going to school….

NYU’s Department of Photography & Imaging announces a new program in photography and human rights in partnership with the Magnum Foundation

The Department of Photography and Imaging in the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, has announced a new partnership with the Magnum Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting documentary photography, to create a new certificate program in Photography and Human Rights. The new initiative, comprising four courses offered in two successive summers, is designed to explore strategies to create effective documentary projects linked with issues of human rights.

“We are delighted to be able to partner with the Magnum Foundation to offer this important new program,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, dean of the Tisch School of the Arts. “The role of photography in the global struggle for basic human rights has never been more important than it is today. Experience demonstrates that one image can make all the difference. This program’s emphasis will be on the relevance of human rights law to documentary work, and how the photographer can develop projects that aid in the attainment of those basic rights.”

The program is aimed at intermediate and advanced students, including experienced professionals, who seek to hone their documentary and media skills in the context of human rights. Students will be taught to utilize a variety of media approaches while emphasizing new digital possibilities to create maximum social impact. Each course is four weeks in length and will be offered over two successive summers, beginning May 18, 2009. Students may choose to take the courses for credit or non credit.

Faculty for the program will include: Magnum photographers Susan Meiselas and Gilles Peress, digital media specialists Catherine Fallon and Elizabeth Kilroy, adjunct professor and human rights specialist Peter Lucas, and program director and associate chair of Photography & Imaging, Fred Ritchin, among others.

Concurrent with the program, the Magnum Foundation will organize lectures and film screenings on issues relating to documentary work and human rights that feature a variety of work, including projects by Magnum photographers.

For more information on this program, please visit http://photo.tisch.nyu.edu or call 212-998-1930. For more information about The Magnum Foundation, please visit http://www.magnumfoundation.org. To enroll in the course, please visit http://www.nyu.edu/summer/2009/summerny/enroll.html.

The Department of Photography and Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts is a four-year B.F.A. program centered on the making and understanding of images. Students explore photo-based imagery as personal and cultural expression. Situated within a university, the program offers students both the intensive focus of an arts curriculum and a serious and broad grounding in the liberal arts. The faculty and staff consist of artists, professional photographers, designers, critics, historians, and scholars working from a wide range of perspectives and media.

Launched in 2007, The Magnum Foundation works to bring over half a century of historical and iconic photography to the public and to encourage the work of a new generation of independent photographers.

111 Responses to “going to school….”

  • my own experiance at collage during teh time when they believed they had to ´go fully digital´.. (with some regret now since they need a darkroom )

    when nick wapplington studied at my collage many years before me there were 8 students per year on the course.. tuition was one to one.. they were even able to stick a name label on the colour enlarger they used and keep the settings overnight.
    by the time i got there in 94 there was a need for more money.. 73 students in my year.. x the three years of the course .. an hour a week with a tutor if very lucky.. equipment shortages.. all sorts of problems resuleted in those of us who knew more teaching those who knew less.. students helping students.. because for every student the course had they could buy or update equipment.. the only way they could do it was to oversubscribe the course.. argueably damaging they contractual obligation to provide an education.

    when i left in 97 i was ready.. wished i had not taken the course, apart from being able to use the equipment and some lectures on art history.
    i could have done better with open university and put the money into projects, which i had no shortage of when i started.

    i think the course about is a good thing.. an excellent opportunity for those that can afford it..
    that may mean that the financial elite have the headstart – but whats new there.
    one concern is that it could be increasingly true that the better able to afford the breakeven /losses of working freelance will get the work.. especially with less staff opportunity.
    philosophically – is it right that the reporting and documenting is being carried out by those that can afford rather than those who can develop a passion?
    i don´t know. given that burn is here and as bob pushes.. is free… and excellent.. and all that.. i think there are opportunities for all, one way or another.

    paid education for a profession in which it´s near impossible to pay your debts for learning does have problems.. for some who an afford iot, fantastic.. the rest of us need not loose faith though..


  • jesus – how many typos.. writing on the fly and rushing away from comp.. apologies.. some of teh words are entirely wrong above.. it reads like a puzzle..
    sorry :ø)

  • DAH

    The first course is just over 5K..

