Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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Learn both darkroom and digital techniques in a program that integrates historical study and hands-on practice. You’ll explore specific genres, such as portraiture, documentary, and experimental photography, while acquiring technical skills such as printing and Photoshop. Avid photographers may design their own advanced projects.

Related Career Paths

Students with a concentration in photography may enter into such fields as education, art therapy, photography, graphic design, and corporate editorial administration.


The Simon’s Rock program in photography focuses on developing the critical and analytical skills, visual curiosity, visual literacy, and technical knowledge of each student. The curriculum is designed to foster independent, self-generated work in each course, whether it be a core studio course, an advanced course or a Senior Thesis project. Students interested in this concentration should have successfully completed and/or be enrolled in the core foundation courses necessary for each of the disciplines within the studio art concentration (See Studio Arts Requirements above.) Students should take at least one of the three photo history classes: History of Photography, Documentary Photography: History and Practice, or Critical Issues in Contemporary Photography as one of the two art history courses mandatory to complete their Studio Arts major. All photography courses within the division may be considered, per professor approval, as prerequisites for film classes, and New Media Arts concentrations.

Students in the Photography concentration must complete—in addition to the three foundation or core courses—four 200-intermediate level courses, two in photography, two in other studio-arts areas, and two advanced level photography courses, for a minimum of 20 credits beyond the core foundation. One of the 200-level studio art courses or one of the 400-level photography courses will need to be the Interdisciplinary Critique class (see the course guide for details).

 Browse the Studio Arts courses

Course Spotlight 

Photography 207/407: Documentary Photography: History and Practice

This is both a studio art class and a photography history and theory course. The goal is to become immersed in the world of documentary photography in its broadest conception, both by examining its history and by making documentary images. We will make a thematic survey of documentary photography and read contemporary photographic criticism. At the same time students will work on visual assignments and exercises that will relate to topics discussed in class. These will include ideas of truth, fact and memory, documentary photography and social change, issues of voyeurism, race and class, and the relationship between documentary, art photography and photojournalism. At the start of the semester students will work on assignments exploring different aspects of documentary photography. For the second half of the class, students will propose and carry out an extended documentary project of their own.

Related Fields of Study