Advanced Photography Intensive / NYC

This Summer 2014 course is now closed. Please join our mailing list to find out more about our Summer 2015 course offerings.
Summer 2014 Photography Intensive
VIAR S4107D 001
6 Points
M, T, W, R, F  10 AM - 6 PM
Session I: May 27 - July 3
Location: TBA
Instructor: Thomas Roma, Yola Monakhov, Corey Riddell
This was an amazing program and leaving I feel more prepared than ever to leave the classroom environment and create my own work!
-Student, Advanced Photography Intensive, 2013

I enrolled hoping to learn how to think like an artist and understand the history of photography (in 6 weeks!) and I got that.
-Student, Advanced Photography Intensive, 2013
The Advanced Photography Intensive engages students in all elements of photographic practice and the development of a portfolio.  A combination of technical tutorials, individual meetings with internationally renowned artists and art professionals (Thomas Roma, John Pilson, Elinor Carucci, Michael Spano, Susan Kismaric and Vince Aletti), as well as a series of seminars and group critiques, provide students with the tools they need to advance professionally and further develop the core elements of their practice. The Advanced Photography Intensive creates an exceptional workshop environment where students have 24-hour access to traditional and digital facilities, coupled with daily hands-on assistance from experienced faculty and staff, culminating in a group exhibition at the LeRoy Neiman Gallery. Students are expected to produce work independently throughout the six-week term and fully dedicate their time and efforts to the course.

The course is designed for several distinct types of students: exceptional undergraduates passionate about photography, college graduates preparing to apply for MFA programs, experienced photographers looking to gain knowledge of the photographic tradition and its advanced techniques, and seasoned artists and teachers wishing to rigorously develop their practice through a critical dialogue with faculty and other students.

Features of the Course
  • Shared workspace on 115th Street and Broadway, New York City
  • Group Critique
  • Individual meetings with faculty and visiting artists
  • Lectures by internationally renowned photographers
  • Critical History of Photography Seminar
  • Visits to Museums, Galleries, and Artist Studios in New York City
  • Guided photographic trips
  • Technical tutorials covering traditional darkroom printing and contemporary digital practice
  • Portfolio editing and writing workshops
  • Career development and professional practice workshops
Facilities and Equipment Access
  • Full, 24-hour, access to the School of the Arts Photography Facilities
  • Studio Classroom with lockers for storage of equipment and supplies
  • Digital Lab
    • Imacon and Epson Scanners
    • Epson 9000 Series Inkjet Printer (all inks provided)
  • Black and White Darkrooms
    • 35mm, Medium Format and 4x5 Enlargers
    • Film and Print Processing Areas
Course Elements

At the beginning of the course, each student share a slide presentation of their work with students and faculty

Individual Meetings
Students are scheduled to meet with each member of the faculty every week. For additional perspective, students also meet with artists and other professionals who visit the course during weekly visits.

Visiting Artist Lectures
Beginning in the second week, a prominent photographer lectures about their work. Lectures are followed with a meeting with each student in the course. Visiting artists include John Pilson, Elinor Carucci, Michael Spano, Susan Kismaric and Vince Aletti. (see bios below)

Technical Tutorials
The first five weeks feature technical tutorials on advanced black and white darkroom production, lighting, and color-managed digital workflow from high-resolution scan to exhibition quality inkjet print.

Group Critique
Each student presents their work to faculty and other students during a day-long series of group critiques.  Faculty lead the discussions and the critiques take place in the first three weeks of the term.

Critical History of Photography Seminar
Students read and discuss key issues in contemporary photography and the history of the medium. New readings are provided each week.

New York City, Art, and Photography
Staff lead visits to museums, galleries and studios around New York. In addition, trips are arranged to facilitate photographing in the city.  Often, these visits and trips tie in directly to topics discussed in the Critical History of Photography Seminar.

Professional Practice Seminar
Jackie Battenfield, author of The Artist's Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love, a specialist in professional development helps students refine their presentation, writing and networking skills. Topics covered include grant-writing, developing artist statements, refining a portfolio for an application, learning how to present work in a formal lecture, and effective techniques to utilize your relationships and connect with new professional opportunities.

Final Review and Exhibition
The course concludes with an exhibition at the LeRoy Neiman Gallery at Columbia University. The faculty conduct a final analysis of work completed in the course and have a discussion with the students in the gallery.
Candidates must apply and gain admission to the course via our online application process.  

The priority deadline for admission to the course is March 15th, with notification of admission in April. Admissions after March 15th will be on a rolling basis until the final deadline of April 25th. We encourage you to apply by the priority deadline. When the course is fully subscribed, we will grant waitlist status to students who meet the admissions criteria.

In addition to the standard online application, you will be asked to provide the following:
  1. Statement of intent.  Up to 500 words. Please include your educational background, including degrees and independent courses, and your reasons for applying to the program.
  2. 10 digital images. You must submit your portfolio online via SlideRoom. Instructions, signup and login information is here:
Tuition & Fees
Most summer courses are offered at the standard Continuing Education tuition rate of $1,512 per point ($4,536 for a 3-point course and $9,072 for a six-point intensive). For more detailed information, please see "tuition and fees":

Students are required to pay a $500 Lab Fee in addition to Columbia tuition.

