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Introduction to Black and White Film Photography

We are no longer admitting high school students to the 2018 Summer Session. Visiting undergraduate students are welcome to apply.

Photography's omnipresence makes it familiar, transparent, seemingly akin to sight. Yet sight itself is rife with complexities and complications, much more than just a physical act or passive reception. This course will introduce black and white photographic techniques so as to interrogate photography in its materiality as much as its philosophical, political, and social rubrics. You will learn the basic tools of camera operations, film exposure, black and white film processing and print development so as to interrogate the vast and varied range of possibilities this medium portends. Photography's rhetoric necessarily involves not only what a photograph "means" but how it "means"; that is, how photography has taught us to see, and the kinds of knowledge it engenders. Assignments facilitate an exploration of basic ideas and are only intended as starting points for further investigation. Discussions and critiques addressing both class and outside photographic work, as well as selected readings of photographic history and critical discourse will augment and expand your work.

Course Code

ARTV 24000




High School Students
UChicago Undergraduates
Visiting Undergraduates


Visual Arts

Class Day(s)

Mon Wed Fri

Class Start Time


Class End Time


Primary Instructor

Laura Letinsky


Session I

Start Date

End Date


  • Students who apply will be admitted using rolling admission and require a $50 application fee. 
  • The Summer Session application deadline is May 1, 2018. Students may apply after this deadline, but will be required to pay an additional $100 rush processing fee.
  • International students who will require a visa to attend, applications will be considered no later than April 9 in order to allow enough time to complete the visa application process.
  • Rolling admissions: courses fill quickly, so submit your complete application as soon as possible.

Additional Details

  • Enrollment limit is 15.
  • Students will need a fully manual (focus and exposure) film camera and should be prepared to spend a minimum of $200 on film and paper.
  • Special note to High School and Visiting Students: A University of Chicago ID card is required to access the photo development lab.
  • Orientation for high school students is June 16-17.

Cost & Aid

Tuition is $4,400 per course. (Full-time registration is two courses taken during the same session.)
Additional fees apply; housing and dining costs not included.

Complete Cost & Aid Information (including housing and other fees) for high school students can be found here.
Complete Cost & Aid Information (including housing and other fees) for undergraduates can be found here.