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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 16 Feb 2013 (Saturday) 08:04
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Why teach film photography

 
facedodge
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Feb 25, 2013 09:11 |  #136

Kronie wrote in post #15649514 (external link)
I am a school board director and I regularly meet with other school board directors from all over my state and annually I meet with them from all over the country. I can tell you I have a pretty good picture of the budgeting process and the offerings that go on on with the majority of schools in the country. Of course there are exceptions to everything.

Some schools I am sure have funded these photography programs early on but to get into it from scratch I think is too expensive now....at least here in VT or other similarly funded schools. I am sure the Beverly Hills, CA public school probably is better funded then mine or my wife's.

Forcing students to buy their own laptops? Yikes! Not sure where you pulled that from but its a tiny minority. That would never pass in my state and I can assure you it wouldn't pass in the majority of other states and towns.

Film photography doesn't require that much equipment and its maintenance is FAR cheaper than computers. Your just talking about a dark room, a few bins of chemicals and other odds and ends for a minimal set up. The equipment also isn't obsolete in three years like a computer. Film can be expensive though....


^ That's what I'm saying. I can imagine trying to be the teacher or administrator and film seems like a more practical approach.

Film cameras and lenses are cheap and they all work basically the same. Kids don't have to spend 600 to 1000 dollars on a camera kit like a t4i with 18-55. You don't have to worry about kids setting their cameras to Japanese accidentally. There aren't a million different AF settings, in camera effects, wifi, touch screens, and all that other stuff that would get in the way of learning exposure, composition, and perspective.

A school can afford to have 30 Canon AE-1's and a basket of lenses. Kodak Tri-X has a generic which is really very affordable. Arista Premium 400; $2.89 per roll of 36.

http://www.freestyleph​oto.biz …ndW-400-ISO-35mm-x-36-exp (external link).

Plus, when the kids go around to take photos they are carrying a camera no one else has. They don't have a plastic Rebel with at kit lens and bright red & Black camera strap; they have something that tells the world they know more than how to use the auto mode. I think it is probably empowering to them to feel unique and gives them a boost to be creative and artistic.


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Kronie
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Feb 25, 2013 09:47 |  #137

RDKirk wrote in post #15649593 (external link)
You seem to have contradicted yourself there. First you said:

"Some schools I am sure have funded these photography programs early on but to get into it from scratch I think is too expensive now...."

and then you said:

"Film photography doesn't require that much equipment and its maintenance is FAR cheaper than computers"

and then you said:

"Forcing students to buy their own laptops? Yikes! Not sure where you pulled that from but its a tiny minority. That would never pass in my state and I can assure you it wouldn't pass in the majority of other states and towns. "

So...do schools in your distict own computers, do they require students to buy computers...or have they simply let the computer age pass them by?

If your students have the use of personal computers, either school-owned or personally owned, then procuring editing software is a trivial additional expense, and need not be any additional expense at all. The only way this is an issue is if you don't have any now.

You might know about budgeting schools, but I don't think you've ever built and run a community darkroom before--I've built and run a few. It's a whole lot more expensive than adding ten PCs to the budget.

Sorry I was talking about the set up costs for digital SLR's. I was comparing the cost to set up a digital SLR system and the cost to set up a film. Should have said:

Some schools I am sure have funded these photography programs for DSLR'searly on but to get into it from scratch I think is too expensive now....

But really? You’re going to argue with someone that has been a school director for years about how schools are run and budgeted? Yes our schools have computers. We even have wireless internet. It’s magical! No we don’t mandate that our students buy their own PC's. What a stupid backwards concept. It’s a public school not a university. Go find the small corner of the internet where you dug that out of and post it here so we can all read how successful it was, forcing parents to buy laptops.

You said that procuring editing software is a trivial additional expense? What is a trivial expense? If a teachers entire budget is $1,500 for the school year and she needs 15 adobe elements licenses @ $100 each. Is that trivial? That’s her whole budget! But I am sure you know all about it with your knowledge of the public school system.




  
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watt100
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Feb 25, 2013 11:40 |  #138

facedodge wrote in post #15649698 (external link)
Film cameras and lenses are cheap and they all work basically the same. Kids don't have to spend 600 to 1000 dollars on a camera kit like a t4i with 18-55. You don't have to worry about kids setting their cameras to Japanese accidentally. There aren't a million different AF settings, in camera effects, wifi, touch screens, and all that other stuff that would get in the way of learning exposure, composition, and perspective.

A school can afford to have 30 Canon AE-1's and a basket of lenses. Kodak Tri-X has a generic which is really very affordable. Arista Premium 400; $2.89 per roll of 36.

http://www.freestyleph​oto.biz …ndW-400-ISO-35mm-x-36-exp (external link).

Plus, when the kids go around to take photos they are carrying a camera no one else has. They don't have a plastic Rebel with at kit lens and bright red & Black camera strap; they have something that tells the world they know more than how to use the auto mode. I think it is probably empowering to them to feel unique and gives them a boost to be creative and artistic.


