Photography Intensive

Summer 2014 Photography Intensive

6 points
Session I: May 26 - July 2
M, T, W, R, F 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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 John Pilson, Elinor Carucci, Michael Spano 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.
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."
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. Use the above Apply Now button to start your registration. Once submitted, you will be asked to send us a $500 deposit to secure your space on this popular course.
Tuition & Fees
The Summer 2015 standard Continuing Education tuition rate is $1,570 per point ($9,420 for a 6-point intensive). For information on tuition and course fees, please refer to our Tuition & Fees page.

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.
For questions about this course, please write to We will do our best to respond to your email within 24 hours. If you wish to speak to someone about this course, please send your phone number and request for a call.

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
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.