Course Lists

Photography Course List

Take a look at titles and descriptions for the Photography department's courses offered.

PH 232 Black & White Film Photo I

This course introduces the fundamentals of photographic practice. Emphasis is placed on the exposure, development of black and white film, and the silver print as well as the aesthetics of photographic vision. The format includes class demonstrations, lab work, field assignments and critiques.

PH 262 Digital Photography I

An introductory level course that explores the conceptual and practical principles of digital photography through lectures, readings, hands-on assignments, and field trips. Discussion topics focus on camera operation, file formats, the impact of digital technology on contemporary photographic practice, as well as the aesthetic and ethical issues surrounding it. Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, and other software applications are used to explore creative and experimental possibilities for processing and manipulating photographs. Studio work emphasizes printed, still imagery, but students are encouraged to devise new uses for their digital materials. Introduction to input and output peripherals will include digital cameras, scanners, and printers.

PH 325 Photo Journalism

This course is an introduction to photojournalism – visual reporting. Through weekly assignments and critiques, students will explore the role of photography and journalism. Additionally the course will focus on the photographer as a reporter and recorder of specific events and society in general. Students will complete weekly assignments designed to refine technical and reporting skills as well as two longer self-generated documentary projects that require intimate understanding of the subject matter though research, writing and photo-editing abilities. Students will also learn about the profession of photojournalism and editorial photography.

Prerequisite: PH 262

PH 332 Black & White Film Photo II

Offers a refinement of black and white film photography techniques and visual skills through lectures, assignments, darkroom work and critiques. Students should bring samples of work to the first class.

Prerequisite: PH 232

PH 335 Studio Lighting

Explores controlled lighting for still photography in the studio. Students use continuous light sources, electronic studio flash equipment, and natural light to photograph, from small to large studio set ups, macro photography, and models on background paper, sweeps, and locations.

Prerequisite: PH 262

PH 336 Large Format Photography

This studio class explores the long tradition of the view camera in photography. The course emphasizes fundamental techniques of 4 x 5" and 8 x 10" cameras as they apply to landscape, architectural and portrait photography. Students learn to print from large format negatives in the darkroom and digital labs. Cameras are provided.

Prerequisites: PH 262 and PH 332

PH 340 Landscape Photography

This course focuses on nature/nature, rural/agrarian, industrial, urban, and suburban landscapes with emphasis on how they can be interpreted photographically as genre, fact, the sublime, symbol, pure form, culture, and propaganda. There will be assignments, field trips and critiques. Students can work in film or digital photography.

Prerequisite: PH 232 or PH 262

PH 341 Night Photography

Whether a photographer is exploring an artistic vision, or creating imagery for commercial purposes, photographing at night can be both poetically inspiring and technically challenging. This course will provide a survey of the technical, conceptual, and pragmatic skills necessary to successfully make high quality photographs in low-light environments. Topics covered will include proper light exposure, necessary and helpful equipment, reading ambient light, hand-held lighting, mixing light sources, and proper planning and safety. In addition to technical skills, students will explore the history and conceptual implications of photographing at night, through readings, lectures, and visiting artists. Students are welcome to work with any combination of digital or film cameras, as long as they have manual exposure controls available.

Prerequisite: PH 232 or PH 262

PH 342 Deconstructing the Photograph

How do we derive meaning from images? As artists, how can we ensure that our intended meanings are understood by our audiences? These are fundamental and difficult questions for almost all visual artists and their viewers. In the realm of photography, where subject matter usually includes “real things”, the conversation gets more complicated, as objects can simply be themselves, or can symbolize an infinite array of other meanings. In this seven-week course, students will develop and hone their skills and instincts in “reading” their surroundings; not only imagery, but sound, speech, gesture, humor, relationships, and everything else that informs our understanding of the world. This increased attention to nuance and salience will then be applied to photographs as they are made and interpreted by class members. Particular attention will be paid to the effects of cropping, focus, motion blur, color cast, and other photographic phenomena upon the reading of images. Choosing appropriate and productive strategies for critique will be a cornerstone of all discussions. Student should have a working knowledge of her/his camera.

Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors only

PH 343 Environmentally Concernd Photo

A photographic examination of how the landscape has been altered by human incursion and the forces of nature. The course includes readings, research techniques, presentation forms, as well as group and individual projects. Students may work in black and white, color film, or digitally.

