Skip to Main Content
Campus services and operations are open and we anticipate normal operations for the Fall 2021 semester. View updates.

Photography

Learn More!

By submitting this form I agree to MTSU's Terms
Submit

Cancel

Today there is more photography being made, consumed, and used for more purposes than any time in history – and there’s no sign of things slowing down. Major advances in image capture, image manipulation, and distribution have redefined what is possible. MTSU's Photography program is designed to help students see the world in new ways and capture what they see as, commercial photographers, visual artists, or photojournalists. The program is implemented in a state of the art digital facility, and also maintains traditional and alternative process darkrooms. This unique blend sets the program apart and establishes a foundation for the students to build upon and evolve with the medium of photography. MTSU’s Photography concentration is in the Department of Media Arts.

This program is approved for the Academic Common Market.


What We're Doing

Baldwin Photo Gallery both teaches and inspires

Baldwin Photo Gallery both teaches and inspires

Imagine 180 running feet of empty display space—how would you decide what to hang where? That describes where Jackie Kerns Heigle and her practicum students find themselves a couple of times each semester. Students get to do more than unpack shipping crates and clean glass—they handle images and help decide placement. “They hold what they know is important work in the field and feel they are connecting with history outside the classroom,” explains Heigle, current curator of Baldwin Photographic Gallery, located on the second floor of Bragg Media and Entertainment Building. “Students have never considered someone encountering work for the first time—they have to approach an exhibit layout from a different perspective. I think their involvement is very empowering.” Heigle points out that hanging a show is a series of processes—from learning why they must wear gloves to the importance of sequencing work. The overall process begins more than a year before as shows are sought, vetted, negotiated, and scheduled. Heigle says the selection depends on “knowing what’s out there, who’s up and coming, who’s emerging, and who’s at the retrospective point. Choosing four shows a year is hard. We want the shows to be inclusive in many ways and to be relevant to the times.” Founded by Harold Baldwin, who began MTSU’s photography program, the gallery exists to inspire students, faculty, and the public.

Photography students learn in a building all their own

Photography students learn in a building all their own

Photography students at MTSU enjoy their own dedicated space—the recently renovated McFarland Building—filled with classrooms and functional areas that enhance learning and overall growth as people. The building is roughly divided into a “dry side” and “wet side,” says Jonathan Trundle, Photography program coordinator. The dry side includes two digital classrooms as well as an open digital lab for use outside class. Equipped with large format scanners and printers, the area also includes space for socializing. A camera obscura in one of the classrooms “allows students to see the physics of light and puts them inside a camera to see how it works,” explains Trundle. A student gallery gives Photo majors opportunities to prepare and display work from their portfolios. The wet side includes two traditional darkrooms and one alternative process darkroom. Spacious tabletop and photo studios, the latter with an infinity wall, inspire imagination and foster creativity. However, students will find aids beyond equipment that make their work easier. A strategically placed squeegee panel for wet prints and detailed instructions for operating various equipment and gear are touches Trundle has added as student and curricular needs became apparent. “I want to encourage students to “use light to tell stories,” he says.


Related Media

  • MTSU True Blue Preview: Media Arts

    MTSU True Blue Preview: Media Arts

  • Out of the Blue: MTSU Department of Media Arts

    Out of the Blue: MTSU Department of Media Arts

 
 
 

MTSU's Photography program prepares students for commercial, artistic, and photojournalistic career paths. Prospective professional opportunities include

  • Aerial photographer
  • Archivist/historian
  • Artist
  • Automotive photographer
  • Cinematographer
  • Commercial/advertising photographer
  • Corporate photographer
  • Creative/art director
  • Digital imaging
  • Documentary photographer
  • Educator
  • Fashion or food photographer
  • Freelance photographer
  • Gallery curator/owner
  • Industrial photographer
  • Medical photographer
  • Photo editor
  • Photo lab owner/operator
  • Photo restoration
  • Photo retouching
  • Photographer's assistant
  • Photojournalist
  • Portrait photographer
  • Product photographer
  • Real estate / architectural photographer
  • Staff photographer
  • Studio owner
  • Videographer
  • Virtual reality photographer

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Cracker Barrel
  • Jack Daniels
  • MTSU Photo Services
  • Nissan
  • "Paw" Magazine
  • Saks 5th ;Avenue
  • Southern Living Magazine
  • The Nashville Zoo
  • The Tennessean

Students may choose from four Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees in the Department of Media Arts.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above. 

