New York Film Academy ACTING & FILM SCHOOL The Most Hands-on Intensive Programs In The World

Photography Courses

Photo by Nasreen Zakariya NYFA Photography Grad Photography Courses Photography Courses Photo by Andreas Poupoutsis NYFA Photography Grad

Discover a Variety of Courses in Photography

Included with full enrollment of MFA, BFA, and One-Year Programs, students will be given a free Canon 6D or Nikon D600 camera, enabling you to take stills and HD videos, which you will also be able to keep after completing our photography courses.

At a time when just about anyone with a phone can classify themselves as a photographer, those that seek to actually embark on a career in photography require an education that will cover both the artistry of the medium along with the vast technical challenges every photographer will encounter. The New York Film Academy’s Photography program offers up a wide variety of photography courses that will not only educate students in the techniques, history, and practice of photography, but also prepare them for a fruitful career in photography. Covering the essential disciplines that the aspiring photographer will need to be familiar with, students will receive a diverse and in-depth education in photojournalism, commercial photography, documentary photography, fine art photography and much more while also learning the history and theory of photography and crucial digital imaging skills.

Real World Preparation

Photo by Photography Graduate Sihang Zhang Conceived as an intensive series of photography courses that focus on the practical demands that face the modern photographer while also providing a rich foundation in the history of the medium and cultivating a proficiency with photographic tools both old and new. Made available to students across our photography courses is a successful network of working photographers, editors, publishers, curators, and potential employers. By immersing aspiring photographers in the rich environment of professional photography, students will receive the necessary hands-on training and preparation to embark on their own path with a confidence that comes from firsthand experience.

Photography Philosophy

The past, present, and future: all three temporalities are crucial to cultivating success amongst our students through our photography courses.

  • The Past: A necessary supplement to students’ ongoing practice and development of their aesthetic is a thorough immersion in the history of photography, from its beginning through the proliferation of the handheld 35mm camera. But the focus of our photography courses is not simply restricted to a study of the medium, but those artists who elevated photography into a fine art form and the intersection of photographic art and commercial photography.
  • The Present: Modern photographic technology, from the equipment itself to the mass proliferation of Photoshop as the premier digital darkroom, presents a surplus of options for the contemporary photographer. Students enrolling in our photography courses will receive a thorough training in all of the facets available to photographers and how to get the most out of contemporary technology.
  • The Future: As important as a thorough education in past and present photographic concerns is, the most pressing one facing any photography student is how to succeed in the world of professional photography. By aiding students in building up a diverse and accomplished portfolio and helping to develop a sound, thoroughly researched business plan, we train students not only to survive, but thrive as professional photographers after completing their photography courses.
Simply put, we train students to produce steadily superior work on-demand while providing them with the tool set to realize your personal vision through photography.

Learning Goals of the Photography Program

Whether you are interested in the Masters or Bachelors degree programs or enrolling in our 1-year and 2-year conservatory, the photography courses at the Film Academy all have a similar set of learning goals:
Photo by Photography Graduate Julio Gaggia
  • Understand the components of exposure
  • Acquire a working mastery over the Canon 5D Mark II digital SLR camera and standard lenses for imaging.
  • Develop working digital darkroom skills and expert digital imaging skills using Adobe Photoshop.
  • Understand basic color management and be able to output accurate prints to modern inkjet printers.
  • Recognize the characteristics and make creative use of basic lighting tools and camera position to create drama and emotional impact under typical lighting conditions.
  • Examine the history of photography and photo technology up to the arrival of handheld 35mm cameras.
  • Understand and apply theories of aesthetics, semiotics, design, composition and color.
  • Refine lighting skills that can be applied under controlled and any real-world conditions using a comprehensive array of tools.
  • Acquire working expertise with video features of the Canon 5D Mark II D-SLR camera.
  • Learn motion picture storytelling techniques, including writing, directing, producing, lighting and editing.
  • Become familiar with commercial and journalistic business practices, ethics, legal issues and practices.
  • Become familiar with medium-format systems.