  • It sounds like a hell of a course. But.. it seems like a hell of a price to pay for it.
    i guess my question is ‘who is it for?’ and will those who really should be taking it get the chance?
    I hope so.

  • 50 000$ course…… Yep, non-profit indeed! :-(

  • This course isn’t about photography — it’s about creating a niche for yourself in today’s strange media environment. The days of the generalist assignment shooter, like daily newspaper staff, are probably over. Doing anything you can to make yourself distinctive, to appeal to specialized audiences, to add value to your work are important. Anyone can take a picture, but very few know the ins and outs of human rights law, which are the foundation for the course. It all sounds pretty interesting and a creative way to put yourself on a career path that might survive the downturn.

    Example: how much photographic mileage has Sebastiao Salgado gotten out of his PhD in economics? Is there anyone who doesn’t believe he is an expert in the human cost of globalization? He created his colossal career from scratch by finding a niche, exploiting it, and becoming an authority on it.

    Credibility becomes extremely important when media budgets are tight and opportunities are few.

  • Herve,

    5K = 5,000, not 50,000 (unless you calculated the whole certificate, but I don’t think it comes out to that..the first class has more credits I believe, making it more costly).

  • To David Bowen:

    I’m a selftaughted photographer. I’m at the beginning. I think the best schools are:
    1). Big libraries, specially in winter periods, like Centre Pompidou (Paris); the Barbican in London, Strand Bookstore in NYC and every single small and quite library all around the globe where nobody can ask you “Sorry, Mr., need some help?” every 15 minutes…
    2.) Shooting outside, and still shooting from the deep of your heart.
    3.) Look and relook at yout personal contacts sheet
    4.) burnmagazine.org and Perpignan in September are awesome experiences (and free)

    cheers to everyone, Patricio

  • Sorry last reply was for every one as well.


  • “i know you to be one who really walks the talk and teaches, helps edit /write and spends time altruistically with photographers..”

    My mentor Stephen DiRado is all that and more…


  • “I’m a selftaughted photographer. I’m at the beginning. I think the best schools are:
    1). Big libraries,”

    Ain’t that the truth! :-)

  • ALL…

    i have just asked both Susan Meiselas and Gilles Peress to jump in here and make a comment or answer any questions about NYU program or education in general …i cannot promise they will….both are truly “thinking” photographers, curators, and mentors…

    please seize the moment should they appear….

    cheers, david

  • Susan, I LOVE (especially) your Prince Street Girls! Why don’t you “guest” at a DAH loft workshop?


  • MIKE R…

    i have asked Susan to guest at my loft workshop….she did come to one of the student grand finale shows, was enjoying the whole event, but she chose not to present…..i will ask her again….

    i think she will show up here for comment…i just had coffee with Gilles and he wants to leave all commenting to Susan…

  • ALL…

    i did speak with Gilles for a bit on the NYU program….i mentioned that tuition was a factor in some of the comments here….he said that for a top university like NYU, the tuition is pretty standard….he also wanted me to point out that the Magnum Cultural Foundation receives only token funding from NYU…and as a legal non-profit, the MCF only gives money away in any case…hence Inge Morath Award and the EPF..

    cheers, david

  • Even if it didnt cost so much, I dont think I’d go back to school for anything. I am already educated beyond my intelligence.

  • I have very little time–you know how it is when you’re in NYC for just a few days!–but I must thank David Alan Harvey for yesterday and a year of yesterdays before that. Yes, I’ve done the work for “Falling Into Place” myself but it has been David’s mentoring that moved me far beyond where I could have gone on my own. Watching him edit my work online, by phone and especially in person educated my eye, raised the bar of my expectations, and refined my artistic aesthetic in indefinable ways. He always met me where I was photographically and somehow managed to show me new levels to which I could aspire. It was never easy but always possible.

    Yes, I hope an editor will want to publish my project as a book but that is not why I’m doing it. I’m creating this work because it is mine to do. I couldn’t NOT do it. But David’s belief in its worth was what helped me stick with it over the long haul. I will be forever grateful to him.


  • Just out of interest, how many current members of Magnum had any formal photography training?

    @ David Bowen – are you talking about Trent Poly, by chance?

