Bard envisions the liberal arts institution as the hub of a network, rather than a single, self-contained campus. Numerous institutes for special study are available on and off campus, connecting Bard students to the greater community.
The Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College embodies the fundamental belief that education and civil society are inextricably linked. In an age of information overload, it is more important than ever that citizens be educated and trained to think critically and be actively engaged with issues affecting public life.
Introduction to PhotographyPhotography 101An introduction to the techniques and aesthetics of black-and-white photography as a means of self-expression. Systematic instruction in darkroom techniques and weekly criticism of individual work provide a solid understanding of the use of the camera as an expressive tool. Required materials include a camera (35mm or 21/4”) with fully adjustable f-stops and shutter speeds and a handheld reflected light-exposure meter.
Introduction to Photography for NonmajorsPhotography 104An introduction to the techniques and aesthetics of black-and-white photography as a means of self-expression, including instruction in darkroom techniques and weekly criticism of individual work. The student must have a camera (35mm or 21/4”) with fully adjustable f-stops and shutter speeds and a handheld reflected light-exposure meter. Open to Upper College students who have successfully moderated in disciplines other than photography.
Photographic SeeingPhotography 105Beyond the material technique of photography lies a visual technique. This involves learning to see the way a camera sees; learning how a photograph, by its nature, transforms the world in front of the camera. The first half of the semester is devoted to exploring this visual grammar and how it clarifies a photograph’s meaning and the photographer’s intent. In the second half, students pursue independent projects.
LightPhotography 106Light is the coauthor of image. Light can be brazen or bland. It can dramatize or simply describe. The assignments alternate between real or natural light and artificial or created light and attempt to clarify their differences and similarities. Learning to control light broadens a photographer’s perception of ambient options.
Photography for FilmmakersPhotography 109This course is designed to instruct film students in the inextricable importance of the camera in the construction of all photographic images, both moving and still. Weekly assignments, prompted by a thematic lecture from the history of photography, culminate in an extended individual project. Students are expected to have their own digital cameras, even if only point-and-shoots.
History of PhotographyPhotography 113 / Art History 113See Art History 113 for a full course description.
The View CameraPhotography 201View cameras, the first cameras, were the primary photographic tools for the first half of photography’s history. They offer unsurpassed clarity, tonality, and image control. Operation of the view camera and advanced darkroom techniques are demonstrated as the class explores the expressive potential of the conscious use of the camera’s precise control of the image. Students are supplied with 4" x 5" camera outfits. Prerequisite: Photography 105. Admission by portfolio.
Color PhotographyPhotography 203An introduction to the problem of rethinking photographic picture making through the medium of color photography. Technical areas explored include transparencies, color negatives, and type-C prints. Admission by portfolio.
The View Camera: The Hudson ProjectPhotography 205Students participate in a class-wide project documenting the city of Hudson. By choosing a common subject, while allowing for individual approaches, the class explores how a photograph communicates visual information. Students are supplied with 4” x 5” camera outfits.
Bookmaking for Visual Artists and PhotographersPhotography 230 / Art 230The aim of the course is to provide students working in a variety of media with the opportunity to express themselves in the unique medium of the book, using such elements as page sequencing, scale, and layout. The class creates books using print-on-demand digital services such as Blurb (as opposed to hand bookbinding). Demonstrations of scanning, interfaces with InDesign and Photoshop, and other tools augment regular critiques of books produced.
Photography’s Other HistoriesPhotography 251 / Art History 251See Art History 251 for a full course description.
Advanced PhotographyPhotography 301-302This course emphasizes the exploration of visual problems by way of asking good questions of oneself and one’s work, seeing how other photographers and artists have dealt with such questions, and “answering” the questions through individual projects. Prerequisites: Photography 201 and 203.
Digital ImagingPhotography 305An introduction to the use of Adobe Photoshop for image processing. The class first studies techniques for color management, scanning, image processing, and outputting. Students then pursue individual projects, which are critiqued in class.
The Employment of PhotographyPhotography 315cross-listed: art history, human rightsThis course addresses the many purposes of photography outside the realm of art: the studio portrait and postmortem portrait, journalistic and scientific photography, forensic photography, “spirit” and Kirlian photography, erotic photography, advertising, fumetti, and the many manifestations of the snapshot. Methods of production and reproduction—the carte de visite, the postcard, the Polaroid—are studied in their social and historical context.
Art and the Uses of PhotographyPhotography 316In this study of photography as a material or tool in art making, emphasis is placed on developing ideas and using simple, direct photographic means to express them. Students create a body of work with snapshots, slides, laser Xeroxes, Polaroids, photocollage, and other basic forms. The class visits New York galleries and museums to consider the use of photographic-based work in contemporary art practice.
The Photographic BookPhotography 321cross-listed: art historyBooks have played a central role in the history of photography, from 19th-century albums of original photographs to the blossoming of printed collections in the 20th. Such books as Walker Evans’s American Photographs, Brassai’s Paris by Night, and Robert Frank’s The Americans were not merely collections of pictures, but works of art. This course explores how the book format supplies narrative and argument to photographs, and considers such matters as scanning technology, format, sequence, page layout, binding, text, and cover design.
Senior SeminarThe senior seminar is required of all seniors majoring in photography. It meets weekly and carries no credit.