In my last post I described a situation at my friend’s university where the photography teacher was requiring students in a beginning photography class to use B&W film. I think this is a travesty.
Here are two advantages of using a DSLR in a beginning photography class:
- Expense. If a student can even find a film camera, it isn’t going to be cheap. Buying and developing film isn’t cheap. I am assuming that students go into a photography class because they have a camera and want to learn how to be better photographers. Forcing them to use film is counterproductive to that goal. And making them better is the goal of education.
- Instant feedback. By using a digital camera the students are able to get an idea if the adjustment to the camera or lighting or composition worked. If the assignment is to take a picture using a shallow depth of field, the ability of a student to look at the LCD on the back of the camera and see the results instantly is an education. They can make an adjustment and try to capture the image again, getting instant feedback on their input. If the students are forced to use film, they have to wait for the lab to get the film developed and back before they have any idea if their technique worked.
I consider these two points the most important issues for not using film in a beginning photography class. Remember, a beginning photography class is supposed to be about learning the art and craft of photography. Anything that can be used to help the students progress toward achieving that goal.
I’ll be writing more about this tomorrow.
I encourage your comments and thoughts. Please feel free to leave them below.