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Hear about Lizzie’s and Peter’s experiences in the 2017-18 Advanced Study program.

1 Hour Consultation

We welcome prospective students to visit our studio for an informal consultation. We’re happy to hear about your photography goals and help you determine if the Advanced Study is the right program for you.

Advanced Photography Study students at the Viewfinder Center discuss course content.

Hands-on Lessons

Hands-on learning in small groups. Students develop new skills and understanding through dynamic lessons, exciting practice shoots, fun assignments and engaging critique sessions.

OVERVIEW

To master a craft such as photography it’s been said that a student must invest 10,000 hours in learning new skills. At the Viewfinder Center we agree that “practice makes perfect” but we also believe that focused, high-quality, hands-on learning experiences are invaluable to photography students.

Now in it’s fourth year, Viewfinder’s Advanced Photography Study helps enthusiastic students master a variety of camera skills and techniques, taking them from intermediate shooter to advanced photographer. Graduates leave the program with a customised portfolio and program certificate, demonstrating their ability to solve technical and creative problems in their images. From fast-action sports and portrait subjects to documentary and landscape photography, this program will challenge the photographer who’s ready for more. Roll up your sleeves and go beyond the basics in this exciting ten-month program!

Student portrait assignment Advanced Photography Study Viewfinder Center Switzerland
Viewfinder Center students look at their portfolio books from the Advanced Photography Study
Practice sports photography basketball shoot at Nottwil Paraplegiker Zentrum in Viewfinder Center's Advanced Photography Study

Guided Practice Shoots

Each unit of our program includes an on-site practice shoot with individual support from our instructors. Photography can’t be learned simply by reading or watching videos. We believe in a combination of theory lessons, guided practice shoots and group feedback sessions. This is followed by students completing their own external assignments and receiving in-depth instructor feedback.

SUMMARY

Instruction/Assignments

  • Evening class sessions once per week in Zurich
  • Monthly off-site practice shoots with instructors
  • Group review sessions following shoots
  • Individual assignments completed outside of class
  • Written instructor feedback on each assignment

Participants

  • Maximum nine participants, minimum five.

Instructors

  • Matt Anderson with support from Erwin Windmüller, Susi Venditti, and A’ron Schmukle.

Location

  • Viewfinder Center, Stampfenbachstrasse 157, 8006 Zurich
  • Multiple off-site shooting locations around Switzerland
Student photography portfolio printing in Viewfinder Center's Advanced Photography Study program in Zurich, Switzerland.

Build Your Portfolio

Throughout the program, students print their assignment work and build their own photography portfolios. This valuable asset helps maintain a photographer’s creative motivation and also nurtures the development of a personal shooting style. Each assignment is printed and mounted for a professional presentation. In addition to earning a program certificate, each student’s portfolio is a testament to their skills and experience behind the camera.

Content & Prerequisites

Unit Overview

Unit 1: Advanced Exposure Control
Unit 2: Digital Developing & Printing
Unit 3: Dynamic Image Composition
Unit 4: Studio Lighting & Portraiture
Unit 5: Fast-Action Sports
Unit 6: The Picture Story
Unit 7: Photographing the Landscape
Event: Concludes with a Student Exhibition

Prerequisites

  • Confident with beginner camera skills such as those learned in our Digital Photography 1-2-3 Course
  • Entry level experience with Adobe Lightroom
  • Informal enrolment interview with Matt (lead instructor) at Viewfinder Center
Advanced Photography Study camera gear

 CAMERA, FLASH & TRIPOD

While familiarity with your camera is more important than the model you own, we encourage the use of either a “Digital-Single-Lens-Reflex” type camera or a “mirrorless style” camera from Olympus, Sony or Fuji. Our instructors prefer shooting with “full-frame” digital cameras from Nikon, Canon or Sony but it’s entirely unnecessary to upgrade for the purpose of this course. If you’re considering a camera purchase we’re happy to recommend a suitable model. Students of the Advanced program will regularly make use of a dedicated flash and tripod.

photography student hiking and shooting in the Engadin Valley of Switzerland
Advanced Photography Study student photo
Practice sports photography basketball shoot at Nottwil Paraplegiker Zentrum in Viewfinder Center's Advanced Photography Study

Guided Practice Shoots

Photography is a “learn-by-doing” craft. Students put their new knowledge to work by practicing together in the field. Instructors are available to assist as they tackle real shooting challenges that are both fun and challenging. From working with professional models to covering sporting events and photographing stunning alpine scenery, we make excellent use of Switzerland’s photographic variety.

Matt Anderson photographer Viewfinder Center

Matt Anderson – Instructor

Matt Anderson is the principle instructor and director at the Viewfinder Center. Matt has been living in Switzerland since 2008. His photography career began fifteen years ago while studying journalism in the United States. As a daily newspaper photographer he acquired a broad base of photography skills and found himself shooting all manner of subjects from sports and news events to portraits and feature assignments. Working as a regular freelancer for the Associated Press, he learned some important lessons about shooting under pressure. These days he balances a busy teaching schedule with photography projects for commercial clients in the Zurich area. Matt’s work has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Press Photographers Association (USA), and the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers. Matt publishes a regular photography column in Spot Magazine. When he’s not busy shooting or teaching you can find him planning or packing for the next trip.

Advanced Photography Study student Alex K.

Alex K.

The program has been an incredible and intense journey. We were thrown out into the photography world: photojournalism, sports photography, working with models, landscape & wildlife photography. You'll be amazed at the diversity of images you'll produce by the end of term. I'm ready to start some photography work now and maybe even turn it into a living. but I will really miss the joy of working with my Advanced Study buddies!

Advanced Photography Study student Rod T.

Rod T.

I joined to extend my "photographic vocabulary” and learn the techniques to better express my ideas. That is exactly what this class is about. Lots of fun was had on our practice shoots and excursions. If you are serious about your photography and want to take it to the next level, then this is the right place for you.

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