looking at their environment. Site visits, walks, lectures, readings, and practical exercises guide students through different approaches to the creative process with the aim that they develop their own methodologies and engage with the city as potential artists and/or designers.

Introduction to Digital Media I

Code
FFND 0170
Description

This course aims to equip all first year students with the necessary skills and confidence to be able to use digital tools. The curriculum is project-led and structured so that students can apply their growing skill-set to realize their ideas. All projects are contextualized with examples of work by contemporary artists and designers who are working with digital media. Students are introduced to the possibilities for digital tools as part of their creative work.

Critical Thinking & Writing I

Code
FLIB 1011
Description

This year-long course is designed to improve critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. Students learn to understand the inherent argument and logic of a text, to think more systematically and critically, and to write more effectively by developing skills in the structure, grammar, and mechanics of writing. Students also work toward the more focused goal of situating design and art practices within larger intellectual, historical and philosophical frameworks by exploring the indissoluble connection between ideas and the products of human culture. This is achieved by introducing students to texts representing and describing various methodologies applicable to art and design, which can then be used to critique and analyze visual and material artifacts.

spring

Color Photography

Code
FHOT 0211
Description

Students are introduced to basic photography using color materials. Through a year-long study, they learn to master camera controls and film exposure in the format of their choice. Ambient and artificial lighting as well as their impact on various emulsions are examined with an eye towards producing high quality digital color prints, color C-prints and transparencies. Emphasis will be on developing a personal approach and vision using color materials. Exposure to historical antecedents, contemporary readings and criticism are integrated into the course.

Materials and Dimensions II

Code
FFND 0111
Description

Building on the practical knowledge acquired in in ‘Materials and Dimensions I’ students develop their ideas with more autonomy whilst being supported by the technical expertise of their instructors. In this course students focus on the relationship between design, process and final outcome in 2-Dimensions. After an introduction to color theory and symbolism, students learn about color through print. Students are taught to question and analyze the image-making process. Through set assignments students explore different media and techniques and learn how to select the most effective methods to communicate their ideas.

Introduction To Digital Media II

Code
FFND 0171
Description

Students develop projects with a growing complexity, employing the computer less as a tool and more as a medium to be manipulated with greater confidence and control. The aim of the course is to create an awareness of the potential for digital techniques to solve visual and communication problems. Advanced skills are taught during the Semester that support and encourage an ambitious approach to the digital field. Students integrate digital and non-digital practice and explore mixing different softwares and media. All projects are contextualized with examples of work by contemporary artists and designers who are working with digital media. By the end of the course all students are confident to use digital tools as part of their creative work.

Artistic Migrations: Paris

Code
FLIB 1104
Description

This course introduces students to the notion of the city as palimpsest and the center of cultural and social exchanges. It will expose them to a selection of writers and artists who have travelled to and from Paris, and help them understand the role played by this city in relation to cultural and political capitals throughout the world. The city itself will be the subject of a visual and intellectual inquiry via themes that focus on Paris as a historically significant urban social, political and cultural center past and present.

Students will learn about key moments in French history, from the Romans on, via the Middle Ages and the Revolution, they will be introduced to such themes as political migrations and colonialism, and will explore the city from a variety of points of views including literary and artistic exchanges, urban history, architecture, and ecology. Active exploration of the environment is strongly encouraged and students are asked to observe and analyze phenomena of the city through site visits, the examination of texts and images, and first-hand encounters with museums, galleries, and libraries, as well as other art and design-related resources in the city.

Critical Thinking & Writing II

Code
FLIB 1012
Description

This year-long course is designed to improve critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. Students learn to understand the inherent argument and logic of a text, to think more systematically and critically, and to write more effectively by developing skills in the structure, grammar, and mechanics of writing. Students also work toward the more focused goal of situating design and art practices within larger intellectual, historical and philosophical frameworks by exploring the indissoluble connection between ideas and the products of human culture. This is achieved by introducing students to texts representing and describing various methodologies applicable to art and design, which can then be used to critique and analyze visual and material artifacts.

Sophomore Year

fall

Sophomore Seminar I

Code
FHOT 0230
Description

This seminar addresses both technique and critique. Throughout the semester students will work in the studio and field, recreating the conditions of the working photographer. Technique is at the service of ideas. The development of a personal project will also be required. Students will continue to develop a strong body of work informed by critical readings and discussions. An essential aspect of the seminar is the deepening of visual sensibilities and the discovery of new ways of seeing. Students will work on multiple projects throughout the semester and produce and present a cohesive body of work at the end of the term.

