Presentation

ECAL is introducing a new master’s degree in Photography as from the 2016 academic year. Relying on massive use of photographic images – a key element in today’s visual communication – this two-year programme, unique in Switzerland, gives students with a related Bachelor’s degree an opportunity to develop projects in the long term. It especially pushes the boundaries of applied research in contemporary photography with an emphasis on digital, web and network manipulation, new forms of books, shaping images on various media, interactive exhibition design, up to and including the moving image.

Taking advantage of ECAL’s numerous collaborations with economic, industrial or cultural stakeholders, this training allows students to regularly rub shoulders with influential figures in fine art photography and commissioned work. Structured around practical lessons and workshop weeks, the programme fosters privileged encounters. As for theory, visual analyses and text productions also guide students towards the clarification and disclosure of project concepts. Finally, workshops, labs, studios and the availability of a state-of-the-art print shop ensure that the projects initiated are given concrete form.

The skills acquired and research conducted during the course give students the necessary tools to produce a wide-ranging innovative project, with significant opportun-ities in terms of dissemination and visibility. Through its pragmatic, artistic and applied nature, the Master Photography ensures that each graduate, based on their specific strengths and inclinations, finds a place in the top networks of contemporary photography.

Language

English

Qualification issued

Master of Arts HES-SO in Design, major in Photography

Yearly fees (materials included)

CHF 1 925.-

Length

4 semesters

Credits

120 ECTS

Useful links

Admissions Contact

Equipments & infrastructures

Open space MA Photography Digital Printshop Technology Center Photo Studio Editing/Scanning Room

Research Projects

augmented-photography.ch

automated-photography.ch

Learning Objectives

First year

1/4

  • Develop a personal project during one semester which may possibly extend over the whole duration of the studies and up to graduation.

  • Collaborate with a brand, magazine or media in the fields of fashion and design; understand the issues at stake in applied photography for art direction, styling and production.

  • Understand still life studio photography with advanced skills in lighting and HD digital photography.

  • Create and produce a personal photographic book (editing, sequencing, printing, binding, etc.) that could be presented at international fairs (Offprint Paris and London); know the photographic publishing market (financing, production, distribution).

  • Learn about 3D software (computer generated imaging) in relation to its photographic simulations.

  • Acquire skills and develop projects in Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (XR).

  • Participate in research programmes with practical experiments related to image technologies.

  • Broaden your referential skills, structure your discourse and acquire curatorial skills in contemporary photography.

  • Benefit from portfolio readings with curators from major institutions and international artists.

  • Take part in weeks of workshops supervised by practitioners from all over the world with the aim of carrying out collective or personal projects.

Second year

1/2

  • Continue the development of a personal project and define your photographic writing in view of the graduation work.
  • Materialise photography in installations and sculptures with construction, moulding and printing techniques (UV Printing, 3D printing, CNC).
  • Learn about the concept of “Augmented Photography” (introduction to code, digital arts and post-human approaches).
  • Participate in group trips for field projects and international exhibitions.
  • Follow studio visits with practitioners from all over the world.
  • Participate in research programmes with practical experiments in relation to image technologies.
  • Immerse yourself in workshops constantly adapted to the latest technological and cultural trends led by professionals from all over the world in order to carry out collective or personal projects by learning a new technology/approach.
  • Benefit from portfolio reviews with curators and artists from all over the world.
  • Participate in a writing workshop and write your Master’s thesis based on the knowledge acquired during the course.
  • Put into practice the know-how acquired in a graduation work and a portfolio, which will serve as a business card to integrate into the labour market quickly. 

Projects

This section contains a selection of emblematic or recent projects related to the disciplines taught in the Master's degree.
See all projects

Studio Projects

Semester Evaluations

PHOTOGRAPHY

Semester Evaluations

Studio project by 2 MAP

Results of the evaluations of the first semester for the second year MA students. During this semester the students had the chance to work with Katy Hundertmark, Marco de Mutiis, Mazaccio & Drowilal among other teachers and lecturer for workshops and portfolio reviews.

