Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
I presented another Digital Photography Workshop in Jacksonville NC yesterday. This time I gave a more advanced presentation to a small group of local photographers. It was a nice surprise to see one of my former Photography graduates Dean Remington show up for my talk. He sure has come a long way with his photography. He now runs his own portrait studio in Jacksonville. I love the fact that we as teachers can make a “difference” in peoples lives and impact people in a positive way.
Putting together a presentation like this forces me to truly think about the medium of photography in new ways. Digital technology is changing (evolving) so rapidly it is very difficult for anyone in the field to keep abreast of the various aspects and dynamics of photography. It must be almost overwhelming for people just learning photography or any aspect of computer / imaging technology. The one thing that hit me as I wrote this presentation is that Photography in itself has not really changed. Taking a unique, interesting, dynamic, well composed photograph is pretty much the same whether you are still using a film camera or have moved to digital. It is the PHOTOGRAPHER who SEES the potential image NOT the camera. I must admit I am a little nostalgic for traditional film photography although I must admit to not having shot film in over 5 years. This decision was made for both health concerns and the time factor. As I mentioned to my students yesterday…there is something about the inherent quality of a black & white “silverprint” that cannot be replicated digitally. At least I’ve not seen a digital b&w photograph that reveals the subtle nuance, fine detail and tonal delineation that a traditionally printed b&w print has. With that said…it’s not the act of making the pictures that’s changed over the past 10 years. That for the most part is still relatively the same, although it seems that people tend to take more photographs when they know they can delete them from their flash cards or have a 2 gig card that holds hundreds of images. I think film photographers tend to be a little more selective in their choice of subject matter and how they may compose and expose it. This is just a personal opinion however, not based on any real research other than anecdotal.
The real changes have occurred in the processing of the image after the initial exposure is taken. The digital processing can be faster because you don’t have to process the film in chemistry and then print the images. You see the photograph immediately and can process it in image manipulation software like Photoshop, Aperature or Light Room in a matter of minutes although if the photographer has limited computer skills this can be a timely procedure as well.
Anyway…I am attaching my Powerpoint presentation at the bottom of this post for anyone who wants to view it. Photography is constantly evolving as technology advances. I think it is important NOT to loose sight of the fact that making GOOD photographs is still in the hands, mind and heart of the photographer. Computers, software and digital gadgets are just TOOLS to help us as image makers produce the very best and expressive photographs possible. The best photographs control the tools and don’t let the tool control them and how they make pictures. CLICK LINK BELOW FOR POWERPOINT