Draft in progress

Undergraduate Photography Courses

Note: In sequenced courses (e.g., I, II, III, IV), successful completion of each course is a prerequisite for the next course in the sequence. For example, VPH 1010/Photography I is a prerequisite for VPH 2030/Photography II. All VPH courses are limited to photography majors.

Photography I
VPH 1010
/ 3 credits / Every semester
This introduction to the basic techniques and concepts of analog black-and-white photography covers exposure, the Zone system, film development, preparation of developers, enlarging, spotting, and dry mounting. Assignments alternate between technical, aesthetic, and expressive concerns. Offered as NME 1010 for new media majors and as SOA 1110 for students in all other disciplines.

Photography II
VPH 2030
/ 3 credits / Every semester
A continuation of VPH 1010, with continued emphasis on the basic concepts of analog photography and the introduction of digital black-and-white photography, including an introduction to print toners, camera filters, Adobe Photoshop, inkjet printing, and film scanning. Assignments alternate between technical and creative concerns. Offered as SOA 2110 for students in other disciplines.
Prerequisite: VPH 1010 or SOA 1110

Looking at Photographs
VPH 2320
/ 3 credits / Every semester
A critical and historical approach to photography is developed in this lecture/discussion. Emphasis is given to a vocabulary of photographic viewing, as well as to the interactions of photography, painting, and documentation. The needs of chronology and historical interpretation are also considered. Written papers required. Offered as SOA 2130 for students in other disciplines.

The Photograph as Document
VPH 2500
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
This course focuses on a concern for human situations and conditions, while maintaining a respect for the inner vision of the photographer. Topics include imagery about people in both a private and a social environment.
Prerequisite: VPH 1010

The Photographic Essay
VPH 2505
/ 3 credits / Summer (offered in France)
Students explore photographic language to develop a narrative related to a specific setting. Using formal elements like color and composition, students construct a document on a selected theme or subject, drawing on the visual and cultural context of the area. Development of the content of photographs as a group is emphasized, so that the camera’s language and the cumulative effect of photographic documentation can be explored. Working with digital cameras (a simple one is fine!), students select images for printing and establish a photographic sequence that translates ideas and experiences into a visual story for presentation to the class.

Digital Photography I
VPH 2660
/ 3 credits / Every semester
An exploration of the color digital photographic image, from capture with a digital SLR camera to methods of printing using Adobe Photoshop and inkjet printers. RAW file processing, editing, and various printing techniques are investigated. Includes hands-on work, theory, and the history of both color photography and photo-image manipulation. Students must own a digital SLR camera; please contact the School of Art+Design for specifications.
Prerequisite: VPH 2030

Special Photography Workshop
VPH 2700
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
An extensive study of a particular topic or technique in photography. Topics vary each semester. May be taken a second time for credit.
Prerequisite: VPH 1010

Sophomore Seminar
VPH 2880
/ 3 credits / Fall
A survey of contemporary artists, ideas, and texts in which basic research skills are taught. A combination of slide lectures, discussions of readings, and museum/gallery visits familiarize students with contemporary art discourse and many of its important figures.
Prerequisite: VPH 2030

Visiting Artist
VPH 3050
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Visiting artists work with advanced students to further develop their photographic skills and abilities. Students work independently and meet for group discussions and critiques. Readings and field trips may supplement the visiting artist’s discussions.
Prerequisite: VPH 2880

Urban Landscape
VPH 3100
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
In this “think tank,” art is developed that deals with the variety of the constructed environment. Diverse approaches are used to shape a concept of urban space. Using photo-related media, students explore and create provocative work; images are made, taken, stolen, borrowed, defaced, and ultimately transformed.
Prerequisite: VPH 2880

VPH 3160
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Nonsilver photo processes involve the use of alternatives to traditional photographic paper. Students work with collotype, a continuous-tone printing process that is one of the earliest photographic processes. Other nonsilver photographic processes (e.g., cyanotype, platinum/palladium printing, photogravure, Iris prints, Polaroid transfer) are also studied.
Prerequisite: VPH 2880

VPH 3210
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
A seminar and critique in which visual and conceptual notions of photographic imagery are filtered through philosophical, psychological, and cultural interpretations of dream and reality. The seminar includes readings, discussion, visual exercises, and group critique.
Prerequisite: VPH 2880

Dream and Reality
VPH 3220
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
In this visual and conceptual investigation of photographic imagery, visual narrative strategies and literary methods like memoir, diary, confession, and autobiography are used.
Prerequisite: VPH 2880

View Camera
VPH 3250
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
The basic concepts and techniques concerning field and view cameras, including the use of swings, tilts, shifts, and rises, are covered. Assignments deal with portraits, still life, architecture, and landscapes and the particular problems and opportunities each presents.
Prerequisite: VPH 2880

Studio Photography
VPH 3300
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Technical and creative photographic experiences are put to practical use. Assignments explore artificial and natural lighting, their diverse properties, and uses of tungsten and electronic flash lamps. Technical skills developed also include use of 4x5 cameras, the Zone System of exposure and development for black and white film, understanding of bellows extension factor and reciprocity failure; color temperature, and filtering and exposure of color transparency film.
Prerequisite: VPH 2880