  • The month for $5,000 seems much more reasonable, more inline with what a 7 day course would cost if extrapolated out to a month. Maybe even cheaper.

    As for the cost of the full course; I honestly think that it would be better spent getting your own experience.

    If you are a real novice, then you need to learn camera basics, so there are MUCH cheaper ways of gaining that.

    If you are really experienced, and want to go to the next level, then probably a short course like David’s (or the one month course), would be more applicable.

    So where does it leave an expensive university course? There is certainly no job guarantee at the end of it. I’d hate to be paying off those course fees while trying to freelance; hell, the mortgage is bad enough without any extras.

    I just stop and think what I spend on living costs (cut back to the bone!!) and how far those tuition costs would go either gaining myself the experience, or setting up in business.

    My only qualification is that I’m a tradesman butcher. So hardly an “arts” background. One thing I really love about this business is that it’s one of the few where a degree is not necessary. Your work is judged on its quality.

    I’m a self taught photographer; the only course I’ve ever taken was a correspondence course for writing. It was a very practical course, its aim was to get you published, not just to feed you into another course, like so many seem to do.

    I actually never finished the course. They gave me the diploma because I was fortunate to be selling quite a bit of work, and I never had the time to finish it. However; it did give me the skills and more importantly, the confidence to try and sell my articles.


    I think you seem to be on the right route. I have often looked at your work and you seem to be able to do plenty of personal work as well as the “commercial” work to pay the bills.

    When it comes to personal work; I just read a quote from Larry Towell where he said he returned from a 17 day trip to Afghanistan with enough material for a book dummy. I realise he’s a master, but it does give pause for thought.


  • Hi Mr. Harvey,

    I am a recent college grad, but not in photography. I am signed up for you and Nachtwey’s LOOK3 workshop, but I am not sure if can afford it. I am not complaining, but am wanting to ask your advice on the subject?

    With all of my heart, being, and soul want to make it in this world as a documentary photographer. My goals are no less than pushing myself to grow and one day attain the status of perhaps some level as that of a magnum photographer. Of course, so are millions of others and whether or not I will ever become a ‘great’ is beside the point, but it helps me strive with all of my soul to make images and art, then that is all that matters to me.

    Im not sure I can afford the workshop at LOOK3. I inquired about scholarships on some level or being an assitant or do anything at all to work for part of my tuition for the workshop, but all of which was declined. For reason I’m sure are totally valid.

    I really wanted to take your class in order to push myself further and help me grow as both an artist and photographer. So, I guess what I am asking is do you have any suggestions or possible paths to take?

    Though the workshop coordinators do not consider me a student, I am still very much one. I make no money off of my photography and up to this point have only done what I’ve done through shear heart and passion for it all.

    Could you offer any suggestions or help? Im really not sure what to do. Can you help me?

    Help me, David Alan Harvey, your my only hope!

    Jonathan Fletcher Moore

  • Oh also, I just wanted to know if you could look at my work and perhaps guide me as to if the particular look3 workshop would be beneficial to me in this instance? Do you think i would benefit from it?

    Thanks so much Mr. Harvey,

    Jonathan Fletcher Moore

  • David Alan Harvey, your my only hope!

    Wow, that a weight! :-)))

    Jon, I wish you the best, concerning LOOK3, but if things don’t work out, there are still many ways for you to get going and grow, get a sense of direction until you can afford a course if it hasd to come to that. I looked at your site, it may not all be my cup of tea, but that doesn’t matter, many times I sense a photographic eye and intent behind these shots.

  • Jonathan,

    To my eyes you got it. You have some great work on your site. I hope you can make it to Look3 as it would be a wonderful experience, but in terms of “in order to push myself further and help me grow as both an artist and photographer” this would be only a small part of that… It’s all you baby! As far as I see it you have the skills/tools, and developing those is the fun part. (from my experience) the rest is plain old passion and grim tireless determination.

    If you can’t stump-up the bones, don’t worry, there will be other opportunities for you. Good luck! Again, loved some of your work.

  • … just to add… With regards to your choice of workshops, its probably not for David to say. You know your work better than anybody… and who inspires you… and how you hope to develop your own style.