Or instead of those $1,000 "plastic Rebels" or 30 AE-1 film cameras and a basket of lens just get a cheap P&S camera with aperture/shutter/ISO controls.
Heck, I might even "empower' the kiddies with my old Canon S5. Gave me a boost in artistic creativity... or sent me down the gateway to dumping money on gear




  
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Flores
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Feb 25, 2013 11:48 |  #139

don't all the kids these days have smart phones with cameras? boom. they already have cameras. who needs funding for camera gear.




  
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OhLook
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Feb 25, 2013 11:49 |  #140

RDKirk wrote in post #15648272 (external link)
He also made the distinction between a p&s and a DSLR. Trying to teach the fundamentals of photography with a box brownie would have been just as difficult.

But it might be a better way to learn the fundamentals. At the California College of the Arts, photography students start with pinhole cameras.


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Feb 25, 2013 12:52 as a reply to  @ OhLook's post |  #141

But really? You’re going to argue with someone that has been a school director for years about how schools are run and budgeted? Yes our schools have computers. We even have wireless internet. It’s magical! No we don’t mandate that our students buy their own PC's. What a stupid backwards concept. It’s a public school not a university. Go find the small corner of the internet where you dug that out of and post it here so we can all read how successful it was, forcing parents to buy laptops.

You said that procuring editing software is a trivial additional expense? What is a trivial expense? If a teachers entire budget is $1,500 for the school year and she needs 15 adobe elements licenses @ $100 each. Is that trivial? That’s her whole budget! But I am sure you know all about it with your knowledge of the public school system.

Yours is not the only high horse in town.

No, I don't know much about funding schools, and you apparently don't know much about setting up and running a community darkroom if you think it's less expensive than spending $1500 on Adobe licenses or spending nothing on GIMP licenses.

You already have computers? Then you already have a community digital darkroom.

If you already have computers and don't have a budget to set up a digital darkroom in them, then for certain you don't have a budget to run a community film darkroom.

Start with the room: Build and dedicate a light-tight room with plumbiing and special ventilation (because there are toxic fumes). The plumbing will also have to accomodate retaining the toxic liquid wastes. I think you've already gone well over $1500 by then.




  
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Feb 25, 2013 13:05 |  #142

Threads like this are pretty entertaining as long as nobody gets their nylons in knot.:)


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TooManyShots
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Feb 25, 2013 13:19 |  #143
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windpig wrote in post #15650458 (external link)
Threads like this are pretty entertaining as long as nobody gets their nylons in knot.:)


They are like re-runs......:)


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watt100
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Feb 25, 2013 13:29 |  #144

Flores wrote in post #15650203 (external link)
don't all the kids these days have smart phones with cameras? boom. they already have cameras. who needs funding for camera gear.

it's all about the artistic creativity!
Oh, wait a minute. today's kids are into instagram and iphone and android photo apps




  
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Kronie
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Feb 25, 2013 13:40 |  #145

RDKirk wrote in post #15650415 (external link)
Yours is not the only high horse in town.

No, I don't know much about funding schools, and you apparently don't know much about setting up and running a community darkroom if you think it's less expensive than spending $1500 on Adobe licenses or spending nothing on GIMP licenses.

You already have computers? Then you already have a community digital darkroom.

If you already have computers and don't have a budget to set up a digital darkroom in them, then for certain you don't have a budget to run a community film darkroom.

Start with the room: Build and dedicate a light-tight room with plumbiing and special ventilation (because there are toxic fumes). The plumbing will also have to accomodate retaining the toxic liquid wastes. I think you've already gone well over $1500 by then.

Dude, I dont have a high horse I am just telling you like it is from someone who has years dealing with it. Plus my wife runs and operates the darkroom so I know exactly what the costs are. Or did you glaze over that part?

You seem to be shifting around a bit here. First it was forced laptop purchases in school. Which is BS. Then its buying editing software. Your telling us its a minimal cost and shouldn't be a problem at all. Then you find out it actually breaks the budget and it changes to free software. Gimp. Have you aver used Gimp? Do you know why its free? Because it kind of sucks. Its gimpy.

Yes, schools can do lots of stuff for free. We could scavenge old computers and piece them together for free frankenstein style, use open office, (which actually isn't that bad) and gimp and other not so great free programs, but ultimately we want better for our children. We want our kids to use modern equipment and up to date programs. At least I do.

And community darkroom? Where did a community darkroom even come from? Oh wait, it came from you! I never mentioned anything about a community darkroom, that's your deal not mine. (By the way were talking about public schools and you keep on bringing up university cost and community use)




  
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facedodge
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Feb 25, 2013 13:41 |  #146

I did a Google search for photography class syllabus. It seems like the vast majority of the classes are all digital and the kids provide their own cameras. Some classes had cameras for loan. All required cameras with manual control. Some were part digital, part film.


