Charles H. Traub (born April 6, 1945) is an American photographer and educator, known for his ironic real world witness color photography. He was chair of the photography department at Columbia College Chicago, where he established its Museum of Contemporary Photography (MOCP) in 1976, and became a director of New York’s Light Gallery in 1977. Traub founded the MFA program in Photography, Video, and Related Media at the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 1987, which was the first program of its kind to fully embrace digital photographic practice. He has been Chairperson of the program since. Traub has published more than 15 books of his photographs and writings on photography and media.
Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Traub earned his BA in English literature at the University of Illinois, where both his mother and father had also attended. In 1967, during his last semester of his senior year in college, he took his first photography class with the landscape photographer Art Sinsabaugh using the camera left to him by his recently deceased father. His family roots in both central Illinois and Kentucky gave inspiration for his early photographic work.