School of ART+DESIGN

The Photography BFA Program | Academic Requirements | Student Learning Outcomes | Courses | Faculty

Undergraduate Photography Courses

1000–2999 (lower level)
3000–3999 (upper level)
4000–4999 (upper level)

Note: Courses formerly offered under the VPH prefix changed to the PHO prefix in Fall 2014. 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, Photography I is a prerequisite for Photography II.


Subtitle added and description revised Fall 2016 (1/22/16):
Photography I: Camera to Darkroom
PHO 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.
Formerly also offered as NME 1010 for new media majors and SOA 1110 for students in other disciplines.

Introduction to Digital Photography
PHO 1100
/ 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
An introduction to the basic concepts and techniques of digital photography. Exposure, composition, color, retouching, resolution, and preparation of image files for on-screen and print use are among the techniques covered. Assignments include both technical and aesthetic concerns. Students must own a digital SLR camera that can save RAW images; contact the School of Art+Design for specifications.
Prerequisite: Some photographic experience
Formerly offered as NME 1100 for new media majors and SOA 1100 for students in other disciplines.

Subtitle added and description revised Fall 2016 (1/22/16):
Photography II: Darkroom to Digital
PHO 2030
/ 3 credits / Every semester
A continuation of PHO 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.
Prerequisite: PHO 1010
Formerly also offered as SOA 2110 for students in other disciplines.

Introduction to Color Photography
PHO 2100
/ 2 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
An introduction to the creative use of color in digital photography, beginning with image capture using a digital camera and ending with the production of inkjet prints using Adobe Photoshop. Students create original work with a digital camera in response to a series of lectures and assignments. Includes hands-on work and an introduction to the history of color photography. Students must own a digital camera.
Formerly offered as SOA 1105 for students in other disciplines.

*PHO number pending assignment (2/11/14); discontinued Fall 2016 (2/18/16):
Exchange and Pictorial Language
PHO 2120*
/ 4 credits
Special topic (offered irregularly, summer, in Spain)
This digital photography course explores the student’s relationship to light and color and how these subtle nuances can be used to create visually exciting images that relate directly to a specific region. The final result will be a combination of photography, found imagery, and cultural collage presented in class for discussion and critique. Students must bring their own digital camera (with at least six-megapixel resolution).
Formerly offered as SOA 2120 for students in other disciplines.

Looking at Photographs
PHO 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.
Formerly also offered as SOA 2130 for students in other disciplines.

The Photograph as Document
PHO 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: PHO 1010

The Photographic Essay
PHO 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.

Subtitle added and description revised Fall 2016 (1/22/16):
Digital Photography I: Color in the Digital Realm
PHO 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: PHO 2030

Special Photography Workshop
PHO 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: PHO 1010

Sophomore Seminar
PHO 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: PHO 2030

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Visiting Artist
PHO 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: PHO 2880

Urban Landscape
PHO 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: PHO 2880

PHO 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: PHO 2880

PHO 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: PHO 2880

Dream and Reality
PHO 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: PHO 2880

View Camera
PHO 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: PHO 2880

Studio Photography
PHO 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: PHO 2880

Added Summer 2015 (4/23/15):
Landscape Photography: Creating a Personal Vision
PHO 3355
Refer to New Media Courses (School of Film and Media Studies) for description.

PHO 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: PHO 2880

Advanced Silver Processes
PHO 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: PHO 2030 and 2320

Photographic Intervention
PHO 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: PHO 2880

Constructed Reality
PHO 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: PHO 2880

Contemporary Trends in Photography
PHO 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: PHO 2880

Subtitle added Fall 2016 (1/22/16):
Digital Photography II: Advanced Imaging and Printing
PHO 3660
/ 3 credits / Fall
In this continuation of PHO 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: PHO 2660

Course title revised Fall 2016 (2/18/16):
Junior Seminar and Critique
PHO 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: PHO 2880

Professional Practices
PHO 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: PHO 2880

Studio Assistant
PHO 3950
Refer to PAD 3950 in Painting and Drawing Courses for description.
Prerequisite: PHO 1010

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Added Spring 2017 (5/10/16):
The Photo Book
PHO 4005
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Students investigate the history and practical construction of the photo book. Numerous narrative strategies are explored as predominant vehicles for still photography and photo-related imagery. Students work toward self-publishing their own book over the semester. This course is best suited for students who have a body of images that they would like to explore in book form.
Prerequisite: PHO 2660

The Contemporary Landscape
PHO 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: PHO 2880

Advanced Nonsilver Photography
PHO 4160
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
In this continuation of PHO 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: PHO 3160

Senior Seminar and Critique
PHO 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: PHO 3690

Field Trips to Museums and Galleries:
A Practical Course for Working Photographers
PHO 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: PHO 2880

Special Topics in Photography
PHO 4500
/ 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 (formerly PHO 4501).
Prerequisite: PHO 2880

Senior projects changed to I and II, 4 credits each, Fall 2014:
Senior Project I and II
PHO 4990 and 4991 / 4 credits (per semester) / Every year
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.

Updated May 10, 2016

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PHO 4500

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