Prerequisites: Semester 1 or equivalent are prerequisites for semester 2.

Moving Image I

Code
FFAR 0209
Description

The video course is organized as a creative workshop, where students are encouraged to engage quickly in a personal research. A strong involvement is necessary to achieve any 4D project including in class tutorials and independent work.

The first semester will be devoted to technical familiarization with the different filming tools, recording sound and linear editing, in order to acquire spontaneity. The goal for this first term is to develop all the technical skills, and create automatisms to best serve the video practice. Students will be encouraged to use their personal filming tools (smartphones, regular consumer cameras, etc.), as basic as they could seem, to allow a common and natural usage. The collected imagery and sound will serve students all year to build their personal research and artistic proposals.

We will see how different artists create images from three constitutive elements: light, space, and time. We will learn that an image can not be simply reduced to the broadcast visual element, but includes the contextual presentation. We will discuss the importance of the distribution of light and colors in the development of this overall picture, which will introduce the space, set design and the role of the spectator. We will approach the various possible temporal modalities of the image broadcast: real time, delayed linear continuity, disruptive continuity (interactivity, random images, etc.), and their influence on the space and the spectator.

Prerequisite : Foundation Core studios

Lighting Techniques I

Code
FHOT 0232
Description

This is the first part of a year-long course of learning and mastering the fundamental techniques of studio lighting. The students become familiar with how to create traditional, practical lighting scenarios in a studio environment. Electronic flashes and tungsten lights will be used to achieve control of color, contrast and reflection. Lighting techniques are demonstrated and applied in class to various assignments of tabletop still lifes and portraiture. Emphasis is placed on understanding light and of mastering the technical aspects of the lighting equipment. Assignments will be theme based: headshots, full portraits, and several still lifes.

Prerequisite: Black & White Photography or Introduction to Digital Photography or equivalent.

Digital Photography Lab I

Code
FHOT 0257
Description

This year-long course introduces students to the creative and technical possibilities of digital photography. Through demonstrations and hands-on sessions, students learn the fundamentals of Adobe Photoshop to produce effective digital photographs. Students are taken through all the basic processes encountered in digital workflow, from basic scanning and retouching, image enhancement, and printing fundamentals, to RAW file processing and photographic post-production methods.

Prerequisite(s): Black & White Photography, Introduction to Digital Photography, Digital Skills & Composition or equivalent.

Studio Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many course offerings in your department or in other departments with the approval of your department chair.

Introduction To Visual Culture

Code
FHCA 0340
Description

This interdisciplinary course explores the rise of visual media, communication and information, within the context of a broad cultural shift away from the verbal and textual toward the visual, which has taken place since the advent of photography and cinema in the late 19th century, through the birth of television, to the present proliferation of digital media worldwide. We will consider the critical practices of looking, historicizing and interpreting that have accompanied this ‘visual turn’. Our readings will primarily address the theoretical foundations of the study of visual culture, which is understood to incorporate a variety of visual media and visual technologies: painting and sculpture, scientific imagery, material culture, the internet. If everything can be visual culture, what remains of traditional notions of medium specificity? What critical tools must be invented to analyze visual events from a visual cultural perspective? The relationship between the visual arts and visual media, especially with respect to the ‘global’ contemporary visual landscape, will be a focus of this course.

Liberal Studies Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies Program page for more information.

spring

Sophomore Seminar II

Code
FHOT 0231
Description

This seminar builds on the Freshman Seminar and further deepens an understanding of photographic practice and theory. Students will continue to develop a strong body of work informed by critical readings and discussions. An essential aspect of the seminar is the deepening of visual sensibilities and the discovery of new ways of seeing. Students will work on multiple projects throughout the semester and produce and present a cohesive body of work at the end of the term.

Prerequisites: Semester 1 or equivalent are prerequisites for semester 2.

Lighting Techniques II

Code
FHOT 0233
Description

Part two of a year-long course of learning and mastering the fundamental techniques of studio lighting. The students become familiar with how to create traditional, practical lighting scenarios in a studio and also in an outdoor environment using multiple light sources while mixing studio electronic flash with outdoor light. Electronic flashes and tungsten lights will be used to achieve control of color, contrast and reflection. Emphasis is placed on understanding light and of mastering the technical aspects of the lighting equipment. Lighting techniques are demonstrated and applied in class to various assignments. The class is project based. The students will choose their projects from several themes: headshot/ portraits, nudes, outdoor flash portraits, and in-class still lifes.

