Photography: The Camera Craft (Online)

Open to students entering grades 9 through 12 or freshman year of college in the fall
II - July 21–August 7, 2020
Days & Time:
Monday–Friday, 9:10 –11:00 a.m. and 1:10–3:00 p.m.
Rachel Stern

“I was surprised by how challenged I was in this class and how much I have progressed.” – Claire F. | Rennes, France  

Course Description

Studio arts courses are offered in conjunction with Columbia University's School of the Arts.

In this course students gain a hands-on understanding of the basic principles of photography, approaching it within the context of the fine arts.

Using their own DSLR or smartphone cameras, participants work on assignments and self-directed projects which touch on a diverse range of approaches to photography, with the goal of creating a final portfolio for web presentation at the course's conclusion. The course takes the form of both a seminar and a lab, and participants work on both individual and collaborative projects.

We focus on the critical context of photography and its broad conceptual applications. Critical issues in art are addressed in the form of short seminars designed to generate meaningful debates as a context for studio work.

Upon conclusion of the course, students will have completed a web-based portfolio to showcase their new bodies of work.

Participants are expected to have their own cellphone cameras or DSLR’s and access to Adobe Photoshop and Bridge (free trials are generally available).


Rachel Stern

Rachel Stern is a photographer whose work challenges conventions of beauty and promotes escapist, constructivist fantasy. She received her BFA in photography and the history of art and visual culture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011, attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2014, and received her MFA in visual arts from Columbia in 2016. Stern has exhibited works at Asya Geisberg Gallery, Daniel Cooney Fine Art, Invisible­-Exports, Pioneer Works, Lesley Heller Workspace, and the Humble Arts Foundation’s 31 Women in Photography at Hasted Kraeutler. Her work has been featured in BOMB, MATTE, Blink, Still, Vice, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe. 

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Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.