Summer Visual Arts Course | Photography Intensive

Summer 2014 Photography Intensive

6 points
Session 1 (May 23- July 1), MTWThF
Instructors: Thomas Roma & Inbal Abergil

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This was an amazing program.  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 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
The Photography Intensive engages students in all elements of photographic practice and the development of a portfolio. The experienced faculty are responsive to the specific needs of each photographer and the course is appropriate for students at any level. The curriculum is designed for students to quickly accelerate their understanding of the language of photography and to realize the creative possibilities in their own work. A combination of technical tutorials, individual meetings with internationally renowned artists and art professionals, 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 Photography Intensive provides 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 Eileen Quinlan, Elinor Carucci, Michael Spano, Jeffrey Henson Scales, and Vince Aletti.

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.

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.
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.
Eileen Quinlan
Eileen Quinlan is an internationally known artist exploring the material boundaries of the photographic process and its personal and conceptual implications. Quinlan received her B.F.A. from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 1996 and her M.F.A. from Columbia University in 2005. Recent notable exhibitions include "What is a Photograph?” at the International Center of Photography, New York, “New Photography”, 2103, Museum of Modern Art, New York, "My Eyes Can Only Look at You ", The Institute of Contemporary Art(ICA), Boston, MA, and "After Hours," March 18 - April 18, 2015, Campoli Presti, London. Eileen Quinlan lives and works in New York.
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."
Jeffrey Scales
Jeffrey Henson Scales spent more than 40 years as a freelance documentary and commercial photographer – those documentary photographs have been exhibited at museums throughout the United States and Europe. His photographs have appeared in numerous photography magazines, books and anthologies, as well as in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The George Eastman House and The Baltimore Museum of Art. A one-person exhibition, "Pictures From America by Jeffrey Henson Scales," sponsored  by The Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York, traveled throughout the United States from 1996 to 2001.
Currently: Since 1998, Jeffrey Henson Scales has been a photography editor at The New York Times. Currently there he is the photography editor of The Sunday Review, and The Book Review. He is also co-editor of the annual, Year In Pictures section for both print and online editions. He curates The New York Times Sunday Review photography column, “Exposures.”

There are no pre-requisites to the Photography Intensive and students are admitted to the course on a first-come, first-served basis. The preferred deadline for application is March 15th, and the international student deadline is April 1st. 

The online application for Arts in the Summer with the School of the Arts will go live on February 29. An "apply now" button will appear at the top of each individual course page at this time.  

Admissions is fast and easy. With the exception of the TV Writing and Painting Intensive, there are no prerequisites for arts courses (and this includes the Photography Intensive). No transcript is required and students need have neither a BA nor arts experience to join our coureses.
Tuition & Fees
The 2016 rate for current degree seeking students and visiting students is $1630 per point. Students enrolled in postbaccalaureate and certification programs can review tuition and fees here.

Students are required to pay an $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.
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
Thomas Roma
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. more
Inbal Abergil is a photographer currently living and working in New York City. Her photographs investigate the aesthetic and societal norms of Israeli culture and the world at large through conceptions of time and memory – concepts that take on great importance in cultures in which loss is a substantial part of daily life. 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.