New York Film Academy
New York Film Academy Photography
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Hands-on 4-Week Photography Workshop

$ 3,600 (USD) *
Photos by Sihang Zhang NYFA Photography Grad Photos by Baha Ali Nasuhioglu NYFA Photography Grad Photos by Bonnie Rodriguez NYFA Photography Grad


The Four-Week Digital Photography Workshop is an intensive exploration of photography in the digital age. Photography school students are immersed in the art and craft of still photography, and are introduced to the tools necessary to capture great images and refine them through digital imaging.

Photography students at New York Film Academy develop the skills necessary to research, compose, and capture digital photographic projects in a hands-on course. Students are encouraged to be creative, but are also taught to think of each project as a concise statement of artistic, documentary, and/or journalistic intent. They expand their repertoire of techniques with light and shadow as they work with professional lighting and grip hardware, as well as inexpensive and unconventional practical sources of light and shadow.

No significant prior experience in photography is assumed. The program brings everyone to the same level very quickly, beginning with the fundamentals and filling the inevitable gaps in the understanding of those who have some experience.

Course Description

  • Photo I Photo I is the core of the curriculum, encompassing lecture, demonstration, shooting assignments on location and in the studio, and critique. Students learn the mechanics of cameras and lenses and the components of exposure. Students are taught to be aware of the unique characteristics that light can take: direct, diffused, reflected, tempered by atmosphere. They begin to master the modern digital SLR for still photography and high-definition video, and analyze digital capture’s pleasures (instant gratification!) and pitfalls (generic, competent images). Every technique is practiced through individual assignments, which are critiqued by faculty and peers. Projects span still photography, stop motion and timelapse animation, and basic cinematography.
  • Imaging I This course is an intensive introduction to Adobe Lightroom as a RAW editor and indispensable library management tool, and Adobe Photoshop, possibly the greatest tool of visual illusion and manipulation ever invented. Bypassing the flashy effects that wow amateurs looking for one-click solutions, students learn professional digital darkroom techniques that give unprecedented color and tonal control over their images. Students build their digital workflow from RAW processing through non- destructive editing, and output from print to web page to iPad. This course includes lecture, demonstration and lab time for students to edit their own images with the assistance of expert faculty.
  • Vision & Style I Vision & Style is the class in which students put the skills to use acquired in other classes to develop a personal body of work as they become deeply familiar in what it means to conceive of and complete a project. Students acquire critical thinking skills within the visual language of photography, and explore their personal interests in photography as they conceptualize, execute, refine, and critique a fine art and a documentary project. As much about conceptual approach and raison d’être as technique, students will begin to develop a personal, iconic visual style and specific area of interest, studying master bodies of work across both genres as examples. The primary focus will be on the still photo, but the use of the moving image will also be explored through class assignments.

    Students will become familiar with principles of graphic design, composition, color, editing, sequencing, and presentation as they refine their bodies of work. Through writing, journaling, drawing, research, presentation, and photographic assignments, students will gain a level of self-awareness necessary to understand the most salient origins for their ideas, and start to conceive how their work might fit into the context of current practices and attitudes.

    In the final weeks of Vision and Style I, each student meets with the entire faculty to review their first semester’s work and discuss possible directions for the final graduation project that they will submit for final approval early in the 2nd semester, and then execute in Vision and Style II.
  • Ways of Seeing I Intensive study, analysis, and re-creation of the work of master photographers, their techniques, aesthetics and approaches from its invention through 1960 equips students with a first-person knowledge of how and why iconic images were created. Beyond tools and techniques, students are guided to analyze the cultural and societal impact of photography, the essential role of historical and societal context, and the evolution of the assumed veracity of photographs as “truth,” given the use of modern photographic manipulation with tools such as Photoshop. Students thus empower their own repertoire of methods to realize their own projects. Additionally, students are immersed in a particular photographer’s body of work through written projects and oral presentations.

    Discussions include composition, traditional and non-conventional framing, color theory, design, semiotics (signs and symbols), the effect of technological changes on photography, the use and limitations of photography as a documentary and personal record, and the surprisingly long history of using viewer assumptions to distort the truth.
  • Shooting Lab A unique, hands on course in which students develop core professional skills and techniques during location shoots with live feedback from an instructor. Covering a wide range of genres along with aesthetic, logistical and technical challenges, students will have the opportunity to work directly with master photographers, practically applying new skills across a range of assignments of increasing complexity. Exercises will include photographic and multimedia assignments, including audio field recording, audio editing, multimedia editing, and output for a variety of distribution mediums.
  • Gallery/Museum Tour Students are taken on a weekly guided tour of current gallery and museum exhibitions of photo-based work and studio visits. They become familiar with current curatorial standards and practices, browse exhibition catalogues, and become acquainted with print prices and editioning as a key factor. They are also given essential opportunities to interact directly with exhibition curators and artists, and see firsthand the true finished product of the medium - the print - using a diverse array of substrates, sequencing and presentation ideologies, and mounting and framing techniques. Instructors and curators lecture and lead guided discussions about artistic practices and bodies of work both contemporary and throughout the history of the medium.

Dates & Tuition


Tuition: $3,600 (USD) +
Equipment + Lab Fee: $250(USD)

Student may incur additional fees, this varies depending how much of their work they choose to print, and the scale of their projects.

Location & Available Dates

For New York City:
Aug 4, 2014 - Aug 31, 2014
Sep 8, 2014 - Oct 5, 2014
Oct 27, 2014 - Nov 23, 2014
Jan 5, 2015 - Feb 1, 2015
Apr 6, 2015 - May 3, 2015
Jul 6, 2015 - Aug 2, 2015
Aug 3, 2015 - Aug 30, 2015
Oct 26, 2015 - Nov 22, 2015

For South Beach Florida:
Oct 27, 2014 - Nov 23, 2014

Please note:
All students are required to bring with them to the workshop a digital camera with manual exposure control.
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* All MFA, BFA, BA, MA, and AFA degree programs are offered only at the New York Film Academy Los Angeles campus.