Students may minor in any program that is not under the same degree as their major. Animation majors are required to have an Art minor. 

Master of Science (M.S.) degree is available in Media and Communication.

Photography

PHOT 1050 - Basic Digital Photography and Imaging
3 credit hours

(Same as EMC 1050.)

Introduces simple and multiple image photography, principles, methods, theory, and practice for both Photography majors and non-Photography majors. Explores digital camera anatomy, operating, and handling while discussing proper in-camera exposure, metering, focusing, shutter speeds, apertures, depth of field, and camera accessories. Basic principles of lighting, design, and image composition discussed. Digital darkroom techniques and image manipulation using tools such as Photoshop included. Emphasis placed on  cameras with manual controls. Students required to own a digital camera with manual controls. Must have working knowledge of the Macintosh computer system.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

PHOT 2050 - Basic Black and White Photography
3 credit hours

Black and white chemistry-based darkroom printing and film processing. Introduces the fundamentals of photographic practice and procedures combined with aesthetics, theories of visual perception, and photographic vision. Emphasis placed upon the in-camera exposure, development of black and white film, the traditional silver print, conceptual theory, problem solving, and portfolio presentation. Class format includes demonstrations, lab work, assignments, and critiques. Students responsible for providing a 35mm roll film camera with interchangeable lenses and manual controls and darkroom supplies for the class.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

PHOT 3040 - History of Photography
3 credit hours

Evolution of photography from its prehistory and invention up until today. Introduces technological advancements, image-makers, processes, movements, and genres within the context of cultural, social, and economic concerns. Focus is primarily on Western Europe and American photography.

Normally offered Fall only

PHOT 3110 - Intermediate Photography I
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: PHOT 2050. Further investigation into the exposure and development controls of black and white chemistry-based darkroom photography as a method of expression and communication. Students responsible for providing a 35mm or medium format roll film camera with manual controls and darkroom materials for class.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

PHOT 3200 - Still Digital Imaging
3 credit hours

(Same as EMC 3200.)

Prerequisite: PHOT 2050 or instructor approval.

Use of digital cameras and flatbed scanners as image capture devices and digital printers as image output devices. Software programs, applications, and discussion topics focus on camera operation, file formats, and the aesthetic and ethical issues surrounding photography. Software applications used to explore creative and experimental possibilities for processing and manipulating photographs.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

PHOT 3580 - Photography Practicum
1 to 3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy; junior standing, and permission of instructor.

Practical experience in an on-campus setting. A minimum of 75 hours work for each hour of credit. Required to be present and work for the class during evening and weekend times during the semester when needed. Note: Total university credit for internship, practicum, and individual problems courses cannot exceed 6 credits. Pass/Fail.

PHOT 3810 - Color Photo Communication I
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy; ART 1610 and PHOT 3110 or consent of instructor.

Basic theory of contemporary color photography while establishing a history of the medium. Requires use of both a fully manual roll film camera and a fully manual digital camera for capture and output in the traditional color darkroom with a roller transport unit and in digital printing. Color theory and color vision discussed and how color works demonstrated.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

Normally offered Fall only

PHOT 4000 - Photography Internship
1 to 3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy; senior standing and permission of department chair or instructor.

Practical experience for advanced students in a professional setting. A minimum of 75 hours work plus other assignments will be required for each hour of credit. Note: Total university credit for internship, practicum, and individual problems courses cannot exceed 6 credits. Pass/Fail.

