Fall 2022

  1. This course is designed to give junior majors a thorough and deep understanding of the intermediate-level workflow for film capture and scanning and digital camera RAW file capture. Both workflows allow students to produce the highest quality inkjet prints on large-format printers. This course will touch on many topics, including advanced tonal and color correction techniques, image sharpening, digital camera exposure and Raw file processing, inkjet and Lightjet printing and automated batch file processing. While this course is primarily technical, students are expected to pursue their ongoing personal work to fulfill assignments, culminating in a final portfolio of 10 finished digital prints that demonstrate mastery of the techniques learned in the course. Students entering the course should be proficient in the use of the Macintosh platform and basic Photoshop operations and have a good understanding of processing and printing in black and white photography. Transfer majors must demonstrate these proficiencies to the satisfaction of the department before being permitted to enroll in this course. Major requirement Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor. Deposit for non-majors: $100.00
  2. In the photographic art world today, exciting new forms of print production have expanded expressive choices for artists, often combining processes from the earliest days of photography with the latest advances in digital media. In this course, students will explore a number of vintage and experimental photographic processes, including cyanotype, wet collodion, platinum/paladium printing, albumen, gum bichromate and liquid light. The goal of the course is to broaden the student's repertoire of photographic printmaking techniques and allow for experimentation with hybrid forms that combine old and new methods in innovative ways. Estimated Materials Cost: $150.00 - $200.00 Elective; sophomores and above Open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
  3. A Collaborative Study Project (CSP) allows two students to work collaboratively to complete a faculty supervised project of independent study. Usually, a CSP is supervised by two faculty members, but with approval it may be supervised by one faculty member. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses, though it is not a substitute for a course if that course is regularly offered.
  4. What does 'research' mean for contemporary photographers? For artists using photography within their practice? This hands-on studio course investigates and critiques the nature and scope of research and its practical application to current practice, and how research provides a critical context to help develop awareness, extend subject knowledge, and inform the creation of new artistic work. We will learn through current case studies, unpicking what kinds of processes photographers use when making work. We will investigate to what extent individual practices differ and what analogies can be drawn across those practices. We will look at the roles of instinct and serendipity in allowing for other ideas to emerge. You will develop and hone your own research methods through a wide variety of experimental making and writing assignments, and through critique. This course is also a research project in itself, bringing together examples of photographic practice for you to ponder and engage into our own ideas, processes, and projects. Estimated Materials Cost: $50.00 Open to juniors and above. Open to non-majors as an elective.
  5. This course combines an overview of the history, theory, political influences, trends of expression and a survey of past and contemporary artists working in the field, with the opportunity for students to put theoretical study into practice through assignments that aid in the development of one's own project. In weekly critiques of student documentary work including journals that record one's process and self - reflection, we will explore the process, grapple with ideological issues that arise, and challenge each other to push our understanding and the development of a documentary language further. Elective; sophomore and above Open to non-majors Deposit for non-majors: $100.00
  6. This course is an ongoing discussion of individual work with special reference to current issues and concerns in contemporary art. Each student will be required to show and discuss work. Grades by participation. Graduate major requirement; Graduate photography majors only. Registration by Photography Department, course not available via web registration.
  7. This course is an ongoing discussion of individual work with special reference to current issues and concerns in contemporary art. Each student will be required to show and discuss work. Grades by participation. Graduate major requirement; Graduate photography majors only. Registration by Photography Department, course not available via web registration.
  8. This course is an ongoing discussion of individual work with special reference to current issues and concerns in contemporary art. Each student will be required to show and discuss work. Grades by participation. Graduate major requirement; Graduate photography majors only. Registration by Photography Department, course not available via web registration.
  9. The Graduate Seminar works in complement with Graduate Critique to provide a forum in which students assemble in discussion, analysis and reflection around a set of ideas, practices and histories that are of substantial relevance to photography, its history and its contemporary forms. The content of the seminar will vary from year to year, but students will be expected to read, research, discuss, write about and/or present on the material addressed in class. The seminar will interact with the department's Visiting Artist lecture series, with the SEI Lecture Series, and with MCM events at Brown. Attendance at those lectures is highly recommended. Graduate major requirement; Graduate photography majors only. Registration by Photography Department, course not available via web registration.
  10. This period is dedicated to the development and presentation of a body of work supported by a written thesis in consultation with the student's Thesis Committee. The final exhibition and written thesis will be evaluated by the Thesis Committee which will submit a final grade to the Graduate Coordinator. Graduate major requirement; Graduate photography majors only. Registration by Photography Department, course not available via web registration.
