From: Kris Erickson (email@example.com)
Date: 07/31/02-05:04:14 PM Z
I found a great interview of Dave Heath by Chris Buck on the web that kind
of touches on my own thoughts re: 'teaching photography' (and my own ryerson
experience in general).
From: Robert W. Schramm [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: July 30, 2002 10:31 AM
Subject: Real photography
At the risk of getting flamed, I would like to speak to what I meant by the
term "real photography." It was, perhaps an unfortunate choice of a phrase
because it implys that photography with an automatic camera is not really
photography. Of course that is not true because there are many aspects of
photographic art that can be taught using an automatic camera (digital or
film). Composition comes to mind for one.
How does one teach students that there is not one "correct" exposure to use
or that the light meter reading is just a suggestion and must be
interpreted. What about depth of field and its relationship to f-stops and
lens focal length? How about just geting them to look at the light and try
to capture what they want via a photographic process. How about control. An
artist must control the medium. There is much more.
How does the student learn these things while using a autofocus,
autoexposure, self loading machine for which the only instructions are:
1. Insert film here (not necessary if digital) 2. Remove film here (also not
necessary if digital). 3. Look through this hole, and when you see something
you like 4. Push this button. What a student learns with a
device like this is how to take, not make, a photograph. The machine is in
control, not the photographer.
I am talking about photography as an art medium.
Automatic cameras are great for sports photography, snapshots, news
and lots more. But they have a bad effect on photography nobody mentions.
That is, with an autoeverything camera in hand,everyone is a photographer. I
have noticed that our local newspaper hands out digital autoeverything
cameras to reporters. The result is some very bad photos appearing in the
paper. There is only one actual photographer left on their staff. An
autocamera allows you to take a photograph. Thats all. It does not make you
into a photographic artist. It is my experience that most people simply do
not know what looks good.
Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Its only my opinion after all.
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