PHOT 4040 - Color Photo Communication II
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy; PHOT 3040 and PHOT 3810 

A continuation of PHOT 3810 with emphasis placed on details toward the craft, honing a personal vision, and final portfolio presentation.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

Normally offered Spring only

PHOT 4060 - Photojournalism
3 credit hours

(Same as EMC 4060.) Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy; PHOT 3120 and PHOT 3810; EMC 3200/PHOT 3200; or consent of instructor.

Principles and practices of photography, including documentary, news and feature portraiture, photo stories, photo essays, and photo layout. Emphasis on newspaper assignments, participation in campus publications, portfolio editing and production, and internship preparation. DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera required.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

Normally offered Fall only

PHOT 4190 - Ethics and Law for Visual Communicators
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy; junior status with declared major.

Background in ethics and law for the visual communicator. Focus on ethical philosophies, ethics case studies, and solutions to ethical dilemmas; copyright, privacy, and libel law.

Normally offered Spring only

PHOT 4220 - Advanced Photojournalism
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy; PHOT 4060 and/or consent of instructor.

Builds on the basic information given in PHOT 4060. Advanced photographic techniques, including digital imaging, information on ethics and law as they pertain to the image maker, along with an examination of different styles of photojournalism addressed by classroom demonstration, lecture, and practical assignments.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

Normally offered Spring only  

PHOT 4270 - Photo Illustration
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy; PHOT 4060.

Studio lighting of various objects in table top settings such as fabrics, clothes, glassware, food, beverages, and how to make the object read well to a potential client or customer. Setting up of lighting scenarios demonstrated and various camera trigger devices used for stopping time and showing products in different ways. Introduces full frame DSLR cameras, large format view cameras, macro photography, and professional lighting equipment. Problems in advertising photography including the responsibility of understanding the truth in advertising.

Lecture/lab with three to six hours per week.

Normally offered Fall only

PHOT 4280 - Editorial Photography
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy; PHOT 3040, PHOT 3120, and PHOT 3810.

Editorial illustration photography for fashion, corporate, annual report, and style publications with emphasis on paper background and the studio infinity cyclorama wall. Exploration of various career opportunities and business practices open to the professional photographer. Introduction to full frame DSLR cameras, medium format cameras, and professional lighting equipment.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

Normally offered Fall only

PHOT 4290 - Documentary Photography
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: PHOT 3810 and PHOT 4040 

Those students using color darkroom print material must have taken PHOT 4040. Students will photograph a semester-long photo project of personal choice in a documentary style. Research on the aspects of and photographers practicing contemporary documentary photography.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

PHOT 4500 - Special Topics in Photography
1 to 3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy in Photography or permission of instructor. Introduces and explores various subject matters, approaches, and/or topics in the medium of photography. May be repeated for up to 9 hours with different topic.

PHOT 4900 - Photography Capstone
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Senior standing; PHOT 3110, PHOT 3200, PHOT 3810, PHOT 4280, and project proposal approved by instructor prior to registration period.

Students use learned skills and concepts to develop a semester-long photography project of their personal choice. Project can be completed in a variety of photographic medium(s) discussed and approved by instructor prior to registration period. Exhibition is required during the annual MTSU Photography Student Show. 

Normally offered Spring only.

Our adjunct faculty bring outstanding professional experience to our programs. Many are industry leaders with decorated careers and honors. Importantly, they are innovative educators who offer hands-on learning to our students to prepare them to enter and thrive in a dynamic, and oftentimes emerging, industry and professional world. They inspire, instruct, and challenge our students toward academic and professional success.

 

Contact Information

Jonathan Trundle, Program Coordinator
Jonathan.Trundle@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-898-2084
Fax | 615-898-5839

Who is My Advisor?

Rebecca Garrett
Rebecca.Garrett@mtsu.edu
615-494-7998 | BRAGG 230D

Mailing Address

Department of Media Arts
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 58
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Middle Tennessee State University © 2020 Nondiscrimination Policy Terms