  11. Part I of a two-semester course that will survey major topics in the Histories of Photography. Emphasis will be given to the diverse cultural uses of photography from its invention to the present day. Such uses include: the illustrated press; amateur photography; studio photography; industrial, advertising, and fashion photography; political and social propaganda; educational and documentary photography; and photography as a medium of artistic expression. Much attention will be paid to how photographs construct histories, as well as being constructed by them. Major requirement; Photo majors Liberal Arts elective credit for non-majors pending seat availability.
  12. In this course, students will be introduced to the basic principles of digitally capturing, processing, and printing photographs that are really worth making. We'll cover all the important functions that most digital cameras have in common and we'll go through the fundamentals of using Photoshop to refine and manipulate images. Students will learn their cameras' controls well enough to use the manual settings with confidence, and how to make the automatic features work for them instead of against them. We'll consider what makes a good photograph both technically and creatively, and we'll critique prints made on the Photo department's high-quality Epson printers. Students will need to provide their own digital camera with raw capture capability (DSLR or equivalent), and a portable hard drive (formatted for Mac), both of which they should bring to the first class. (Hard drives will be needed before week 2.) Students registered for the course who are in the market for a new camera are welcome to contact the professor for camera purchasing advice. Open to undergraduate students.
  13. This is a basic course in the techniques of photographic seeing. Students will be given exercises to develop their ideas concerning the fundamental visual problems of photography. Students will also learn technical aspects of exposure, developing and printing in the darkroom as they explore and respond to the visual qualities of the medium. Students must provide their own 35mm camera with manual controls. Estimated Materials Cost: $150.00 - $200.00 Elective Open to undergraduate students.
  14. The Independent Study Project (ISP) allows students to supplement the established curriculum by completing a faculty supervised project for credit in a specific area of interest. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses. Permission of Instructor and GPA of 3.0 or higher is required. Register by completing the Independent Study Application available on the Registrar's website; the course is not available via web registration.
  15. The Independent Study Project (ISP) allows students to supplement the established curriculum by completing a faculty supervised project for credit in a specific area of interest. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses. Permission of Instructor and GPA of 3.0 or higher is required. Register by completing the Independent Study Application available on the Registrar's website; the course is not available via web registration.
  16. The Junior Studio continues the process begun in the Sophomore Studio but moves it to a more ambitious and sustained level of production and critical feedback. Students will be expected to work more autonomously and will explore their ideas with more focus and depth, with the goal of working toward the successful production of several bodies of work over the course of the year. Group and individual critiques will continue to form the basis of the course curriculum, supplemented by visiting critics, field trips and class exercises. Attendance at all departmental visiting artist lectures is required. Estimated Materials Cost: $150.00 - $200.00 Major requirement; Photo majors only. Registration by Photography Department, course not available via web registration.
  17. What does it mean to develop an ethic of seeing? And how do we cultivate this ethical seeing when our field of vision is structured by manufactured inequities deemed necessary to maintain Euroamerican life? Informally following a trajectory of camera technologies, this seminar will explore the political function of the atrocity image - whether of the brutalities of a battleground or genocide killing field, or the classical humanitarian image of starving children or filled to the brim refugee camps. Through critical readings and close image studies, will attend to the episteme of the atrocity image, taking seriously contextual attempts to mobilize empathy and philanthropic action, or, conversely, normalize and justify violence. From the humanitarian campaign in the Belgian Congo to 20th century lynching photography to the still-ongoing Global War on Terror to widely circulated images of Black people brutalized by the police, students will engage images as well as familiar competing arguments about visual regimes that yield these empathy-producing texts or whether the proliferation of these images actually reifies the affective and geographical distance between the self and the racial, cultural, social, and civilizational "Other." We will interrogate the ontology of the regime of photography, critically engaging the implications of the camera's "capture" and enclosure of political and civil imaginaries through the image's staging and destruction of worlds and the peoples within them. Although the primary medium of analysis is photography, this graduate seminar aims to provide universal interpretive tools for exploring visual regimes of violence. Because this course is open to students regardless of artistic, and design, or academic focus, students are actively encouraged to bring their respective disciplinary approaches to our collective interrogations of seeing and spatializing violence. Open to graduate students only. Permission of instructor required.
  18. The professional Internship provides valuable exposure to a professional setting, enabling students to better establish a career path and define practical aspirations. Internship proposals are carefully vetted to determine legitimacy and must meet the contact hour requirements listed in the RISD Course Announcement.
