Photographers have been traditionally viewed as explorers of worlds.  Today they act as the messengers from the various subcultures in our contemporary world.

This program is for the artist who uses photography as their primary means of expression.  We encourage students to leave the campus and photograph the cultural strata western North Carolina has to offer.  Understanding the complexities of the modern camera and the ability to operate that camera with confidence is the foundation on which our program is built.  The program also stresses thinking clearly and editing with an understanding of history, aesthetics and craft.  The student is expected to produce a body of work that is original in concept, skillfully printed and professionally presented.

Students begin our program with film cameras and traditional silver darkroom printing.  As the student progresses through the course of study from analog to digital, concepts such as design and color theory and technical solutions are explored and tailored to the individual's personal vision during critiques.

All students who take courses in the program should leave with an array of critical thinking skills.  Students will develop the ability to analyze cultural systems that use photography and understand theses systems' use of text and subtext.  They will also learn to see image as cultural indicator and vector of social change and to have an appreciation and respect for image making processes.


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