Semester Evaluations

PHOTOGRAPHY

Semester Evaluations

Studio project

Results of the evaluations of the first semester for the first year MA students. During this semester the students had the chance to work with Milo Keller, Charles Negre, Bruno Ceschel, Ann-Christin Bertrand among other teachers and lecturer for workshops and portfolio reviews.

Materialized Photography

PHOTOGRAPHY

Materialized Photography

Studio project with Rachel de Joode

First-year students have been tutored artist Rachel de Joode into using a more plastic approach in the way they conceive and display physical images.

Self Initiated Project

PHOTOGRAPHY

Self Initiated Project

Studio project with Bruno Ceschel, MAP

First-year course with Bruno Ceschel

Materialized Photography

PHOTOGRAPHY

Materialized Photography

Studio project with MAP, Alix Marie

In this course tutored by guest lecturer Alix Marie, the second year students conceptualized and executed strategies to coherently materialize their image in the space.

Automated Photography

PHOTOGRAPHY

Automated Photography

Studio project with Marco De Mutiis

2nd year Automated Photography course tutored by Marco De Mutiis.

Self Initiated Project / Automated Photography

PHOTOGRAPHY

Self Initiated Project / Automated Photography

Studio project with Milo Keller

First-year students worked on self-initiated projects tutored by Milo Keller. Students had the option to propose projects that would explore technologies and themes related to the current master's research project Automated Photography.

Applied Photography

PHOTOGRAPHY

Applied Photography

Studio project with MAP, Charles Negre

The first year students have been tasked with creating a story for Klima magazine. The course was tutored by Charles Negres.

Semester Evaluations

PHOTOGRAPHY

Semester Evaluations

Studio project with MAP

First and second year MA `Results from first semester evaluations. During this semester the students had the chance to work with Milo Keller, Bruno Ceschel, Lars Willumeit, Qiu Yang, Area Of Work, Cecile B Evans and Kim Knoppers and Ann-Christin Bertrand among other teachers and lecturer for workshops and portfolio reviews.

Semester Evaluations

PHOTOGRAPHY

Semester Evaluations

Studio project with MAP

Results of the evaluations of the first semester for the first and second year MA students. During this semester the students had the chance to work with Milo Keller, Harm Van den Dorpel, Bruno Ceschel, Julien Gallico and Ann-Christin Bertrand among other teachers and lecturer for workshops and portfolio reviews.

Photobook

PHOTOGRAPHY

Photobook

Studio project with Bruno Ceschel

The photobook module introduces students to the history of photobooks and artists’ books and leads them to consider different strategies and approaches to contemporary book-making. In the first term students individually conceptualised a publication that have been designed, printed and distributed in the second term. In Spring 2017 each students publisheded a book that have been launched at Photo London / Offprint London.

Workshops

Metaphotography - VR Workshop

PHOTOGRAPHY

Metaphotography - VR Workshop

Workshop with Robin Bervini, Milo Keller

During this five days workshop mentored by Milo Keller and Robin Bervini, the students worked in groups to create sublime environments inspired from reference photographs. The goal was to bring the viewer to a strange location to be observed from a static landmark. The students learned the basics of environment creation with the Unreal Engine 4 and they faced the technical complications in order to have their projects running on the standalone headset Meta Quest 2.

Materialized Photography Workshop

PHOTOGRAPHY

Materialized Photography Workshop

Workshop with Mazaccio & Drowilal, MAP

During this one week workshop, the students were challenged every morning with a sculptural challenge and in the afternoon they continued developing their semester projects with the guidance of artist duo Mazaccio & Drowilal.

Automated Photography Worshop

PHOTOGRAPHY

Automated Photography Worshop

Workshop with Marco De Mutiis

In this one week intensive workshop, digital curator Marco de Mutiis tasked the students with creating a photographic project through a process of gameification, or with otherwise automated processes.