    What do you aspire to? Who’s work do you admire most? Who do you think is best suited to guiding you on your path? There is an incredible line-up this year!

  • paul russell

    nottingham trent uni by the time i was there..

  • @ David — You’re making me feel old. I only mentioned it as I was at college in Nottingham at the same time as Nick W — in fact he stayed in our house one summer (sort of an uninvited guest actually). I was studying biology, none of that photography nonsense!

  • paul.

    that was a long while ago.. i’ve met nick a number of times although not for many years now..
    he really cracked it while studying there with ‘the living room’ aided by tutor roger beecroft..
    beecroft was still there when i was.. a decent tutor..

    nottingham.. a great place to study and get robbed.
    they tore down that lovely corner victorian block opposite the student union while i was there..
    no more cheap cobs ma duck.. and forest fields has gone up in the world.


    in the workshops i run myself (New York and Mexico) i make sure a worthy student who really cannot afford the relatively expensive classes, and who shows extraordinary talent, is given the workshop gratis…i usually have two or three students on scholarship in every class…when Jim and i did the workshop in Thailand together we had 5 scholarship students…James Chance was not one of these scholarship students, but we tried to give James and his colleagues the time of their life…this is the goal always for me…

    all of us who do workshops would prefer that there was no tuition at all…if we had super sponsorships then this would be always possible..the one i did in Spain two weeks ago was a free workshop for 15 students…obviously somebody had to pay for all of the expensive production, but it was not the students…the producers in Spain had garnered ample sponsorship funding…

    Look3 will be the experience of a lifetime for sure…Jim and i are rarely together to teach simultaneous…it has happened only once before as stated above in Thailand…if i were running those workshops, which i am not, i would be very inclined to give you this class gratis…but, i am sure there is already a scholarship student or two ..i honestly do not know right this minute the statis of this at Look3, but i will find out for you..

    workshops look simple, but they are outrageously expensive to run….one of the reasons i started doing small groups of say 6 students, and just for the weekend, and in my home loft, is to save on expenses and make the workshop affordable for all of us during these economic hard times…

    Jonathan, i am rushing a bit right now…i would be doing you a disservice if i looked at your work before Monday…but, i will do it then…we can be in touch by phone or Skype….i mentor several people at a time here on BURN…a slower process, i cannot just edit on demand, but overall it works….and , of course, there is no expense whatsoever…perhaps we should think in terms of what we can do here at BURN???

    your letter was heartfelt…..i will figure out a way that we can at least meet, go over your work and your life, and come up with the best option for you…i do have a full on workshop in my loft in the fall where perhaps you could be a scholarship student…i am also planning to have interns in residence so to speak at my beach house, trading out long term study and free living space (there is a separate apartment) for helping me organize my upcoming shows, filing stuff, etc etc…

    i never deny any sincere photographer my time one way or another…please stay in touch and we will work something out so that you can begin to think about ways to live out your dream….

    cheers, david

  • Jonathan,
    What more can you ask for?
    Go for it, chance of a lifetime.

  • jonathan.. adapting quotes from star-wars is most definately the way forward..
    Master Yoda says ‘be mindful of the future, but not at the expense of the moment.’

    just looked at every photo on your site and i’m with james – you have something going on.. hectic frames.. busy working your own neighbourhood.. great. you found a new way of looking at mardigras too, i think.


  • DAH..you are truly a good egg :))) Like the live in intern idea..I can see it now!

  • KMA KMA KMA that’s me clapping my hands in glee. call me that. i dont mind.
    see above….

    jonathan, you are a good egg too. anyone who gladly asks for help would have to get over the possibility of being desperate sounding and begging, which im sure you didnt mind doing in order to get some help. and this is what you got. help from him above (no pun intended :)))

    DAH, youve offered me this help too thinking that i might need help. of course, i always will need help but not now, not your precious time i need because i have not burned makeup oil to be called photographer. i have not been out, too busy being inside ‘the house’ watching me tumbleweed rolling outside. sparkly like tom’s. tempting. thank you for being sooo nice. you give so much hope to many, im sure you know but maybe you dont, so im telling you now: so earnest, so humble. makes me want to kiss everyone and hug everyone. thank you. thank you.

    no reply needed.