  19. The Senior Studio brings together the advanced skills and ideas about image-making that each student in the major has developed over the previous two years. Students are expected to work independently on their individual projects with the expectation of a culminating body of work to be presented in a public exhibition during the spring semester (Degree Project). As in Junior Studio, group and individual critiques with faculty and visiting artists will continue to form the basis of the course curriculum. Attendance at all departmental visiting artist lectures is required. Estimated Materials Cost: $200.00 - $250.00 Major requirement; Photo majors only. Registration by Photography Department, course not available via web registration.
  20. The Sophomore Studio is focused on the of each student's expressive vision so that she/he can create photographs with compelling content. Through group critiques and individual meetings with the instructor, students will refine their skills as photographers and learn how to verbally articulate issues in their own work as well as the work of others. The greater part of the class will geared towards creating an open an dynamic environment where students engage in the give and take of constructive feedback on their progress. The critique schedule will be enriched by readings, multimedia lectures and class field trips throughout the semester. Attendance at all department visiting artist lectures is required. Major requirement; Photo majors Registration by Photo Department, course not available via web registration. Open to non-majors as an elective. Permission of Instructor required.
  21. This course will wrestle with the mercurial and ever-evolving subject of Time-Based art. What is Time-Based art? Is it simply art with durational elements that unfold over the course of the work? Is it art that depends on time to define itself? Is it art that can only exist within the confines of regulated space? Is it art that stands firmly in the aftermath of what preceded it? Is it art that keeps time, wastes time, witnesses time, changes time, rearranges time, or records time? In this course, we will explore and welcome work being made under the broad umbrella of Time-Based work, such as: documentary photography, video art, experimental film, performance art, recorded happenings, social practice, and sculpture made with temporal dimensions. The course will operate as a studio course, with students being asked to present work for critique regularly, as well as weekly discussions of historical and contemporary investigations and demonstrations of Time-Based art. Elective Open to sophomores and above.
  22. The Undergraduate Seminar works in complement with Senior Studio to provide a forum in which students assemble in discussion, analysis and reflection around a set of ideas, practices and histories that are of substantial relevance to photography, its history and its contemporary forms. The content of the seminar will vary from year to year, but students will be expected to read, research, discuss, write about and/or present on the material addressed in class. The seminar will interact with the department's Visiting Artist lecture series, with the SEI Lecture Series, and with MCM events at Brown. Attendance at those lectures is highly encouraged. Major requirement; Photo majors only. Registration by Photography Department, course not available via web registration.

Wintersession 2023

  1. Creating photographic work in the contemporary climate of fine art commonly demands flexible workflows. Many artists wish to hybridize their photographic processes in order to accommodate the creative and economic flexibility of both film and digital practices. All too often institutional programming teaches students to depend on expensive high end equipment that they are unable to gain access to after leaving the academy. This introductory photography course covers interchangeable workflow processes that allow for the flexibility demanded in a medium that is inherently costly and often inaccessible. Through a series of lectures and workshops we will explore possibilities in shooting and developing film, digitizing negatives, followed by editing scanned negatives in Lightroom and Photoshop, and making prints from the edited files. Students will develop more familiarity and skills with equipment and methodologies of their choice in homework assignments. Coursework will culminate in the exhibition of images along with individual student reflections and group critique. Students will discuss what their work communicates artistically and how technical choices inform our reading of the work. The coursework aims to equip students with a working knowledge of each step required in a film to digital workflow, with an emphasis on working with what is accessible, cost efficient, and laborsaving, and most importantly, generative. Estimated Materials Cost: $50.00 - $200.00
  2. In this course, students will be introduced to the basic principles of digitally capturing, processing, and printing photographs that are really worth making. We'll cover all the important functions that most digital cameras have in common and we'll go through the fundamentals of using Photoshop to refine and manipulate images. Students will learn their cameras' controls well enough to use the manual settings with confidence, and how to make the automatic features work for them instead of against them. We'll consider what makes a good photograph both technically and creatively, and we'll critique prints made on the Photo department's high-quality Epson printers. Students will need to provide their own digital camera with raw capture capability (DSLR or equivalent), and a portable hard drive (formatted for Mac), both of which they should bring to the first class. (Hard drives will be needed before week 2.) Students registered for the course who are in the market for a new camera are welcome to contact the professor for camera purchasing advice. Open to undergraduate students.
