Subject: RE: Film vs. digital
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 2008 14:39:58 +0000
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 Our photo lab is outdated, with equipment that is on it's last legs.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'.