Review Comment

Photo I (summer)

December 10, 2008

Horesh, Yoav
Photo I (summer)

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

If you want to learn the basics of photography, take a class with Yoav Horesh.

I had absolutely no experience with photography, but I quickly learned the basics of exposure time and aperture (don't be intimidated if you aren't familiar with these terms), how to develop black & white film, and how to make a black & white print. After you learn how to do this you spend the rest of the semester perfecting your technique.

Yoav expects his students to come on time and to do work in the darkroom outside of class. The class is an investment of both time and money (you need a film [not digital] camera, a lens, black & white film, printing paper, sleeves for negatives, a binder, a blotter book, a can of air, a dusting cloth) but I felt it was worth it.

He is sarcastic and can come off as harsh. I was turned off the first couple weeks of class but then I learned to take what he said with a grain of salt and ended up having a great relationship with him (he's a funny guy and also quite compassionate [deep, deep down]).

He said that he rarely gives A+, but if you put in the effort you will be happy with the grade you receive.

Workload:

You have to take photographs outside of class. After the film developing lesson you are expected to develop your film on your own time. Eventually you are expected to make prints on your own time as well. There are regular critiques, and at the end of the semester my class had to do a "what photography means to me" project, which you could turn in as a photograph or as a written paper.
Over the course of the semester he gave us two articles to read and we had to write 1-page responses.

July 29, 2007

Horesh, Yoav
Photo I (summer)

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Perhaps it is just the stress of the summer session, but my experience in the course was totally different from the above.
There is indeed something endearing about Yoav's effeminate yet overbearing manner and his love of art despite his regular (witty) misanthropic diatribes. As a masochistic Columbia student, I admit there was something even enticing about his claim on the highest standards and largest workloads of Photo I classes. I figured what didn't kill me would make me stronger.
Bullshit.
Class discussions during reviews are incoherent and lengthy, to the exclusion of being let out even close to on time. Here we have a professor who consistently runs class late, while not covering basics. It's photo I. Week three, about half the class still couldn't squeegee their prints properly to avoid fucking up their blotter books. Without the patience and pity of darkroom monitors (who've often stayed late to help our sorry asses), we'd have stalled early on. Oh yeah, and he's given diatribes against us rich Columbia kids who didn't work ourselves through art school...

Yoav must be commended for expecting a lot. But, expecting a lot, he could give a lot more.

Workload:

Yoav unabashedly confirms my 20-30 hour/week (pluss classtime) complaint. Ballpark: 40-50 prints and 15 rolls of shots.

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