Prerequisite: Lighting Techniques 1

Digital Photography Lab II

Description

This year-long course introduces students to the creative and technical possibilities of digital photography. Through demonstrations and hands-on sessions, students learn the fundamentals of Adobe Photoshop to produce effective digital photographs. Students are taken through all the basic processes encountered in digital workflow, from basic scanning and retouching, image enhancement, and printing fundamentals, to RAW file processing and photographic post-production methods.

Prerequisite(s): Black & White Photography, Introduction to Digital Photography, Digital Skills & Composition or equivalent.

Studio Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many course offerings in your department or in other departments with the approval of your department chair.

History of Photography

Code
FHCA 0206
Description

Photographers can’t and don’t take pictures at random. Since photography’s invention, the act of photographing has been framed both by the technical realities of the medium and by social and aesthetic traditions. This course will examine some of the major movements and styles in the history of photography, with particular attention to the rich 1880-1970 period. Through study of the pioneering work of key individuals, we will analyze how creative possibilities changed and expanded over time, and how the options and artistic stances we take for granted emerged historically. Each week will focus on a key movement or conceptual innovation, which we will study through image analysis, historical and technical context and the reading of primary texts by photographers and secondary texts by historians or critics. Students will prepare a presentation in which they analyze a body of images by a photographer of their choice and present a series of their own photographs exploring that photographer’s way of working.

Liberal Studies Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies Program page for more information.

Junior Year

fall

Junior Seminar I

Code
FHOT 0300
Description

This is a year-long course building on the Freshman and Sophomore Seminars, serving as a critical and technical exploration of the language and theory of photography. Students will further develop their individual photographic statements while placing their work within conceptual and historical contexts. This semester, we will be placing a particular emphasis on working with medium and large format cameras. Artists working in other mediums, such as video, sculpture, painting and installation, will be examined as well. Students will work on two shorter assignments and one longer term, self-designed project throughout the first semester, culminating in a body of work that will be presented at the end-of-the-term show.

Advanced Printing Techniques

Code
FHOT 0333
Description

This creative advanced lighting course will built on Lighting Seminar I and II and introduce students to a broad range of advanced lighting situations. Students will also learn how to analyze light in contemporary photography (Phillip Llorca di Corcia, Roger Ballen, Gregory Crewdson, Jeff Wall) and in various other mediums such as cinema (David Lynch, Jean-Luc Godard, Henri-Georges Clouzot, Igmar Bergman, Wim Wenders, etc), cinetic art, amongst others. The students will then use these influences for their various assignments. They will learn how to be creative in using the techniques they have acquired in Lighting Techniques I and II. Through hands-on practice and creative assignments, students will become comfortable with the use of all commonly used professional lighting equipment and accessories. The students will be able to choose from a series of assignments or to create their own.

Photography and the Marketplace

Code
FHOT 0326
Description

This course will look at both the business and practical side of the photographic industry and the importance of understanding and working to a client brief. Students will shoot an advertising campaign for a chosen brand in the studio and on location. All work will be produced in the context of the final printed formats with typography. A call sheet & invoice will be produced for each shoot. We will look at legal agreements, contracts, model releases and copyright, as well as reproduction rights, rights of the client, photographer and third parties. On the fine art side: We will look at dealing with galleries, physical and online, submissions, commissions, promotion, paperwork, framing and private views. Remember ‘You are your own brand’ as David Ogilvy said “ if you can’t sell yourself, what hope have you of selling anything else?”

Studio Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many course offerings in your department or in other departments with the approval of your department chair.

Topics in Photo History

Code
FHCA 0302
Description

“The history of photography has been less a journey than a growth. Its movement has not been linear and consecutive, but centrifugal. Photography, and our understanding of it, has spread from a center; it has, by infusion, penetrated our consciousness. Like an organism, photography was born whole. It is in our progressive discovery of it that its history lies.” John Szarkoswki, who directed the New York MOMA photography department from 1962 until 1991, concluded in 1966 his introduction to “The Photographers’ Eye” with this paragraph. Confirmed by time in its forward looking accuracy, it also hints at the ambition involved in any survey of photography since 1960. This course will nonetheless take on the challenge, using an approach combining chronology and themes. Extensive focus will be placed on looking at photographs. The course will proceed chronologically and each class will explore a specific theme in depth. Themes are chosen for their general interest. To complete the perspective, works extending beyond the period alongside which they are introduced will be discussed as well.