Prerequisite: PH 232 or PH 262

PH 345 Contemporary Directions Photo

Familiarizes students with concepts, aesthetic trends and practice in contemporary fine art photography. The first half of the course examines photography from the mid-1950’s to the present, using slide lectures, readings, presentations and field work to think about important practitioners of the medium. The second half of the course includes discussion of critical topics in contemporary photography, organized around themes such as memory, surveillance, text & image, and participatory culture.

Prerequisite: PH 232 and PH 262

PH 346 Socially Engaged Photography

This course emphasizes the use of photography as a communication tool for the visual investigation of the human experience. Through the use of the camera, students develop the skills to be effective storytellers as a means of understanding people in relation to each other, to their environments, and to society. Course discussions address the development of a personal and conscientious style, photographic honesty, the elements of editing and the possibility to generate empathy and/or social change. Guest lectures and occasional field trips to view documentary exhibitions allow for additional exploration within the field. Each student will participate in a community outreach project.

Prerequisite: PH 232 or PH 262

PH 349 Social Documentary Photography

Students photograph, research, and investigate documentary subjects of their own choice to engage in the problems of photographic production and seeing. They analyze and discuss the work of a diverse group of photographic artists, starting with Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange and the Farm Security Administration to contemporary photographers such as Doug Dubois, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Gregory Halpern, Deana Lawson, Sally Mann, and Zoe Strauss. Documentary, photojournalism, and ethics will be examined. Students may work digitally, with film, or a combination of the two.

Prerequisite: PH 232 and PH 262

PH 350 Expanding the Archive

While photographing disappearing Paris, Eugène Atget referred to himself not as a photographer, but as an archivist. The photograph holds an entangled relationship with collecting, and from the 1960’s onwards the artist-as-archivist phenomenon has accelerated. The creation and mining of institutional and personal collections of images, documents and objects has fueled the creativity of artists such as Boltanski, Calle, Richter, Warhol and Wilson. Advanced level photo students will explore local archives and museums to create work inspired by their holdings. Through their personal vision students will be encouraged to interpret, re-invent, define and examine the meaning of collecting.

Prerequisite: PH 232 and PH 262

PH 354 Photographic Book

An artist’s book class that uses photographic imagery as its primary source. The photographic book extends the photographic series into time and space. Assignments focus on book structures and book binding, image sequencing, and page design.

Prerequisite: PH 262

PH 355 The Body in Photography

From photography’s inception to the present moment, the body has captivated, repelled, and engaged us. From the rarified to the sensual, the erotic to the embattled, the body in photography continues to intrigue. This course is designed to keep the human form at its center, with all openness to explore the many tributaries that flow from this subject. Students are encouraged to think broadly about the figure, and to consider how the long tradition of photographing the nude has shifted in the 21st century. Students respond to specific assignments, readings, and exhibitions. The latter part of the semester consists of a self-initiated project and the production of a portfolio of work based on a personal interpretation of issues surrounding the human figure in photography.

Prerequisites: PH 262 and PH 332

PH 363 Digital Photography II

A critical seminar for the use of digital tools in artistic practice, building on skills and ideas learned in Digital Photography I. Work focuses on production and high quality output of still imagery. Specific topics are derived from readings, discussion, and critiques, and will emphasize narrative forms, such as sequencing, artist books, print-on-demand books, and/or interactive web presentations.

Prerequisite: PH 262

PH 371 Professional Strategies Photo

This course explores pre- and post-graduation strategies and professional skills for photographers. Discussions will include setting goals, time management, ethics, web presence, social media skills, grants and fellowships, artist residencies, networking and conferences, applying to internships and jobs, portfolio review events, and exhibiting in galleries, museums, and alternative spaces. We will discuss freelance business skills, such as quoting jobs, negotiating, copyright, licensing, pricing structures, invoicing, and tax responsibilities. The course includes lectures, practical exercises, packet-building, guest speakers, field trips, and attendance at Career Development workshops. In addition to other coursework, each student will complete a branded website and submit applications for external opportunities.

Photography majors and concentrators only

PH 373 Picturing the Third Dimension

Explore the inherent dimensionality of the photograph, from the physical presence of the print to the expanding relationship between photography and the sculptural form. The photograph, which purports to transmute reality into a fixed 2D realm, can distort, complicate, and tease constructed materials and environments (both physical and digital) to great effect. Similarly, the photograph can quickly become a 3D object with the act of folding a printed image in half. Through a series of assignments, aimed at establishing the technical and critical means by which to investigate what constitutes a photograph, students make work and pose questions that probe the ever-shifting boundaries of the Post-Internet image.

