Santa Fe New Mexico Family and Children Photographer – David Moore» Blog Archive » Death and life in Photography Education

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This is the photography blog for photographer and writer David Moore. He's based in Santa Fe, New Mexico but speaks with a funny accent.


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    January 12th, 2008

    Death and life in Photography Education

    Darius Himes (from Radius Books and elsewhere) has a good article in this week’s Santa Fe Reporter looking at the issues facing photography education – and by extension, photography in general.

    The questions currently being debated in academia are just as important for serious amateurs to be aware of:

    In short, what constitutes the bedrock of an education in photography has been called into question; it begs to be redefined and reconfirmed. What students should learn in a Photo 101 class is precisely what is up for grabs. Should they learn how to process film or how to parse pixels? Should they learn how light objects or how to emulate that effect in Photoshop? And when should students learn how to think and talk about the conceptual underpinnings of the medium?

    Darius suggests a couple of books that might help in thinking about this process – and they’ve gone right into my list of photography books to read:

    • The Nature of Photographs, by Stephen Shore
    • The Education of a Photographer, edited by Charles Traub
    • It seems to me that even if you’d never contemplate completing a degree program in photography (or maybe any type of formal training), all of us who are interested in photography are engaged in a kind of informal education.

      And it’s not just important to understand the technical issues that abound in photography – thinking (and learning) more about photography from a cultural and historical viewpoint has to be valuable.


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