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California Center for Digital Arts

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Please choose a date below:

September 21,2016 - February 2017


Orientation and Foundations in Art Photography- September 21-22
Thematic Research 1.0 - October 12-13
Post-Production Tools for Art Photographers -October 28-29-30
Vision Beyond Documentation - November 18-19
Thematic Review - On line per student schedule
Group Theme Review Preprint- December 10-11
Fine Art Output - January 20-22
Portfolio Review and Dress Rehearsal - February 18-19

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The Master Program for Fine Art Photography

The Fine Art Photography program is a Master of Fine Arts Level course consisting of 20 classroom days with one-on-one mentor periods. This course requires approximately 8 months of study.

The Fine Art course is for students who wish to create professional art photography projects, art commissions, and marketable décor art. Students who complete the course leave with a strong thematic portfolio of art photography ready to present to galleries, portfolio reviews, and book publishers. This is a rigorous course of visual study, and students will grow intellectually and creatively by deeply exploring new perspectives in visual aesthetics, lens-based and light-based media, and personal thematic research.

Course Description

Art Photography is thematic and explores social issues, graphic dislocation, subliminal thought, duality, reality, surrealism, impressionism, a genre that is often a Vision beyond Record. Art Photography drives new perspectives; it is a space where provocation and peace collide and the tension between hue and contrast often vibrate. These works can be delicate, nuanced, and shift a viewer’s world-view ever so slightly or it can bold and ‘rock and roll’ your audience with great passion.

This is a thesis level program, with eight in class modules of 1 to 3 days each. Between class modules, students work off campus, capturing images and performing post-production tasks in support of their theme. They also work with their instructor individually by submitting progress photos online, and attend one-on-one personal tutor training related to their theme, and skills needs. Students receive intense training in audience development and leave with at least one tightly edited portfolio ready for presentation at the Palm Springs Photo Festival or a similar venue.

Students receive required reading assignments, online homework, and attend several gallery shows to explore contemporary and historical fine art photography.

  • Foundations in Fine Art Photography
  • Off Campus Assignments
  • Thematic Research
  • Fine Art Post-Production Tools
  • Intermediate Thematic Review
  • Vision Beyond Documentation
  • Fine Art output
  • Professional mastery of your camera and lens
  • Off Camera Flash
  • Adobe Lightroom— Must have completed an Adobe Lightroom Certificate Class with CCDA or provide verifiable evidence which may require additional pre-class testing of Lightroom intermediate competency.
  • Adobe Photoshop— Must have completed an Adobe Photoshop Certificate Class with CCDA or provide verifiable evidence which may require additional pre-class testing of Photoshop competency to the intermediate level.
  • Studio Lighting Systems and applications (optional)— If you anticipate studio work as part of your thematic, then you must provide images to support a professional level of understanding and achievement.
  • Laptop computer with 8GB of ram, external drives as needed.
  • Wacom Tablet (mandatory)
  • All Camera and lenses necessary to support your theme.

Intermediate to Advanced


Bob Killen, ACE, ACI