Prerequisite: PH 262

PH 375 Narrative Strategies

It is said that a photograph wears the aspect of fact but says nothing. This ambiguity has not prevented photographs from being use to construct visual stories such as the classic picture essay. This course explores how editing and sequencing create relationships between images. The role of text and the use of allegory in contemporary photographic practice are also considered.

Prerequisite: PH 232 and PH 262

PH 377 Creativity & Intuition

Proust said “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” We are taught our whole lives to think things through, be in control, and act with reason rather than intuition, but that approach limits our vision to see just what we expect, not what is actually in front of us. This course is about finding new ways to see rather than searching for a new subject, emphasizing the camera as a tool to intuitively explore our vision and the world around us. Through assignments, exercises, readings, and discussions, the students will explore the idea of "seeing with new eyes". By encouraging process over product and intuition over reason, students will develop a more intuitive visual approach to photography.

Prerequisites: PH 262 and PH 332

PH 382 Color Photography

This course emphasizes both the technical and aesthetic possibilities of color negative film photography. Theory, history, and contemporary directions of color photography are explored. Students produce a portfolio of color prints.

Pre: PH 332

PH 385 Image and Context

The use of a lens structures vision in a particular way. What does it mean to peep, stare, or survey a subject? The first part of the class deals with the ramifications of lens-based vision, the second half considers context. Whether the image is viewed on a wall or as part of an installation, in a book or on a computer screen, issues such as size, editing, and arrangement are important. Students may choose to work with video or digital technology as well as film photography.

Prerequisite: PH 232 or PH 262

PH 386 Alternative Processes in Photo

This is an experimental course which introduces students to historical techniques to augment their contemporary vision. Assignments in darkroom and digital negative making, cyanotype, van dyke, and pin hole photography lead the student to a broader understanding of the possibilities of photography.

Prerequisite: PH 332

PH 390 Junior Photography Seminar

Under the direction of the faculty member, each student formulates and pursues a body of personal photographic work. Investigation of contemporary photographic theory and professional practices are key parts of the seminar.

Prerequisites: PH 332 and PH 345, or AH 332

PH 394 Palladium Printing

Palladium printing is a 19th century photographic process that yields an archival print with a long and rich tonal range. In this course, students use large format negatives and an ultraviolet light source to produce a final image of pure palladium. With focus on making the appropriate negative, the subtleties of hand-coated emulsion and the importance of paper choice. Since this is a contact process, knowledge of large format will enhance your experience, although we will cover enlarging techniques for 35mm negatives as well.

Prerequisite: PH 332 and PH 386

PH 405 Still/Moving

Technology is transforming the way lens based art is created and consumed. This course serves as an introduction to the creation and appreciation of moving images for students with a still photography background. Through lectures, reading assignments and individual research presentations, students examine the complex relationship between still photography, and the moving image. In-class demonstrations are given on the capture and editing of both digital video, and still photography. Students also be required to conceptualize and execute visual media, culminating in a final project. Through looking critically at the shared history, creative goals and technologically driven future of these seemingly disparate mediums, we will open a discourse on their shared future.

Prerequisite: PH 345

PH 425 Conceptual Art and Photography

The influence of conceptual art and artists from the late 1960's and 1970's resonates throughout contemporary photographic practice. Students look at some of these artists and their projects and follow the threads through to the present time. A sequence of thematic explorations will examine different aspects of what it means to work conceptually. As Sol LeWitt famously said: “Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach”.

Prerequisite: PH 232 and PH 262

PH 430 Fine Art of Digital Printing

The course explores advanced technique of digital printing. Students work on individual digital photo projects, researching the best papers, inks or other materials. Beyond the software settings and the hardware controls for making good prints, the students learn about color management, and how to effectively use it for making the exact image that they envision.

Prerequisite: PH 262 and PH 363

PH 490 Senior Thesis Project

In addition to creating a major thesis project, students write an accompanying proposal and artist’s statement. Students research avenues of professional practice. Students meet with visiting artists and critics in preparation for final critique with an external reviewer and senior thesis coordinators.

Prerequisite: PH 390; Senior level Photography majors only

PH 491 Senior Thesis Project II

This is the second half of a two semester series of studio class which is required of all photography majors. In addition to creating a major thesis project, students write an accompanying proposal and artist’s statement. Students research avenues of professional practice. Students meet with visiting artists and critics in preparation for final critique with an external reviewer and senior thesis coordinators.

Prerequisite: PH 490