“Until you get into school, take lots and lots of photographs with whatever camera you can get you hands on. Phones are fine. Don’t just take photos, study them. The hard thing is learning to see, the easy part is learning to work a camera.”
Although I agree with the above quote, Stewart continues in his letter to speak on the status of cotemporary photography, saying: “In looking for a school, look for one with the most modern most forward thinking course of study. So if the college wants you to study B+W darkroom techniques, you shouldn’t go there, because that just isn’t used anymore.” I think that you need to learn the foundations of photography, even in the “digital age.” It is imporant to really understand and grasp what you do in photoshop actually correlates to what is done in the darkrooms. MICA recently took out B&W as a requirement, like many other colleges, and I must say I’m extremely disappointed. There are still a multitude of photographers who film in their work and that’s something to admire. When I graduate I also hope to continue to using film.
Okay, sorry that really hit close to home with me, because being a “film baby” it’s become harder and even more expensive to find supplies. Back to my original thoughts about this quote; I think this is a confusing time for photographers who are trying to make it. With the use of the internet (which I obviously embrace) ideas spread quickly, which might be great but it also allows people to blindly following others’ ideas and trends instead of developing original concepts. The “snapshot” (which I talked about in an earlier post about Timothy Archibald) is an ever-expanding genre in the internet world, and although I love a good snapshot portfolio, it gets frustrating when people don’t diverge from this vein. Depending on where you want your photography to take you I think it’s important to work with a concept because it helps you carry a consistent idea from when you start shoot, all the way through to your editing process. You have to learn how to ask yourself, WHY & WHAT? Why do I feel a need to take these images? Why do I want to present them in this way? What am I trying to convey to my audience? After answering these question, I truly believe you can start to become a more developed and layered photographer.
ps. Thanks for the help Ronald 🙂