  3. This is a basic course in the techniques of photographic seeing. Students will be given exercises to develop their ideas concerning the fundamental visual problems of photography. Students will also learn technical aspects of exposure, developing and printing in the darkroom as they explore and respond to the visual qualities of the medium. Students must provide their own 35mm camera with manual controls. Estimated Materials Cost: $150.00 - $200.00 Elective
  4. This class serves as an introduction to photographic methods and ideas. Through this, we will be exploring the creative possibilities of both traditional and digital photographic technologies. First and foremost, this course is about creative exploration in photography. Technical skills mean nothing if not paired with imagination, and this course will aim to develop both. Throughout the semester, the instructor will consistently be pushing towards an integration of these new technical skills with the interests and ideas that are important to you as an individual. Using film cameras and complimentary digital tools, students will address the essential technical, conceptual, and artistic problems that have been associated with photography since its birth, as well as some of the new issues that have arisen with the advent of digital imaging. Through a combination of assignments and critiques, in-class exercises, and artists' talks, students will question what they know about the medium and its potential. At a time when photography's popularity and ubiquity has challenged its relevance as a fine art form, this course will explore the photographic image as a powerful and versatile tool for contemporary artistic self-expression.
  5. Text and image will explore the relationships between images that visualize the world and the texts that anchor it through colonial archives, contemporary art, visual culture in magazine publications, among others. What happens between text and image interactions, the contextualization that occur, and the subsequent moments of de-contextualization and re-contextualization will be investigated. We will do this by studying the photographs that are produced from a variety of contexts that include images from imperial projects in the Pacific, artists such as Shirin Neshat and Jim Goldberg, National Geographic, the Rodney King trials, among others. Through studio-based exercises and close-reading discussions of texts ranging from the primary, secondary, and methodological, we will be exploring not only the surface relationships between texts and images but the mobilizations of these interactions that underpin it in both insidious and generative ways.

Spring 2023

  1. Over the past decade, photography books have seen a resurgence within the art world, this time transcending their original use as survey or catalog to become ideal spaces and platforms to experience and disseminate work. Today image-based printed matter functions in a multitude of ways, all of which at their core are driven by the mechanics of sequence and editing. Through class discussions, using RISD's Fleet Library and Special Collections, and individual research - students will form a personal vision of what images mean in the book form. Our focus will be equally on content, concept, production & technique. The semester will culminate in each student having devised, sequenced, edited and produced a fully resolved and realized photography book. Estimated Materials Cost: $125.00 Elective; open to Photo majors only. Open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
  2. This course provides majors with a fundamental understanding of the differences between film-based photography and digital imaging and introduces students to the underlying principles, languages and tools of electronic media. Students will learn key concepts in digital imaging such as modes of data capture, file management, processing workflow, color management, resolution, 'non-destructive' image processing, film scanning and inkjet printing. This course will show students how to strategically tailor software tools to their own specific imagery and workflow needs. Students will need their own digital or film cameras for this course. Elective
  3. This course is an ongoing discussion of individual work with special reference to current issues and concerns in contemporary art. Each student will be required to show and discuss work. Grades by participation. Graduate major requirement; Graduate photography majors only. Registration by Photography Department, course not available via web registration.
  4. This course is an ongoing discussion of individual work with special reference to current issues and concerns in contemporary art. Each student will be required to show and discuss work. Grades by participation. Graduate major requirement; Graduate photography majors only. Registration by Photography Department, course not available via web registration.
  5. A Graduate Thesis is to be determined in consultation with faculty advisor by the beginning of the first semester of the second year. Graduate major requirement; Graduate photography majors only. Registration by Photography Department, course not available via web registration.
  6. This period is dedicated to the development and presentation of a body of work supported by a written thesis in consultation with the student's Thesis Committee. The final exhibition and written thesis will be evaluated by the Thesis Committee which will submit a final grade to the Graduate Coordinator. Graduate major requirement; Graduate photography majors only. Registration by Photography Department, course not available via web registration.
  7. Part II of a two-semester course that will survey major topics in the Histories of Photography. Emphasis will be given to the diverse cultural uses of photography from its invention to the present day. Such uses include: the illustrated press; amateur photography; studio photography; industrial; advertising, and fashion photography; political and social propaganda; educational and documentary photography; and photography as a medium of artistic expression. Much attention will be paid to how photographs construct histories, as well as being constructed by them. Major requirement; Photo majors Liberal Arts elective credit for non-majors pending seat availability.
