Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
Even though there were not a great many speakers at this years Society for Photographic Education Conference, I got a lot from Sam Wang’s keynote address and hearing Honored Educator’s Gil Leebrick and Jackie Leebrick talk about their individual photographic journey’s . It’s always great to hear other image makers talk about their work. To listen to their individual perspectives on making photographs – essentially their creative journey and how they evolved as photographers.
Photography is still a relatively new medium compared to painting, ceramics, and sculpture, yet it has evolved very rapidly due to technological innovations. Going from the Daguerreotype to the Calotype was one early evolution to the medium and then that whole issue about photographers like Julia Cameron initially seeking out to emulate painting in their pictures to Paul Stand and his desire to use the medium to its fullest by making brutally direct images.
The digital revolution came along and we all experienced growing pains with that monumental technological shift. The point being that there are always going to be new tools and applications for artists and image makers to use in making pictures. The real challenge for us is identifying the best tools whether they be analog and/or digital that help us communicate our personal vision most effectively.
This is an incredibly exciting time to be an artist/image maker because we have more powerful tools at our disposal than ever before. There is absolutely no reason to reject/ignore the processes from the past – film is still a wonderful and expressive medium and so is digital. We literally have a cornucopia of creative options out there for us to explore and investigate as we embark on our creative paths.
It’s just a matter of synthesizing the past with the present and identifying the best tools and applications to use for expressing ourselves in our photography. This past SPE Southeast Regional Conference reaffirmed this in both the keynote speakers, presentations and the print sharing.
My colleague Cathy Crowell (photo right) summed up the conference stating…
“The individual workshops had amazing variety from excellent presentations demonstrating online education, to making digital negatives form turn of the century process. Everything old is new again. This seems to be the decade of the hybrid. The presenters showed every type of photography being produced and were a real eye opener for our students. I love to see them light up with enthusiasm as new information and opportunities are presented. It is a big world out there and attending these conferences helps prepare the students to be successful.”
Here are some photos from the conference…click thumbnail to enlarge.
The conference inspired us so much that we stopped along the drive back and took many photography off the side of the road of Hwy 17.