Department of Fine Arts


Photography Area Mission

Lens based imaging (photography) is the primary mode of visual communication in our highly globalized and networked world. The BA/BFA curriculum in photography focuses on the complexities of image production through studio art practices. This includes negotiating the multiple layers involved in the making/taking of images. Memorable photography strikes a balance between craft, form, content/concept, emotion, and expression. The photography area strives to empower students to become active and critically informed image-makers. While many of the tools and conceptual skills taught, are applicable to photography on a broad level, the areas primary focus is on photography within the Fine Art context.

The photo facilities include a professional quality lighting studio, and both a large format and mid size digital print lab with professional film scanners. There are also traditional wet darkrooms, which are suitable for alternative processes and silver printing. In addition, the area maintains quality DSLR kits, 4x5 View cameras with a variety of lenses, and Digital Medium Format equipment for BFA and MFA candidates. The Digital Media area is intertwined with the Photography area and provides both resources and instruction in time based media including video, installation, and performance.

MFA in Photography

Washington State University’s MFA in Photography program is selective and competitive. The MFA in Photography is part of the School of Fine Art’s broader studio arts MFA program. Our MFA is interdisciplinary and requires that students participate in critiques, classes, and exhibitions with MFA candidates in painting/drawing, sculpture/ceramics, printmaking, and new media. Students also study with a variety of faculty in disciplines outside their area including visiting artists and lecturers. Our students come from a variety of places including regionally, nationally, and internationally. Most recently we have had students from Germany, Iran, Japan, Egypt, and China.

MFA candidates in photography are given a comfortable studio with natural light, along with a wet darkroom for either work or storage. Typically, MFA candidates are also given a Graduate Assistantships, which allow for classroom teaching. MFA candidates are also given the opportunity to exhibit their MFA thesis show in the WSU Art Museum.

Geographically, WSU is located in the Palouse, which is a region that straddles both Washington and Idaho. Located eight miles from WSU, is Moscow, Idaho; home to the University of Idaho. The two universities enhance the vibrancy of the area, which includes UI’s Prichard Art Gallery. WSU is approximately 5 hours from Seattle, Boise, and Portland.


380 History of Photography 3 Historical survey of photography from its invention to the present; conceptual, cultural, and technical implications of the medium.

381 Beginning Photography 3 (0-6) Prereq F A 102. Digital DSLR used in conjunction with image editing and Digital Assets Management; composition and aesthetic concepts introduced.

382 Intermediate Photography 3 (0-6) May be repeated for credit; cumulative maximum 9 hours. Prereq F A 381. Expansion of conceptual building with film cameras/historical processes, location and studio lighting, and camera techniques; research and portfolio.

385 Digital Imaging 3 (0-6) May be repeated for credit; cumulative maximum 9 hours. Prereq F A 332; 381. Intermediate principles and processes of digital imaging including color theory, software, cameras, scanning, color management and output options.

483 Advanced Photography 3 (0-6) or 6 (0-12) May be repeated for credit. Six credits only with permission of instructor. Prereq F A 382, major in F A. Advanced digital imaging and studio; research of historic and contemporary trends; discussion of personal direction; portfolio.

FA 367: Special Topics—Beginning Photography V 1-6 May be repeated for credit.

FA 368: Special Topics—Foundations in Photography V 1-6 May be repeated for credit.


Dennis DeHart

Assistant Professor: Photography
Photography Coordinator
T: (509) 335-4981

WSU Photography Blog

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