Liberal Studies Electives

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies Program page for more information.

spring

Junior Seminar II

Code
FHOT 0301
Description

This is a year-long course building on the Freshman and Sophomore Seminars, serving as a critical and technical exploration of the language and theory of photography. Students will further develop their individual photographic statements while placing their work within conceptual and historical contexts. This semester, we will be placing a particular emphasis on working with medium and large format cameras. Artists working in other mediums, such as video, sculpture, painting and installation, will be examined as well. Students will work on two shorter assignments and one longer term, self-designed project throughout the first semester, culminating in a body of work that will be presented at the end-of-the-term show.

Large Format Camera Techniques

Code
FHOT 0330
Description

The Large Format Photography course is devoted to both the technical and creative use of the view camera. Throughout the semester students will work in the studio and field to develop a personal project and perfect technical skills. I will be inviting the students to discover how the view camera is key to contemporary photographic practice by exploring books and exhibitions. By semester’s end an elegant and cohesive portfolio will have been produced. What is essential will be to improve technical skills and find new ways of seeing through large format photography.

Studio Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many course offerings in your department or in other departments with the approval of your department chair.

Art History Electives

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Art History Program page for more information.

Liberal Studies Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies Program page for more information.

Senior Year

fall

Senior Seminar I

Code
FHOT 0400
Description

This year-long seminar continues to build on the previous Junior Seminar. Part one of this course is dedicated to help the student identify a subject that will be developed into a senior thesis project, while continuing to challenge the students’ critical and technical exploration of the medium. Part two of the seminar is dedicated to producing a body of photographic work, a written thesis component contextualizing the images, and culminates in a gallery exhibit. The final thesis project/exhibition will be reviewed and evaluated by a jury consisting of faculty members and guest critics from the Parisian photographic community.

Prerequisites: Semester 1 or equivalent are prerequisites for semester 2.

Professional Identity: Website

Code
FHOT 0405
Description

This course focuses on the individual promotional needs of each student as they prepare to enter professional life. Part one of this course will be dedicated to editing existing work and building a basic website and stationery package that highlight the students best work.

Senior Thesis & Portfolio I

Code
FHOT 0402
Description

This year-long Senior Thesis and Portfolio class focuses on student’s research skills, and to improve each student’s capacity to express the relationship between their visual and text-based research and their studio practice. In the construction of a clear Senior Thesis paper, each student should organize and streamline her research while reflecting on the evolution of her studio work. The Senior Thesis paper should allow each student to contextualize her work in relation to a larger art historical, theoretical or material-based narrative. The Senior Thesis paper may also embody a more creative approach, forming a story or a play that directly relates to the student’s studio practice. This class also will look at an artist’s professional identity with emphasis given to the presentation of a final portfolio. Areas covered will include: Portfolio content and flow, presentation ideas and practical solutions, self-branding, biography, artist statements, business cards and portfolio leave behind cards.

Studio Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many course offerings in your department or in other departments with the approval of your department chair.

Liberal Studies Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies Program page for more information.

spring

Senior Seminar II

Code
FHOT 0401
Description

This year-long seminar continues to build on the previous Junior Seminar. Part one of this course is dedicated to help the student identify a subject that will be developed into a senior thesis project, while continuing to challenge the students’ critical and technical exploration of the medium. Part two of the seminar is dedicated to producing a body of photographic work, a written thesis component contextualizing the images, and culminates in a gallery exhibit. The final thesis project/exhibition will be reviewed and evaluated by a jury consisting of faculty members and guest critics from the Parisian photographic community.

Prerequisites: Semester 1 or equivalent are prerequisites for semester 2.

Senior Thesis & Portfolio II

Code
FHOT 0403
Description

This year-long Senior Thesis and Portfolio class focuses on student’s research skills, and to improve each student’s capacity to express the relationship between their visual and text-based research and their studio practice. In the construction of a clear Senior Thesis paper, each student should organize and streamline her research while reflecting on the evolution of her studio work. The Senior Thesis paper should allow each student to contextualize her work in relation to a larger art historical, theoretical or material-based narrative. The Senior Thesis paper may also embody a more creative approach, forming a story or a play that directly relates to the student’s studio practice. This class also will look at an artist’s professional identity with emphasis given to the presentation of a final portfolio. Areas covered will include: Portfolio content and flow, presentation ideas and practical solutions, self-branding, biography, artist statements, business cards and portfolio leave behind cards.

Studio Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many course offerings in your department or in other departments with the approval of your department chair.

Liberal Studies Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies Program page for more information.

Overall Credits Total
134