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[teacherartexchange] film vs. digital


Date: Sat Mar 22 2008 - 07:41:14 PDT


  I am having trouble posting since I switched my email accounts, so
hopefully this will get through. In the conversation about wet photography
vs. digital photography I want to weigh in too. Our photo lab is outdated,
with equipment that is on it's last legs. (we've had a photo lab since the
70's) Chemicals, paper and replacement parts for enlargers and cameras are
becoming increasingly hard to come by at affordable (school bid) prices.
Also, with No Child Left Behind our enrollments are becoming more
diversified in abilities, and one on one instruction is becoming more
imperative, thus rendering the freedom of having some students in the
darkroom while others work independently impossible.

  We have opted for a transition year, while we phase out our darkroom and
phase in all digital. Many years ago when we eliminated our jewelry course
and our fiber course, I said that if students wanted to work on those
specialties (we do have craft courses that touch on those areas), they would
have to sign up for classes outside of school, or wait until they got to art
school. We are a comprehensive high school, not an "arts high" and offer far
more art classes for our 900 students that most high schools our size (14
different art classes). Our digital program will concentrate on all of the
things that wet photography touched on, in terms of principles and elements,
composition and the essential questions of "the big idea", except that
Photoshop will be our tool to reveal the image in its final form.

  On a personal level, digital photography has made composing so much easier
for me. My personal photographs have never looked better in terms of
composition, immediacy of truth, and my excitement of seeing the image
immediately and recrafting if necessary. Each of us has our own way of
working in photography. My husband uses his expensive digital camera with
multiple lenses and abilities to change the shutter speeds/f stops the way
he used to use his old SLR, bracketing and keeping a journal as he goes. I,
on the other hand, point and shoot away, look at the images, revisit, then
shoot again if necessary, and then run right out to my local Kodak kiosk,
print it, frame it, and love it. I want my students to know they can do
both, and at the same time not waste film, a consideration we all had 'back
in the day'.

San D
(this is from my old email address...nothing seems to work from my new one

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