I have an ex-student of mine, Bill (not his real name) who is attending Cal State San Bernardino and taking a basic photography class. We were talking the other day and we started to discuss what he was doing in class.
I found out that his instructor REQUIRED that all work be done on B&W film. I find this offensive. I might not be a great photographer yet, but after 21 year in the classroom, I know something about teaching. To use film in this day and age in a beginning photography class is a crime.
Don’t get me wrong. I think film is cool. I used to use it. I liked it. I don’t want to use it again. I am fine with people who do. This is NOT a criticism about film or a anti-film rant. It isn’t even about film vs. digital. It’s about photography teachers who are unable to accept a better teaching tool because they, like the dinosaurs, are unable to adapt. Specifically, it is about film vs. digital in a BEGINNING photography class.
With proliferation of DSLRs in the market place and the instant feed back it gives the photographer, using film in an educational setting is detrimental to the students. Using a digital camera in a beginning photography class would further the education of the students so much more than using a film camera and isn’t that the goal of a photography class?
I am not shying away from this, but I have not (and will not) contact the individual directly. I am more than willing to discuss it with him if he wants to contact me.
I will be discussing this further over the next few posts and I welcome your comments and thoughts on this subject.