  8. This course is designed for nonmajors who have taken Intro to Photo for Non-Majors and who wish to continue in photography and develop their own individual approach to the medium. Estimated Materials Cost: $150.00 - $200.00 Elective Deposit for non-majors: $100.00
  9. This is a basic course in the techniques of photographic seeing. Students will be given exercises to develop their ideas concerning the fundamental visual problems of photography. Students will also learn technical aspects of exposure, developing and printing in the darkroom as they explore and respond to the visual qualities of the medium. Students must provide their own 35mm camera with manual controls. Estimated Materials Cost: $150.00 - $200.00 Elective Open to undergraduate students.
  10. A continuation of Photo 5305 allowing junior level majors to investigate their image making concerns in depth. Class time will be used to critique work in progress. Estimated Materials Cost: $150.00 - $200.00 Major requirement Registration by Photography Department, course not available via web registration.
  11. This studio course is designed to help students slow down and become more contemplative with their photographic practice. This darkroom based course will give students ultimate compositional control as they learn to use the large format camera. Topics covered will include using the view camera's tilt, swing, shift and rise movements to control focus, perspective and image shape. Student will also learn film exposure techniques and advanced black and white printing controls. Later in the course students will be introduced to large format digital scanning and printing workflows. Estimated Materials Cost: $150.00 - $500.00 Major elective; open to juniors and above. Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor.
  12. This course will focus on basic lighting techniques and principles that will provide students with the skills necessary to feel comfortable in a variety of lighting situations. Students will not only gain an understanding of how light can be manipulated and controlled but also how it can be used to communicate information. The course will serve as an introduction to the studio and to various kinds of tungsten and strobe equipment. Estimated Materials Cost: $150.00 - $200.00 Major elective; open to juniors and above. Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor.
  13. This six-credit course is designed to provide the necessary production time for the realization of the Degree Project, culminating in a well-organized and installed public exhibition of a project or body of work in the department's Red Eye Gallery. The Degree Project must be approved by photography faculty and accompanied by a written Degree Project Thesis. Attendance at all departmental visiting artist lectures is required. Major requirement; Photo majors only Registration by Photography Department, course not available via web registration.
  14. A continuation of PHOTO-5302, providing an open and dynamic environment where sophomore can create photographs and engage in constructive feedback on their progress. Major Requirement; Photo majors Open to non-majors as an elective. Permission of Instructor required.
  15. The Image & Difference explores the ways in which photography is and has historically be central to the production of a wide array of forms of difference, and to the normalisation of inequities within and between communities and nations. It explores the various social and political uses to which photography (and the moving image more broadly) have been put, as well as an array of creative strategies devised by communities or artists to evade or subvert or refuse these exercises of power. The class operates from an explicitly antagonistic stance against the intersecting violences of white supremacy, heteronormativity, misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, ableism, and the many other ideologies that work to devalue minorities, and to reassert a narrowly defined definition of normativity. The class demands a willingness on the part of all its members to confront unpleasant, ethically reprehensible acts, events, objects and images and to speak to and about them openly, and with care. Estimated Materials Cost: $25.00 Major elective; Open to Photo majors only. Open to juniors and above. Open to non-majors pending seat availability and Permission of Instructor.
  16. This course is designed for art students looking to transition into the creative economy. As the worlds of art and commerce increasingly co-mingle, we will explore how a RISD education and skill set is marketable for business, academia, non-profits, and the gallery world. This hands-on course will include making a business plan, building a brand, finding and dealing with clients, and managing estimates, invoices, taxes, and insurance. Through practical in class exercises, guest lecturers, readings and assignment work, we will address the risks and rewards of making a living as an artist /entrepreneur. Elective Open to juniors and above.
  17. Time-Based Photography will wrestle with the mercurial and ever-evolving subject of Time-Based art. What is Time-Based art? Is it simply art with durational elements that unfold over the course of the work? Is it art that depends on time to define itself? Is it art that can only exist within the confines of regulated space? Is it art that stands firmly in the aftermath of what preceded it? Is it art that keeps time, wastes time, witnesses time, changes time, rearranges time, or records time? In this course, we will explore and welcome work being made under the broad umbrella of Time-Based work, such as: documentary photography, video art, experimental film, performance art, recorded happenings, social practice, and sculpture made with temporal dimensions. The course will operate as a studio course, with students being asked to present work for critique regularly, as well as weekly discussions of historical and contemporary investigations and demonstrations of Time-Based art. Elective Open to sophomores and above.

SS 2022

  1. The professional Internship provides valuable exposure to a professional setting, enabling students to better establish a career path and define practical aspirations. Internship proposals are carefully vetted to determine legitimacy and must meet the contact hour requirements listed in the RISD Course Announcement.