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Feb 25, 2013 13:50 |  #147

windpig wrote in post #15650458 (external link)
Threads like this are pretty entertaining as long as nobody gets their nylons in knot.:)

Not sure about that. Sometimes things get more entertaining when a few do get a bit knotted up.

Still think Digital is the best place to start. My little cousin taught herself more in a weekend with my digital rebel tethered to her big screen TV than she did with 2 years of playing with her father's old manual focus Canon gear. Why? Take a photo: See the effect. She had no real understanding of how the light meter was working in her camera and had horrible exposure control. She spent an hour playing with mine on the different settings with a pile of different coloured clothes and various lights (She is now better at judging exposure than I am)

Depth of field? Again, picked a setting, saw the result, made changes, look at the differences, rise and repeat. Completely understands just what 'depth of field' is and how it relates to settings and distance.

She shot two rolls of film this weekend, and was thrilled at how well her photos turned out. Not a single blown or completely dark photo, and good control over her depth of field.

And it wasn't like she didn't read or didn't listen in the years she spent having only the film camera, it was just that things simply didn't click due to the time lag between action and result.


And as for setup costs? You don't need an SLR for every student. Easy enough to share. (Don't remember which school it was, but when working together and sharing a camera the students were told to take a photo of their foot when taking the camera and before passing it off to mark the start and end of their photos) And software issues can be solved by free and open source options running on hardware schools would already own.


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Feb 25, 2013 14:14 |  #148

JeffreyG wrote in post #15648420 (external link)
Fine, so read the response. Where I'm coming from is that I learned a lot more and a lot more quickly with digital than I did with film.

I think understanding film is of use, but it is not the best way to start out a bunch of high school students.

Equipment influences the process. Film makes MOST people more deliberate and it makes them take their time. This changes the way things are done.

Coming back to an example you can relate professionally. Would you make students draw parabolas by hand, point by point or would you plug the equation into matlab.

Drawing by hand on paper is archaic, nobody uses it in the real world because it's slow, inflexible, time consuming and less accurate.

But never mind, half the schools need to buy the stupid TI graphing calculator already for 100 bucks apiece. :confused:


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Feb 25, 2013 16:20 |  #149

I feel my nylons knotting up.

DocFrankenstein wrote in post #15650704 (external link)
Would you make students draw parabolas by hand, point by point or would you plug the equation into matlab.

By hand the first time, so they'll get a sense of what a parabola is.

Drawing by hand on paper is archaic, nobody uses it in the real world because it's slow, inflexible, time consuming and less accurate.

Art stores have large stocks of drawing paper and a great variety of drawing instruments. Somebody buys these things. You can also go to a gallery and see-- Wait. Are you still talking about parabolas?


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Feb 25, 2013 16:58 |  #150

Kronie wrote in post #15650583 (external link)
Dude, I dont have a high horse I am just telling you like it is from someone who has years dealing with it. Plus my wife runs and operates the darkroom so I know exactly what the costs are. Or did you glaze over that part?

You seem to be shifting around a bit here. First it was forced laptop purchases in school. Which is BS. Then its buying editing software. Your telling us its a minimal cost and shouldn't be a problem at all. Then you find out it actually breaks the budget and it changes to free software. Gimp. Have you aver used Gimp? Do you know why its free? Because it kind of sucks. Its gimpy.

Yes, schools can do lots of stuff for free. We could scavenge old computers and piece them together for free frankenstein style, use open office, (which actually isn't that bad) and gimp and other not so great free programs, but ultimately we want better for our children. We want our kids to use modern equipment and up to date programs. At least I do.

And community darkroom? Where did a community darkroom even come from? Oh wait, it came from you! I never mentioned anything about a community darkroom, that's your deal not mine. (By the way were talking about public schools and you keep on bringing up university cost and community use)

A "community darkroom" is one that is not in a private home, nor run commercially, and will be used by a number of people. It will have some design requirements different from either a home darkroom or a commercial darkroom, because unlike a home darkroom, it will come under municipal, state, and federal rules that home darkrooms are exempt from (plus personal injury liabilities that home darkrooms would not face), yet not be large enough to face other requirements that commercial labs are required to meet.

No, I never said you should force kids to buy computers--I mentioned there are some high schools that are requiring it. I was asking you how your schools went about acquiring them, if you did. You say your schools supply them...fine. You can get off that horse now.

We were talking about setting up facilities. I clearly stated that I was comparing the cost of setting up a film darkroom with the cost of setting up a digital darkroom. No matter how you slice it, setting up a digital darkroom--especially when you already have the computers (and one way or another, any school considering a photography program at all will already have computers)--is cheaper than setting up a community film darkroom, period.

There are plenty of open-source editors short of Adobe Photoshop. I'm using Paint.net right now on several of my laptops because I have no intention of purchasing Photoshop for all of them. There are other commercial products that are cheaper (especially with educational discounts) than Photoshop.

But even considering extra software costs, it is still cheaper to set up a digital darkroom than a film darkroom.




  
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Why teach film photography
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