Faculty of Arts
Department of Photography
Analog to Digital: An Evolving Medium
Photography is a visual record of the world. But it is so much more than that. Each photograph transports us to a specific point in time, a point in the past that speaks to us in the present. In addition to recording the physical world, it captures something essential about the photographer. Photography encompasses not only skills and knowledge but also an individual’s outlook, perception, and aesthetic sensibility.
Novelty is no longer enough to captivate people’s hearts. Our quest today is to continue building on photography’s finest traditions even while developing new modes of expression that challenge conventional notions of what photography is about. Herein lies the key to truly timeless photography. The mission of the Tokyo Polytechnic Department of Photography is to nurture creative professionals capable of wielding this ever-evolving medium to break new expressive ground and meet the demands of our changing times.
Nurturing a New Generation from a 90-Year-Old Tradition
The Department of Photography traces its roots back to the Konishi Professional School of Photography, established in 1923—the predecessor of Tokyo Polytechnic University. During our 90-year history, we have maintained our reputation as one of Japan’s premier centers for photography education, with an alumni roster that boasts some of the most distinguished names in Japanese photography.
The ability to capture the reality of a particular era—and thereby survive it—grows from a solid foundation of knowledge and skills, nourished by dialogue with gifted role models, friends, and colleagues. Building on our unique knowledge base as a longtime leader in photography education, the T.P.U. Department of Photography has been able to create an environment where students can master the wide-ranging knowledge and skills of their field and, through close communication with their instructors, gain the confidence to strike out and launch careers of their own.
Building on the Basics
The Department of Photography’s program, grounded in its long tradition and distinguished track record in photography education, takes the orthodox approach of building systematically on the basics of the photographer’s craft, covering both analog and digital photography in the process. Lecture and seminar courses are headed by full-time faculty, who set aside ample time for personal interaction with students. Our adjunct teaching staff includes a large number of people with active careers in photography, professionals who deal with the challenges of the market and the workplace on a daily basis. We also bring noted Japanese and international photographers to the campus for frequent guest lectures. These opportunities for contact with professionals in the field deepen students’ understanding of photography as not merely a craft but a way of thinking and living. Innovative courses like Art Direction and Picture Archiving offer preparation for a wide range of photography-related careers. Classes like Publication Planning adn Editing and the Imaging Market focus on the business side of photography. Other courses, such as Digital Art, uncover new possibilities for artistic expression.