Book making workshop

PHOTOGRAPHY

Book making workshop

Workshop with Nicolas Polli

Exquisite Corpse VR Experience

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Exquisite Corpse VR Experience

Workshop with Milo Keller

On the occasion of the Biennale dell’immagine Chiasso, the 2nd year students of the Master Photography programme presented, from 17 to 19 September 2021, “Exquisite Corpse” - a series of Virtual Reality (VR) projects at the Palestra CPC. Art Direction: Milo Keller Assistants: Florian Amoser Robin Bervini Students: Emma Bedos Alexey Chernikov Mahalia “Taje” Giotto Clemens Fischer Nikolai Frerichs Hikaru Hori Augustin Lignier Sophie Schreurs Alisa Strub Yang Su

VR Workshop

PHOTOGRAPHY

VR Workshop

Workshop with Milo Keller, Robin Bervini

Virtual Reality introduction workshop tutored by Milo Keller with the technical assistance of Florian Amoser and Robin Bervini. During this 5 days introduction, students learned to use Unreal Engine 4 to prototype and test their scenes in real-time. Working in pairs, each of them started to develop a level of a global VR experience that will be presented at the Biennale dell'immagine 2021 in Chiasso.

Iconic

PHOTOGRAPHY

Iconic

Workshop with Lauren Huret, MAP

In this workshop, first and second year students had group discussions around what makes an image iconic and developed group and individual projects. The workshop was tutored by Lauren Huret

Book making workshop

PHOTOGRAPHY

Book making workshop

Workshop with Nicolas Polli

The workshop is a complement to the Photobook semester project during which the first year students, tutored by graphic designer Nicolas Polli, learned to think of the photobook as an object. Each student developed their sequence and made creative choices that led to the production of a dummy.

Metaphysical Content

PHOTOGRAPHY

Metaphysical Content

Workshop with Area Of Work

A one week transversal CGI workshop tutored by Area of Work to the first year Master Photography students in November 2020. Tutors: Area of Work Students: Emma Bedos, Alexey Chernikov, Mattia Dagani Rio, Thomas Dreux (HEAD Geneva), Clemens Fischer, Nikolai Frerichs, Mahalia Giotto, Hikaru Hori, Joanne Joho (HEAD Geneva), Augustin Lignier, Yshao Lin, Sophie Schreurs, Alisa Strub and Renée Verhoeven. Assistants: Florian Amoser, Robin Bervini, Thomas Le Provost. Digital architecture: Florian Amoser Virtual walkthrough: Robin Bervini Soundtrack: Hatari - MSH03X

Still Life Photography

PHOTOGRAPHY

Still Life Photography

Workshop with MAP, Charles Negre

During this practical workshop tutored by Charles Negres, the students have been introduced to studio lighting for still life photography and realized images on topics connected to climate.

Still Life Photography

PHOTOGRAPHY

Still Life Photography

Workshop with MAP, Charles Negre

The students created still life compositions developing a consistent body of images. Tutored by Charles Negres.

Guardare l’utopia

PHOTOGRAPHY

Guardare l’utopia

Workshop with Milo Keller, MAP, Florian Amoser, Calum Douglas

Utopia is invisible; only utopians can see it. A class of 12 students from the Photography Master at the ECAL/University of Art and Design of Lausanne, in residence at Casa Corti in Pellio, Val d’Intelvi (Italy), elaborated the concepts of utopia and community. Identifying the malaise of a generation trapped in social networks, confused between reality and the virtual sphere, and in need of establishing new values, the group developed a range of different strategies: morning meditation sessions, walks to Monte Generoso, shared meals and discussions to produce photographs and videos which, while gradually shifting away from reality, reach imaginary dimensions that oscillate between utopia and dystopia, figuration and abstraction. --- Students Emidio Battipaglia Robin Bervini Jasmine Deporta Anja Karolina Furrer Alessia Gunawan Christian Harker Johanna Hullár Philipp Klak Doruk Kumkumoglu Jelly Luise Igor Pjörrt Gedvile Tamosiunaite Curator Milo Keller Assistants Florian Amoser Calum Douglas Graphic Design Nicolas Polli biennaleimmagine.ch https://casacorti.org/