    (pssst… jonathan. good luck. i agree youve got something going. these people are good people at burn)

  • ‘these people are good people at burn’

    how dare you.


    i am sure you may imagine that i do not care if you are a photographer or not…i just like real people…if you, at some point, want to play with photography, come and play….i’d be happy to help…

    cheers, david

  • psssst. DAH, i said no need to reply.
    dont bother with me.
    you got work to do.
    so do you, david b.

  • Robert Johnson :)))

    i read Outliers 2 weeks ago :)) (student gave it to me)…and i passed it onto my son….last week, read Tipping Point: amd properly hammered it over two of Dave Harvey’s students (Marc Davidson and Mike berube) you came to my house for drinks, food and chat…..

    loved the book…(outliers more than tipping point)….

    as for success (the 10,000 hr thing), dont forget cultural contextual cues too ;)))))


  • Robert Johnson :)))

    i read Outliers 2 weeks ago :)) (student gave it to me)…and i passed it onto my son….last week, read Tipping Point: amd properly hammered it over two of Dave Harvey’s students (Marc Davidson and Mike berube) you came to my house for drinks, food and chat…..

    loved the book…(outliers more than tipping point)….

    as for success (the 10,000 hr thing), dont forget cultural contextual cues too ;)))))



    From reading Jonathan Fletcher’s notes and DAH’s response – it occurs to me that it would be very cool if photographers with similar interests and perhaps with similar technical knowledge could get paired up for constructive criticism and general ongoing support for growth. Perhaps people could get paired up so they “mentor” someone in the beginning stages and he/she “gets mentored” in turn by someone who is more advanced.

    I feel that many of us who follow BURN magazine are at very different levels and could probably benefit from ongoing interaction beyond our reactions to essays and topics. Although I would love to get feedback and mentorship from DAH – it seems that given so many of us would want that and there is a limit to what one person can do– this would be a way to share knowledge and foster ongoing support and growth among many of us.

    I was hoping to actually find a mentor and a community with whom I could grow when I applied to the photojournalism program at UT Austin. Unfortunately I did not get in! I will be reapplying next year – but until then I want to find new opportunities for sharing and growing!

    I am not yet sure which form this type of “buddy” system could take. It just literally occurred to me. Perhaps, all of us who might be interested could put our information somewhere and device a mechanism for people to sort each other out. I am sure with some many interactive tools there are now, if there is interest, we could figure something out.

    Any thoughts on the whole concept? Perhaps this is already happening somewhere else? The reason why I would like to do it with other people who follow BURN (as opposed to other photography forums) is that there seems to a high level of passion, commitment and respect binding the BURN community.


    i think your idea is a good one, although i am not quite sure how we can implement it in an organized structure…a lot of what you are thinking does happen here already….you are correct, i cannot just take on everyone who might need it and there are others here who could be a big sister/brother to someone and be quite helpful…i will certainly help you work to this end….i will put my mind to it…

    i can probably mentor one way or the other about 10-15 photographers in a year here online…that is, really follow a project over several weeks or months….i am doing officially five now….

    do you live in Austin?? if so, i can put you on to several potential mentors..if not, tell me where you are and i will be able to think of someone nearby who could be good support for you….

    cheers, david

  • Mariana

    hi, so nice to meet you! I can put you in contact with a grad student in photojournalism from UT Austin who is coming to Costa Rica to intern at the English language newspaper here in May. I am hosting her early in her stay and she might be very good for you to communicate with. If interested, please e-mail me at dyathink.1124@gmail.com

    It must have been a terrible disappointment to you when you received UT´s decision. However, perhaps making a connection in the program at this time might be extremely timely.


  • Mariana

    Please forgive my incomplete thought..i meant, that making the acquaintance of this grad student might be extremely timely and that next year your luck could completely change and you may find yourself UT bound..i really hope so!


  • Dear David,

    It feels truly great to get a response from you and have access to you through this magazine…when I started reading your blog (the one that predated BURN) I actually thought you would only respond to those whom you had met before in person or had attended your workshops. It’s really amazing thus to actually experience your commitment to an open community where anyone can really participate. Many thanks for this space.