An Overview of Photography Courses

Students enrolling in the photography program will cover a wide array of subjects across their photography courses. The objective of the photography courses is to equip students with the practical skills to become working photography professionals through providing instruction and intensive hands-on experience in the technology, aesthetics, history and theory of both still and motion picture digital imaging. An overview of what students can expect from their photography courses is as follows:
  • Studio Practice: Forming the core of the photography curriculum, this course includes lecture, demonstration, shooting assignments on location or in the studio, and critique. Students will learn the mechanics of cameras and lenses and the components of exposure. In addition, digital filmmaking is also emphasized as each students will function as a director, cinematographer, gaffer, camera assistant and sound recordist, as well as editing his or her own projects.
  • Digital Imaging: Adobe Photoshop has radically transformed the landscape of modern photographic practice and students enrolled in the Film Academy’s photography courses will be immersed in the many skills and possibilities presented by the software. Students will learn professional digital darkroom techniques to lend images unprecedented color and tonal control. Furthermore, transformations, layer masks, tone, texture and color matching are taught to help students create wholly new visual worlds. RAW processing will assist students in creating their own digital darkrooms.
  • History & Theory: To discover their own unique voices as artists, the History & Theory Photo by Photography Graduate Yukie Sato photography courses will submerge students in the rich history of photography, ranging from the medium’s beginnings to the rise of the handheld 35mm camera up to the present day in order to supply students with the necessary background and points of reference. Intensive study, analysis, and critique of the work of master photographers along with their techniques, aesthetics and approaches forms the basis of this photography course. Additionally, students will analyze the cultural and societal impact of photography alongside the impact of the digital revolution as manifested in the mass proliferation of image distribution services such as the smart phone and the internet.
  • Documentary Photography: In this photography course, students will take a close look at the evolution of documentary photography through the work of established and emerging masters such as Bernice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Jonas Bendiksen, Matthew Brady, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Nan Goldin, and many others. Guest presentations are a major focus along with written analysis and visiting artists will punctuate the course to address the business practice of successful documentary photographers. Moreover, building on their exposure to photographers who helped define the discipline, students will research, plan, and execute their own documentary project for in-class critique in addition to learning multimedia techniques for the presentation of images using audio interviews, ambient sound and music.
  • Fine Art Photography: This semester long course will explore the possibilities of photography as a fine art form with students becoming acquainted with principles of graphic design, composition, color and perception. Students will receive weekly assignments in which they will conceptualize, shoot, and edit, process, present discuss in class their work. In addition, the long tradition of established and contemporary masters will be examined, including Forian Aichen-Maier, Bill Brandt, Loretta Lux, Tina Modotti, Edward Weston, and many more.
  • Commercial Photography: As a counterpart to the Documentary and Fine Art photography courses, students will explore the world of commercial photography, producing tabletop, fashion and beauty, advertising and product work. Casting, working with models, lighting challenges for specialized products and high-end commercial retouching are also covered. Students will conceptualize and design shoots from top to bottom, including set design, location scouting, art direction, costumes, makeup, hair and props.
  • Photojournalism: Students research, shoot and edit news stories, address single-image and longer form photo essays, consider the relationship between text and image, and discuss ethics and standards. Lectures and guest presentations from photojournalists play a major role. Key work from past and present professionals such as Robert Capa and James Nachtwey and lesser known figures of the news world are examined.

Setting Our Photography Courses Apart

When asking our students what sets the Film Academy’s photography courses apart, we find that it comes down to the focused training, support from faculty, hands-on course work, and the opportunity to engage with every major genre of photography. With the added benefit of being able to shoot in some of the most thrilling locales around the globe, students are able to study in a collaborative atmosphere with classmates that hail from all parts of the world.

Upon completing the New York Film Academy’s film courses, students are equipped with a portfolio of extraordinary images, technical know-how, refined artistic awareness, and a real world understanding of the photography industry.



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