The Photography department’s studios, labs, Red Eye Gallery, administrative offices and equipment check-out are located on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th floors of the RISD Design Center, a building shared with the Graphic Design department, campus mailroom, and the RISD Store. In addition, graduate students have individually assigned studios located on the 6th floor of the Fletcher Building, part of RISD’s downtown Graduate Center complex that includes the Sol Koffler Graduate Student Gallery and the administrative offices of the Graduate Studies division. The Fletcher Building is a 10-minute walk from the Design Center.
The Red Eye Gallery is the Photography department’s central hub and is dedicated to showcasing student work in a series of rotating exhibitions. Exhibitions are curated by students from proposals submitted to faculty. From March through June, the Gallery hosts a rotating series of Degree Project exhibitions by graduating seniors. In addition, work by majors is featured in an annual exhibition at the Woods-Gerry Gallery on campus.
The department has dedicated classrooms for instruction and critique. These are equipped with pin-up walls and digital projection systems as well as work tables and teaching stations.
The department’s computer facilities are comprised mainly of MacPros equipped with Coreware, common campus-wide applications whose site licenses are maintained by OIT (the Office of Information Technology). The current Coreware suite includes Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, AfterEffects, Acrobat, Flash, Dreamweaver, Lightroom, MS Office, Toast, Final Cut Pro, and Apple’s iLife. The department has its own site license for PhotoKit Sharpener, a third party Photoshop plugin for output sharpening. All applications are routinely updated to their latest version before the beginning of the school year.
Most lab computer stations have Eizo displays that are calibrated with a colorimeter. The computer facilities have various scanners: Epson v700s; Epson Expression 10000XL 11x17 flatbed scanner; Plustek 35mm film scanner; Imacon 343, Hasselblad 646, and a Hasselblad X5 film scanners.
For digital output, students have access to ten Epson 4900 inkjet printers driven by the printing RIP ImagePrint. Ink is provided but students buy their own paper. Photo students can also make large prints up to 44” wide on an Epson 9900 by appointment—prints are charged by the square foot on department provided paper. Graduate students have an Epson 9900 for their exclusive use, located in the Design Center.
The Photo Cage provides temporary checkout of photography equipment and has a large assortment of medium and large format cameras as well as digital and video cameras. Equipment includes twelve Hasselblad 501CM, two Mamiya RB67, two Pentax 67II and eight Yashicamat 124G medium format cameras. Large format camera equipment includes sixteen Calumet, and two Omegaview monorail cameras and three Toyo 4x5 and one Toyo 8x10 field cameras. Digital equipment includes 8 Canon 5DIII and 12 Canon 5DII cameras.
We have 13 Sekonic L-308S digital light meters (students are encouraged to purchase these), Dynalite strobe and hot light portable lighting kits, Vivitar 285 and Canon 580 on-camera flash units, Manfrotto tripods and 16x20 and 20x24 Saunders 4 blade easels.
The department has a fully equipped professional lighting studio with Dynalite Studio power packs and strobe heads with various sized lightboxes, grids, reflectors, seamless backdrop stand and a translucent plexiglass light table.
For black and white silver printing, majors have exclusive access to a 12-station darkroom equipped with Saunders/LPL 4x5 enlargers. Non-majors use a separate darkroom equipped with 21 Saunders/LPL 670 medium format enlargers. In addition, there is a lab dedicated to antique and alternative photographic processes such as cyanotypes, gum bichromate, wet collodion processes and platinum printing. It contains ultraviolet exposure units and a computer station equipped with an Epson 4000 inkjet printer for creating digital negatives for contact printing and other purposes.
Majors are issued darkroom kits for the year and grad students for two years. This kit contains an enlarging lens, easel, negative carrier, developing tank, beakers and funnel. Students are able to work autonomously in the darkrooms with no need to check out equipment per session.
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