VPH 3390
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
A practical investigation of narrative strategies as a predominant aspect of still photography and photo-related imagery. Sequence, series, the grid, linear and nonlinear approaches, and literary models are explored as the deep structure of subject. In addition to assigned readings and visual exercises, students complete a self-directed project in consultation with the instructor, resulting in a portfolio of images, a book, and/or a photographic installation.
Prerequisite: VPH 2880

Advanced Silver Processes
VPH 3440
/ 3 credits / Spring
Students learn to embrace the potential of the black-and-white silver print as a unique and richly expressive vehicle for their visual ideas. Advanced exposure and development controls for a variety of film types and papers are explored, including push and pull processing, the Zone System, bleaching and toning, and mural printing.
Prerequisite: VPH 2030 and 2320

Photographic Intervention
VPH 3460
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
A studio/critique course that investigates the meaning and application of “photographic intervention.” The style, form, and content of documentary, landscape, portrait, street, and snapshot photography, as well as the differences between objective and subjective approaches to the medium, are focused on throughout the course. In assignments, students apply and discuss methods of photographic intervention (e.g., lighting, perspective, framing, narrative, contrast, tone, color palette).
Prerequisite: VPH 2880

Constructed Reality
VPH 3470
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Study and assignments include such aspects of photography as still life, portraiture, fantasy, tableau, genre, sequential and serial, as well as a reordering of the real world. Trends and examples in contemporary photography are studied through slides, books, and field trips.
Prerequisite: VPH 2880

Contemporary Trends in Photography
VPH 3560
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
An overview of contemporary photography and the major trends that shape it. Through a series of lectures, gallery visits, and critiques, students follow the developments of photographic art through history in order to place their own work within a global context.
Prerequisite: VPH 2880

Digital Photography II
VPH 3660
/ 3 credits / Fall
In this continuation of VPH 2660, larger work as well as more complex editing and printing methods are explored. Techniques covered include advanced film scanning and sharpening, noise reduction, compositing, and masks. Students are challenged to find ways in which their technical decisions can clarify their artistic intentions. Includes hands-on work, theory, and the history of conceptual photography. Students must own a digital SLR camera; contact the School of Art+Design for specifications.
Prerequisite: VPH 2660

Junior Seminar
VPH 3690
/ 3 credits / Spring
A special preparatory course required for juniors who intend to complete a senior project in photography. Coursework includes intensive critiques, weekly written exercises, and both assigned and self-directed projects—all directed toward making, knowing, and judging each individual’s work.
Prerequisite: VPH 2880

Professional Practices
VPH 3740
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Technical and professional information is provided to help students in their transition to the world of professional photography and related fields. Students concentrate on developing a portfolio, artist statement, résumé, and publicity materials, and on learning how to present and exhibit their work.
Prerequisite: VPH 2880

Studio Assistant
VPH 3950
Refer to VPD 3950 in Painting and Drawing Courses for description.
Prerequisite: VPH 1010, NME 1010, or SOA 1110

The Contemporary Landscape
VPH 4100
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
A photographic examination of the contemporary landscape and a parallel inquiry into the cultural tensions and complexities of contemporary society. Topics include interpretation of land use; the growth and decline of urban, suburban, and rural communities; the politics of climate change; and the myths of conservation and development. Both traditional and experimental documentation are encouraged, as are personal and psychological interpretations. Includes directed, self-directed, and collaborative projects, critiques, and field trips.
Prerequisite: VPH 2880

Advanced Nonsilver Photography
VPH 4160
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
In this continuation of VPH 3160, both new processes (salt print, gum bichromate) and advanced procedures and practices (cyanotype, combination printing, platinum/palladium, printing-out paper) are introduced. An in-depth study of the digital negative process constitutes a significant portion of the course. Each student is expected to define a long-term project that results in a finished body of work by the end of the semester.
Prerequisite: VPH 3160

Senior Seminar and Critique
VPH 4400
/ 3 credits / Fall
An intensive seminar and critique required for students during their senior year. Students work on self-directed projects and make an oral presentation on their work, attempting to place it within a context of cultural factors.
Prerequisite: VPH 3690

Field Trips to Museums and Galleries:
A Practical Course for Working Photographers
VPH 4470
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
A practical course for working photographers that meets regularly in New York City and beyond to view photographic exhibitions and collections. Emphasis is placed on the complex nature of influence, with special consideration given to translating viewing experiences into practice.
Prerequisite: VPH 2880

Special Topics in Photography
VPH 4500
and VPH 4501 (second time) / 3 credits
Special topic (offered irregularly)
Extensive study of a particular topic or technique in photography; topics vary each semester. May be taken a second time for credit (VPH 4501).
Prerequisite: VPH 2880

Senior Project for Photography (Two Semesters)
PHO 4990 / 4 credits (per semester) / Every semester
The two-semester, 8-credit senior project is required for all photography majors in their senior year. It is an intensive independent study undertaken with faculty sponsorship, in which students pursue a particular theme or topic as a culmination of their undergraduate experience. A written thesis and visual documentation of the project must be submitted to the Library before graduation.

Senior Project for Photography (One Semester)
PHO 4991 / 8 credits / Every semester
This is a one-semester variant of the PHO 4990 requirement. Students who wish to pursue their entire senior project in one semester register with this course number.

Prerequisite: Permission of the senior project advisor and the director of the School of Art+Design

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