Diplomas

Yang Su – Cloud and Beyond the Infinite

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Yang Su – Cloud and Beyond the Infinite

Diploma project by Yang Su

Clouds and Beyond the Infinite is a video installation with real-time simulation. Thanks to enhanced rendering engines and higher definition visual representations, the era of the metaverse, an immersive digital virtual environment, is fast emerging. Yet behind the dazzling and realistic visuals of the metaverse lie continuously expanding data centres, more GPU processing and power consumption, and the ensuing heat and carbon emissions. As the metaverse becomes better and more liveable, our physical environment is gradually deteriorating. The artist chose the “Cloud” element to depict an immersive virtual world, showing the flow of an infinity of clouds in various contexts.

Clemens Fischer – Sticks and Wires

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Clemens Fischer – Sticks and Wires

Diploma project by Clemens Fischer

Designed as a laboratory, this work consists of camera installations that speculate on a future where imagery is created and consumed without us being present. The camera becomes an independent actor that will have to learn to work, fail and interpret by itself. Equipped with minimal gear and tasks, the machines created are thrown into existence to find out their purpose and connection to the world around them. Clumsy, naive but at the same time heavily charged with our nostalgic heritage, these installations invite us to reflect on a temporary, improvised state of photography and our own importance as its creators.

Alexey Chernikov – Above Everything

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Alexey Chernikov – Above Everything

Diploma project by Alexey Chernikov

Developed during the war in Ukraine, this project focuses on the fragility of our peaceful existence, the power of surveillance and uncertainty about the future. The project uses the visual vocabulary of military drones. A thermal camera is mounted on a drone that provides recognisable black and white imagery. The medium itself has a vital role as it conveys the aesthetic appearance of the work. A huge amount of images from battlefields are shot from the sky. This footage most often ends with a bomb strike. In Above Everything, a parallel reality is created where the ending of each video is unpredictable. The video sequences, together with distorted propeller sounds, create a feeling of constant threat, depicting the tension caused by the war that is happening thousands of kilometres away.

Sophie Schreurs – Fed Underbelly of Silicon Valley

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Sophie Schreurs – Fed Underbelly of Silicon Valley

Diploma project by Sophie Schreurs

Fed Underbelly of Silicon Valley is an immersive installation that makes the hidden social and political tensions of social media platforms physical and tangible. The power of social media platforms is not only apparent because they possess the archive of our culture, but mostly because they decide on the visibility of content. While seemingly democratic, it is clear that nowadays some voices are amplified while others are silenced by content moderation. I draw a parallel between the mechanisms behind social media platforms and the workings of the human body. I imagine the body as a carrier of memories and emotions that seep through and cling to the walls of our insides. Just like our organs filter and circulate – so do the platforms.

Mahalia Taje Giotto – Existential Boner

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Mahalia Taje Giotto – Existential Boner

Diploma project by Mahalia Taje Giotto

My degree is the result of years of obsession related to my body and the gender I was assigned at birth. I began my hormonal transition on 13 November 2020 and have since been living a new relationship with my body that I had been waiting for for almost 30 years. The photo book I created for my degree represents these last two years, the obsessions that haunt me in relation to my body, its appearance, the relationships which it allows me to have with others, desires that consume me and how all this chaos is experienced on a daily basis. The use of texts, concrete, abstract and strange images illustrates the changes I have made to my body over the years. The sculptural approach to the book is a reflection of this transition, both literally and conceptually.

