Summer Visual Arts Course | Photography I

VIAR S3701, sections 001, 002, 003
3 points
Instructors: Patrice Helmar, Dennis Santella, Dana Buhl

For course schedule and location, please visit the School of Professional Studies summer site here.
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An introductory course in black-and-white photography, Photography I is required for admission to all other photo classes. Students are initially instructed in proper camera use and basic film exposure and development. Then the twice weekly meetings are divided into lab days where students learn and master the fundamental tools and techniques of traditional darkroom work used in 8x10 print production and classroom days where students present their work and through the language of photo criticism gain an understanding of photography as a medium of expression. Admitted students must obtain a manually focusing 35mm camera with adjustable f/stops and shutter speeds. No prior photography experience is required.

Tuition & Fees
Students can review tuition and fees here.

Materials Fee: $125
For questions about School of the Arts summer courses, including those concerning admissions, registration, and billing, please contact the School of Professional Studies summer team at, or 212-854-9666. With questions about specific course content, please contact Visual Arts Departmental Representative for Photography Thomas Roma at

About the Instructors
Patrice Helmar (b. 1981, Juneau, Alaska) is a photographer who lives and works in New York City. She is a graduate of Columbia University's MFA program, and a current visiting professor at Pratt Institute and Columbia University. Helmar's work has appeared internationally, including at the Jewish Museum, National Museum of Iceland, Houston Center for Photography, Whitney Houston Biennial, New York Photo Festival, BOSI Contemporary, Fisher Landau Center, Judith Charles Gallery, and the Anchorage Museum. more
Dennis Santella
Dennis Santella has a rich background in the sciences and fine arts. Undergraduate studies in Neuroscience and Behavior and graduate degrees in Environmental Health Science and Visual Arts inform his photographic work. In addition to his academic background, an early and continued interest in craftsmanship is an important part of his creative life. more

Dana Buhl
Dana Buhl (b.1986) is an internationally exhibited visual artist based in New York City working with images and archives to explore the conditions of photography. She holds a BFA in Photography from Arizona State University and an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University. Buhl worked as the curatorial coordinator at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art from 2012-2015 where her curatorial projects included Collective Dissent: The SMS Portfolios and Bill Owens: Suburbia. more
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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.