Friday, July 28, 2006

Oregon State Cuts Photography Program

It's a sad day when a college or university doesn't have enough staff to continue teaching the courses it has offered for years.

According to the Oregon State University newspaper Oregon State Daily Barometer, the college plans to eliminate its photography degree program due to lack of teaching staff.

According to the paper:

“There is simply not enough staff to teach courses for a stand alone degree,” said Jim Folts, chair of OSU’s art department. “It will continue to be available under the fine arts program.”

The paper noted the college does not have the funding or the staff to continue offering photography as a degree course. Photography classes will still be taught, but students will no longer be able to get a degree in it.

Prof. Folts said since most students have digital cameras, the college will probably begin offering a course in digital photography.

It's a shame the college cannot find enough qualified staff to continue teaching traditional photography as a degree program. But at least they aren't eliminating photography altogether.

In order to excell in photography you need a good grounding in the basics and the traditional methods. Digital photography is not a different type of photography, it just uses different equipment. But the basics are the same. You still have to know how f-stops affect light and how ISO values will affect the final outcome of your phots.

Friday, July 14, 2006

New Films are On the Way!

In this day and age, when giant photographic companies like Kodak and Fuji are dropping films from their catalogs like they're...ahem..going out of style, it's nice to know that someone still cares enough about analog photographers to try to fill the void.

Enter JandC Photo of Overland Park, Kansas. The retailer says they plan to manufacture and coat their own films to help replace some of the best loved films that have gone extinct lately. The company says it will manufacture black and white film in ISO 25, 100, 400 and an 820 nm Infrared film. The films will be available in 35 mm, 120 and sheets.

According to JandC Photo:

As many of our customers know we have spent the last few months looking at how to best provide as many film choices as possible. We have looked at many was to bring new films to the market. This includes plans going forward right now to operate our own coating facility and producing high quality films in various formulations.

They also plan to introduce some specialty films and paper in the future.

If you haven't shot film in a while and miss it, or you're a digital photographer and never shot film, go to the JandC Photo web site and buy a few rolls of film from them. Even if you never use it, buy it anyway. We need to support companies that continue to support photographers. Particularly you digital photographers, go buy a few rolls from them. After all, it's your fault we're in this mess in the first place.

(I'm joking. I don't totally blame digital photographers for the state of the analog market.)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Only Known Photo of Mozart's Wife Found

More than 160 years ago, in 1840, a photograph of a family was taken in the Bavarian town of Altoetting. Seated at the left of the photograph is a 78 year old woman. This is the only known photograph in existence of the woman and is thought to be the only time in her life she was ever photographed. She died in 1842.

The woman in the photograph is Costanze Weber, the wife of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the composer. Mozart died at the age of 36 in 1791, when Constanze was 29. She later married a Danish diplomat.

The print, a daguerreotype, is one of the earliest examples of photography in Bavaria. It was found in the town archives. It was taken at the home of the Swiss composer Max Keller, whom Constanze used to visit regularly.

The daguerreotype shows Constanze at front left, next to Max Keller. His wife Josefa is on the right. Behind them are (from the right): their daughters Josefa and Luise, Max Keller's brother-in-law Philipp Lattner and the family's cook. They are outside the Keller family's home.