Alisa Strub – My Grind Bears Fruit

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Alisa Strub – My Grind Bears Fruit

Diploma project by Alisa Strub

My Grind Bears Fruit is an installation of projected self-portraits combined with manually painted text which chart territory in my engagement with identity, self-revelation and contemporary media culture. It explores the tension between public and private life, the need to talk about ourselves and our thoughts while creating a blurry line between intimate documentation and a constructed point of view. The seemingly still but slightly moving images are situations where I perform for the camera, influenced by the perception of what I consume online daily. They combine and collide with an intuitive, free, yet deliberately scripted use of words culled from net culture and create a rhythmic counterpoint that challenges viewers to confront their own experiential thresholds.

Hikaru Hori – Slowpoke

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Hikaru Hori – Slowpoke

Diploma project by Hikaru Hori

Slowpoke is a series of sculptural collages. Taken from my surroundings, the images of everyday objects are accumulated and layered to transform multi-sensory experiences. For the series, I worked in particular on the idea of a “combination of physical and digital perceptions” for the upcoming degree presentation. In response to this contemporary setting where the representation and the represented simultaneously affect our cognition, Slowpoke invites viewers to experience the hidden construction of image-making through sculptural collages.

Augustin Lignier – Container

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Augustin Lignier – Container

Diploma project by Augustin Lignier

Container is a project about alienation. From the camera, the machine, space, images, the medium, and from an idea. Through the medium of photography and performance, I build rules to experience the relationship with the apparatus. By seeking to push my body to the limits, I experiment on the camera and the body like a black box in a white cube. The rules are inputs and the images the output. Attempting to understand the reaction of a repetitive action on the videos. Focusing on the obsession of pressing the shutter button on the images. Using this action as a solution. To see the pictures, the viewer has to perform the same action as the performer. The experiments give the power to the machine. Producing images, performing, recording and exhibiting are one thing.

Nikolai Frerichs – Carrie Ann

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Nikolai Frerichs – Carrie Ann

Diploma project by Nikolai Frerichs

The movie Carrie Ann questions the concept of standardisation. Individuality and losing control seem impossible to achieve in digital environments. Nevertheless software developers are constantly trying to build new tools and possibilities to simulate our world as realistically as possible. However, when we take a closer look, we recognise that these tools and representations are full of stereotypes. Is it possible to speak about love in a controlled and unnatural synthetic world? Is our Idea of love just another readymade asset in our mind, formed by the ideals and clichés of the society we live in, or can love resist it? Is it truly something bigger or just a projection of our imagination? Does it have the power to save us from the standardisation of everything?

Emma Bedos – Linger

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Emma Bedos – Linger

Diploma project by Emma Bedos

How can we continue to exist in the places we have left, through the memories of those who remain? In this project, I wanted to grasp the feeling of distance and the way technology tries to compensate for it. I asked my relatives on my home island to capture images of shared memories. Transcribed in photogrammetry to materialise them, the combination of communication and memory work creates a new shared environment. The result highlights the omnipresence of the void. The installation materialises this remote contact, as the negative of itself, via cuts in fluttering and elusive silk. The imagination completes the memory and projects fantasised images of a distant ideal, where presence/absence resonates and lingers.

Natalie Maximova – There Is No Spoon

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Natalie Maximova – There Is No Spoon

Diploma project by Natalie Maximova

Mention Bien This artwork is an interpretation of the possibility that we are living in a computer-generated reality, similar to a video game, inspired by the ideas of simulation theory. The world is built as an assemblage of soulless structures with no indication of time or place. The rapid change of architectural styles throughout the journey explains the ambiguity of simulation theory and the impossibility of proving it. There are multitudes of architectures and imaginations, thus there are multitudes of mysteries. It is a journey halfway between dream and nightmare. In the absence of a total understanding, what else can we do but plough ahead? Video installation: CGI animation created in the game engine, surround sound.