    Yes I do live in Austin and would welcome names of photographers who would be willing to mentor me for free. Notice the word free. I have already ran across photographers who would mentor others for a fee. I am not sure if by charging a fee the relationship would still qualify as mentoring… anyways… I am not making a judgement on the act of charging a fee – we all need to make ends meet… it would simply mean I would not be able to afford it. I would be willing to work with others as well…I am in such a beginning stage though that it would probably has to be someone who is barely starting to explore the field for he/she to benefit from my documentary photography experience.

    I would give it more thought to the idea of opening a space where people can find other to work together.
    Now you probably connect people by geographic location which makes the most sense to facilitate personal interaction – however – based on people’s interest it might make more sense for people across the globe to connect…like you said a lot of this already happens organically. If I have more concrete ideas I’ll share them with you.

    Gracias nuevamente.



    99% of the people i write to here are people i met right here online…i have since met many in person, but the original contact was through the keyboard…

    most of my mentoring is free, but i also do workshops where there is a tuition…the only thing perhaps beneficial about the tuition workshops is that they guarantee my time at a particular time…and many workshops are by nature expensive to produce, therefore necessitating tuition….however, polite and persistent photographers who really need help can always get it from me by just buying me a beer…

    in Austin you should contact first Lance Rosenfield and Dave Keenan…both are former students of mine…Lance is just one terrific photographer and friend and writes occasionally here….Dave started the Austin Center of Photography recently….obviously i cannot volunteer the time of others, but both of these men i am sure would at least send you in the right direction…i do not have the contact info for the ACP right this sec, but i am sure you can track it down…both Lance and Dave are friends , so find Dave first and he will send you to Lance…

    por supuesto , por nada…


  • mariana and dah.

    and ALL

    i hope lots of people are working on the email side of things as well.. if there is someone whos work you like or you feel could help you / you could help them drop them a line.. it’s great to get an email or three every week from people here..

    there is already more gouing on through here than appears on here.

  • aLL………
    Panos here……..
    if u dont have enough money to go back to school…….
    check here:
    2nd book…….. just published…..
    literally seconds ago…….


    buy it please….


    i know, personally, both Lance (he’s a good friend and a GREAT guy) and Dave…

    ok, some info:

    you can write Dave via the Austin Center for PHotography at


    since BURN only allows 1 link at a time (David, Anton, can we fix this??)…i’ll leave a 2nd email next

    bob black

  • Mariana:

    You can contact Lance via his website:


    the Austin Center for photography is austincenterforphotograph (just add www. and end with .org)

    also there ARE A LOT of great photographers in Austin….Lance, Dave, Kelly Lynn James, Erin Trieb, Matt Wright-Steel (founder/editor of Eleanor Magazine)

    and CHECK OUT ELEANOR MAGAZINE…like Burn, just started…

    BEST ADVICE; write an email to Matt Wright-Steel (website, wrightsteel.net) or Dave (email above) and contact Elenor magazine….SO SO MANY photographers in Austin…all great folk…


  • Also

    You can contact Lance via his website:


    the Austin Center for photography is austincenterforphotograph (just add www. and end with .org)

    also there ARE A LOT of great photographers in Austin….Lance, Dave, Kelly Lynn James, Erin Trieb, Matt Wright-Steel (founder/editor of Eleanor Magazine)

    and CHECK OUT ELEANOR MAGAZINE…like Burn, just started…

    BEST ADVICE; write an email to Matt Wright-Steel (website, wrightsteel.net) or Dave (email above) and contact Elenor magazine….SO SO MANY photographers in Austin…all great folk…


  • Also, here is some for stuff for you Marianna:


    You can contact Lance via his website:


    the Austin Center for photography is austincenterforphotograph (just add www. and end with .org)

    also there ARE A LOT of great photographers in Austin….Lance, Dave, Kelly Lynn James, Erin Trieb, Matt Wright-Steel (founder/editor of Eleanor Magazine)

    and CHECK OUT ELEANOR MAGAZINE…like Burn, just started…

    BEST ADVICE; write an email to Matt Wright-Steel (website, wrightsteel.net) or Dave (email above) and contact Elenor magazine….SO SO MANY photographers in Austin…all great folk…


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