Limited housing in university dorms will be made available to students on a first-come, first-served basis. Students will be sent a link to the Housing application, once admitted to the course.

Visiting Artists
Born 1971 in Jerusalem, Israel, Elinor Carucci graduated in 1995 from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design with a degree in photography, and moved to New York that same year.  In a relatively short amount of time, her work has been included in an impressive amount of solo and group exhibitions worldwide, solo shows include Edwynn Houk gallery, Fifty One Fine Art Gallery, James Hyman and Gagosian Gallery, London among others and group show include The Museum of Modern Art New York and The Photographers' Gallery, London.
Susan Kismaric was a Curator in the Department of Photography at The Museum of Modern Art, New York until March 2011. She first joined the Museum in 1976 as Study Center Supervisor and subsequently worked as Assistant Curator and Associate Curator. She served as Acting Director of the Department from 1980 to 1981 while its former Director, John Szarkowski, was on sabbatical leave. Ms. Kismaric organized over thirty exhibitions during her thirty-five year tenure at MoMA.
John Pilson received his BA at Sarah Lawrence College and MFA at Yale School of Art. Photographs published in Interregna (Hatje Cantz, 2007). Recipient of Penny McCall Foundation Award; Young Artist Prize, 49th Venice Biennale; and Baloise Art Prize. Recent exhibitions include The Shapes of Space, Guggenheim Museum, New York (2007); Skyscraper Souls: New Video and Photography by John Pilson, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2007); to: Night-Contemporary Representations of the Night, Hunter College, New York City (2008); Frolic and Detour, video installation, Museum of Modern Art (2010); and September 11, MoMA / PS1 (2011). Work in collections of the New York Public Library, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, and Guggenheim Museum. He is a Critic at the Yale School of Art MFA and a Visiting Professor in the Photography Program and at Bard College.
Michael Spano is an artist known for his urban, experimental and personal photography. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Fogg Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago and the Los Angeles County Museum. Spano’s work is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston among others. He is a recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. His monographs Time Frames, City Pictures and Auto Portraits have both been published by powerHouse Books. He teaches photography at Sarah Lawrence College.
Vince Aletti
Vince Aletti reviews photography exhibitions for The New Yorker’s 'Goings on About Town' section and photo books for Photograph magazine. Formerly the photography critic and art editor at the Village Voice, he received ICP’s Infinity Award in writing in 2005 and was a curator at that museum for 2009’s “Year of Fashion,” including “Avedon Fashion 1944-2004."

The Advanced Photography Intensive was fantastic. It's the ideal way for a mature student and a photographer in any level to intensively workshop their photography.  One of the selling points of the course is that you make your own program out of it—you can focus on whatever you want.
-Student, Advanced Photography Intensive, 2013

About the instructorS

Twice the recipient of Guggenheim Fellowships, Thomas Roma's work has appeared in one-person and group exhibitions internationally, including one-person shows with accompanying books at the Museum of Modern Art and the International Center of Photography in New York. His books include: Found in Brooklyn, Come Sunday, Sunset Park, Higher Ground, Enduring Justice, Show & Tell, Sanctuary, Sicilian Passage, In Prison Air, On Three Pillars, and House Calls with William Carlos Williams (with Dr. Robert Coles). He taught for more than 15 years at Yale University, Fordham University, Cooper Union, and the School of Visual Arts before coming to Columbia University. His work is in numerous collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal.

Yola Monakhov makes work that deals with the materiality of image and place. She has had solo exhibitions at the Sasha Wolf Gallery, Gordon Art Galleries at Old Dominion University, and the Oresman Gallery at Smith College. Awards include a Meredith S. Moody fellowship from Yaddo, and Fellowship from Greve in Chianti (FI) / Macina di San Cresci. Her work has been exhibited in China, Italy, Russia, and the United States, and will be on display this summer at the Tang Teaching Museum in Saratoga Springs. For seven years, she photographed regularly for The New Yorker magazine, and her work has appeared in Esquire, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, and Harper’s. She received her MFA in visual arts and MA in Italian literature from Columbia University, and is currently Harnish Visiting Artist at Smith College, and faculty at the International Center of Photography. She was born in Moscow, Russia, and lives and works in Northampton, MA, and New York City.

Corey Riddell received a BA in Studio Art  from the University of California Santa Cruz, and an MFA from the School of the Arts at Columbia University. A series of his tintype portraits has recently appeared as part of the Common Senses exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Riddell makes use of many varied techniques in his work such as heavily manipulating his negatives in the darkroom through the combination of several images, scratching, bleaching, the toning and hand work of prints as well as utilizing early photographic and photo mechanical techniques including daguerreotypes, tintypes, and photogravure printmaking. He is currently teaching a class at Columbia University that incorporates photography, drawing, and printmaking.

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