Manqin Zhang – I'm not a Loner

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Manqin Zhang – I'm not a Loner

Diploma project by Manqin Zhang

I’m not a Loner is a photo-based installation in which Manqin acts as an archaeologist digging into the forgotten and insignificant part of life. The work consists of three resin spinning tops, four concrete blocks, five T-shirts, twelve lighters and two plates. By treating them as historical artifacts – displayed on plinths of different heights, evoking a forest-like environment – the work intends to construct a narrative of individual history through memories, relations and objects. While individual history describes fear, anger and guilt (personal, family-related, societal and historical), Manqin wishes to increase the role of the individual in history to evoke the importance of being oneself and to confront modern alienation.

Program

This section lists the detailed modules and courses for each semester of the programme.

Semester 1 2 3 4

Common modules (ECAL — HEAD)
  • Training in research I (3 ECTS)
  • Transversal workshop I (3 ECTS)

Common modules (Photography, Product Design and Type Design)
  • Cross Lectures I (4 ECTS)
  • MA Thesis preparation I (5 ECTS)

Modules (Photography)
  • Applied I (10 ECTS)

  • Visual Art Photography I (5 ECTS)

     

Common modules (ECAL — HEAD)
  • Training in research II (3 ECTS)
  • Transversal workshop II (3 ECTS)

Common modules (Photography, Product Design and Type Design)
  • Cross Lectures II (4 ECTS)
  • MA Thesis preparation II (5 ECTS)

Modules (Photography)
  • Applied II (5 ECTS)

  • Visual Art Photography II (10 ECTS)

Common modules (ECAL — HEAD)
  • Training in research II (3 ECTS)
  • Transversal workshop II (3 ECTS)

Common modules (Photography, Product Design and Type Design)
  • Cross Lectures III (3 ECTS)
  • MA Thesis preparation III (6 ECTS)

Modules (Photography)
  • Master Project (5 ECTS)

  • Visual Art Photography III (10 ECTS)

Common modules (ECAL — HEAD)
  • Master Thesis: Theoretical project
    (9 ECTS)
  • Master Thesis: Practical project
    (21 ECTS)

Find all the programme documents below

Alumni

Justinas Vilutis
Karla Hiraldo Voleau
Shin Young Park
Career Opportunities

Photographer of architecture, design, fashion or still life, Documentary photographer, Photo artist, Art director, Photo editor, Director of photography, Teacher…

Other alumni

(BA and MA Photography) Anoush Abrar, Philippe Fragnière, Erwan Frotin, Yann Gross, Nicolas Haeni, Raphael Hefti, Philippe Jarrigeon, Florian Joye, Matthieu Lavanchy, Milo Keller, Namsa Leuba, Catherine Leutenegger, David Luraschi, Romain Mader, Jonas Marguet, Adrien Missika, Cyril Porchet, Laurence Rasti, Maya Rochat, Reto Schmid, Sebastian Stadler, Joël Tettamanti, Manon Wertenbroek…

Staff

Head

Milo Keller

Coordination

Adjoint artistique
Florian Amoser

Assistants
Sara Bastai
Robin Bervini

Professors

Claus Gunti
Milo Keller
Anniina Koivu

Lecturers

Ann­ Christin Bertrand
Bruno Ceschel
Robert Drowilal (Mazaccio & Drowilal)
Kim Knoppers
Elise Mazac (Mazaccio & Drowilal)
Elisa Medde
Marco de Mutiis

Visiting lecturers

Nora Al­-Badri
Alain Biber
Harm van den Dorpel
Cécile B. Evans
Christophe Gaillard
Amine Ghorab (Area of Work)
Golgotha
Ethan Greenbaum
Dominic Hawgood
Joe Hamilton
Felicity Hammond
Lauren Huret
It’s Our Playground
Rachel de Joode
Nicolas Krebs & Taiyo Onorato
Jonas Lindstroem
Lesley Martin
Alix Marie
Lauren Moffatt
Simone C Niquille
Lonneke van der Palen
Antje Peters
Scott Renau (Area of Work)
Philip Schuette
Ada Sokol
Lucy Soutter
Thomas Traum
Anne de Vries
Letha Wilson
Qiu Yang
François Zajéga
Francesco Zanot