Camera Arts Network Days 2019
What is post-photography?
Due to the technical, social and economic advances of the 20th century, the field of photography has changed fundamentally as a means of communication and as aesthetic practice. In the last fifteen years in particular, image making, distribution and application almost entirely take place within the digital realm. With the resulting convergence of media, photography is increasingly expanding into a hybrid field of visual media and image practices – and thus to “post-photography.” Other disciplines refer to this development as “digital media” or “tech.”
Since its launch in 2012, “post-photography” serves as a starting point for the Camera Arts program. Here the Media Labreplaces the conventional darkroom. The program thus follows the inventions in imaging technology and stimulates the imagination to new ways of image production. Instead of defining what photography is (or not), Camera Arts is examining what new possibilities arise from designing images and visual media.
Further information on Post-Photography at the Camera Arts-Program, see Projects, section on Post-Photography and Image-generating Processes.
If photography is such a blurred area now, what can I learn at Camera Arts?
The multitude of technical and creative possibilities in the field of image production and visual communication challenges image makers. New technologies and methods emerge, are further developed and ultimately replaced by even newer ones. This also produces new types of creative assignments, while long-standing practices are becoming obsolete. Creatives must be able to adapt their professional reality to constant change.
Central to the education in this applied university program is how visual storytellers – as producers of visual representation and meaning – can empower themselves with conceptual and practical methods to develop original and thought-provoking visual communication. Learning to define context-specific quality criteria for their creative work is therefore a key aspect for professionals in photography, visual media and design. This concern goes far beyond the technical mastery of image production.
Further information in the sections Program Content.
Can I also study conventional photography at Camera Arts?
The Camera Arts program does not offer a curriculum that explicitly focuses on photography as offered by traditional photography schools – it is not a “Fotoklasse”. Courses in analog photography (e.g. black and white) are not offered. The curriculum is not based on the classic categories such as fashion, architecture, art, nature or portrait photography.
Based on the current state of the art, images show a great variety of formal and conceptual qualities, from smartphone snapshots to high-quality recordings and renderings using algorithms and artificial intelligence. Conventional photography is just one of the many available imaging processes. The Camera Arts curriculum is based on an expanded notion of photographic and visual media as is signified through the programs’ emphasis on post-photography and transmedia storytelling.
Students learn numerous practical skills in photography, film, design and digital media. Through extensive self-study students advance their technical abilities in these fields, for instance with online tutorials. Over time, students develop their own professional focus, which can include any visual media.
Does Camera Arts also offer training in fine art photography?
The Camera Arts degree is tailored to the areas of applied photographic media and visual communication (BA Visual Communication). This results in a focus on visual and transmedia formats in the communication of messages and content. Central to this applied design orientation is the notion of “commissioned projects” (including self-commissioned) within a specific context. In our view, visual storytellers are professional visual translators between subject, problem context and participants in the communication process.
Although applied projects aim to find solutions for certain problems, the differentiation between applied and artistic approaches are fluid and often diffuse. An independent, critical mindset and a willingness to be inspired by the fundamental questions of the time are just as essential for applied photographic and visual designers as they are for artists and other professionals in the creative field.
We recommend those interested in studying photography as an artistic practice, free of applied criteria and commissioning contexts, to orientate themselves at Fine Arts and Art & Design Education zu orientieren. In contrast to Camera Arts, this course offers a curriculum in fine arts and art theory.
Why does the Camera Arts program emphasize social questions?
Increasing complexity and rapidly changing local and global conditions challenge societies to find answers to urgent questions in the areas of ecology, urbanization, digital transformation, civil society and migration. These and many other questions call for qualitatively innovative formats in communication, mediation and understanding. Leaders in administrations, organizations, interest groups and companies have an increasing need for reliable and inspiring communication to advance their public or private interests in the context of civil society. Participation, transparency and traceability are essential components of trustworthy media production these days.
In addition to acquiring state-of-the-art media skills, well-grounded image makers and visual communication designers learn to independently develop and understand their self-chosen project contexts. Beyond photographic and visual design issues, Camera Arts students engage with all kinds of smaller and larger social issues.
Discover the interests and projects of our students..
In which professional fields can I work after completing my BA in Visual Communication - Camera Arts?
The Camera Arts program strives for a balance between conceptual, strategic and operational skills. Graduates are trained to question their work and to continuously adapt their professional practice to the new circumstances.
Experience has shown that with their diploma, our alumni quickly find a job as an employee or as a self-employed professional. You choose a career as a photographer and videographer, photo journalist, communication designer or as a content editor for the web, social media and print media. Others prefer to work in areas such as architecture and urban development, mediation, media archiving and research. Camera Arts graduates can be found in many leading media departments and media houses. Some alumni also dedicate themselves to artistic practice or combine applied tasks with freelance work.
A full training in photographic and visual media consists of a bachelor's degree (BA) and a master's degree (MA). Graduates who are interested in specializing and expanding their knowledge can continue their studies in a master's program at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences or at a corresponding university abroad.
Are photography and design skills required to study at Camera Arts?
Yes. An interest in and basic knowledge of photography and visual communication design are important. Basic knowledge of operating the Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, etc.) is recommended, but not a prerequisite. The training offers the necessary basic knowledge in the five competence areas
on which the curriculum is based. This basis includes technical applications, creative and conceptual methods for researching contexts, for theoretical reflection as well as social and team skills.
After the introductions, students develop their technical skills independently with online tutorials and self-study.
Do I need a professional photo camera for starting my studies at Camera Arts?
Possessing camera equipment before studying can be helpful, but is not a prerequisite for admission to the degree. We even recommend that you wait until you have tried out the various technical options before purchasing it.
The school has an elaborate equipment loan system, which enables students to use almost any type of equipment or device.
Students are obliged to purchase a MacBook Pro (with sufficient RAM memory). Windows-machines are less compatible with the available IT systems and the software used at the school.
For all information concerning equipment and other requirements, see application procedure.
How does the application procedure work?
What should I include in my portfolio?
For all information concerning admission, see application procedure.
If you still have questions after reading the information on these pages, please contact the student administration or course leader.