Please briefly comment on this trend in photo departments in schools, and why you voted the way you did.

Editor's picture
Some schools are beginning to close their chemical darkrooms in favor of digital processes and printing. Some objections have been raised based on the opinion that learning film photography is a prerequisite to any type of photographic learning. Do you think:
Please briefly comment on this trend in photo departments in schools, and why you voted the way you did.
You should learn about film photography first
66% (42 votes)
Teach only digital -- it's the future
6% (4 votes)
It doesn't matter -- photography is photography, film or digital
28% (18 votes)
Total votes: 64
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Comments
Steve Pontious's picture

Sometimes the actual hands on way of film processing can be a more satisfying experince than sitting behind a computer and printer. To actually watch a photo appear as it's developing and decide when you feel its where it needs to be, is a moment like no other.

Hans's picture

One should know it's tools and technology. But most of all do it and make the best pictures.

Michael Gottlieb's picture

I am a better digital photographer, because of what I learned from working with traditional silver halide materials.

Janet G.'s picture

The experience of being in a darkroom and developing prints only enhances one's ability to shoot.

Ron Klupka's picture

All graphic arts are the same; you are still trying to represent a 3D object on a 2 dimensionl plane. How the image is created is of less impotance than why the image was created.

Nicholas's picture

Darkroom based photography is a process like digital but has several advantages in the learning environment. Non-toxic developers like Vitamin C Gainer developers can be an advantage to this...

Niki White's picture

To truly learn the art, history and true meaning of photography you have to start with film photography. I started a darkroom in my own high school and after I left there was no one else to teach the art, so they done away with the darkroom. You can't learn photography any other way.

Dave Meyer's picture

Never put the tool before the art form..

Rachele Nelson's picture

I recently completed school for photography and with out working in a dark room I feel you don't get the full appreciation or understanding for photography, with out it how do you expect to become the best photographer you could possbily be?, it makes everything come together and complete.

George's picture

Developing ones own file is an experience I am glad I had. Film processing may be rigerious but can teach you much about emulsions and exposures.

Erica's picture

Learning film photography is important because not only is it fun to process your own prints, but it helps you learn about photography in a much different manner than you would just using digital.

Pat Whalen's picture

I believe you should learn about film first and study the works of the "Old Masters." It seems, everyone with a digital camera thinks that they are professional photographers. It is far to easy to delete your mistakes instead of learning from them. I can fix it in the computer, is what a lot of digital shooters think. Like they say "GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT."

Eileen Meister's picture

I am a novice in Photography, but I did take a photography course and loved it. It was still photography using film, f-stops, the whole nine yards, all manual. They want you to think about what your doing when your making photo, I don't think you learn the "art" of photography through digital, if you don't like what you see, you can just manipulate it. That doesn't create the passion behind photograhphy, in my opinion.

Gill Bahnsen's picture

Light still must bounce off your subject, pass through your lens, and strike the light-sensitive portion of the camera. Digital photography adds to that things like white balance, color management, and workflow.

Leon Jemes's picture

I use both. They both have advantages that the other doesn't have. Newbees should learn both!

Zach's picture

I use both formats! I am 14! So I'd like to learn both!

Chase Alvins's picture

To understand photography, you must understand light. Film teaches more about light, and its role in capturing images.

Mirna's picture

I think the basics are always important. Like teaching how to use a calculater. Kids should know how to multiply first. Knowing the basics allows you more freedom to explore new venues and ways of doing things.

Keith Browning's picture

I am still infatuated with film photography. I think students should learn from the ground up.

Suzanne Gordon's picture

I don't know if i necessarily think it should be taught first, but I do think that the students should be taught about film and experience developing their photos in an actual darkroom.

John Pritchett's picture

It doesn't matter the process of image-making, what matters is the final vision, whether digital or chemical. I personally favor the digital process- never being a great fan of working in the dark.

Mike Hatch's picture

Just as the first pictures were not captured on film as we know it today, technology has given us a new "Film."( I don't hear anyone crying for the music industry to return to cassette tapes!)

Jasmine's picture

Both aspects need to be taught, because both are widely used. A student attending a photography class has the right to learn how to create pictures in a darkroom as well as on a computer. Neither should be taken away from students....they need to learn both forms of photography!

Christian Yanchula's picture

As long as you learn the basics in taking a photo it doesn't really matter. I feel that students will begin to take better pictures because they can take more then they would with film.

Curt Christianssen's picture

Learning by shooting film is the best teacher about seeing light and understanding how it to capture your vision. Digital is great because it frees us up to be more creative, but it is the basics learned from shooting film that translate into good digital photos.

Wilson Dowling's picture

The more knowledge you have, the better you can grow as a student.

Jim's picture

I feel that learning film photography makes you a much stronger photographer - period. Don't get me wrong, I think digital is a great thing. It is bringing the joy of photography back to the masses. But unfortunately, digital encourages a hit or miss type of attitude. Newbies aren't required to learn about composition, lighting, contrast, selective focus, etc. The attitude is just shoot away and either take the best or fix things in Photoshop. I love the digital and software tools of today, but I fear that we will lose the understanding of photography in another decade.

Richard Crow's picture

How will digital students know if they might like film better if they aren't given a chance to try it? Learning the old film way may give them a better appreciation of the new digital way.

Evelyn Ovalles's picture

Film photography is foundational to any type of photgraphic learning and should not/must not be put in the back burner for the sake of convenience and immediate gratification.

edwardmaya's picture
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