The Changing Technology in Photography: How Digital Photography Is Changing Our Curriculum

Ms. Barbara Houghton,
Gary Pratt
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With the rapid influx of digital cameras and excellent color printers, photography programs are facing a quick retooling of curriculum to keep up with the technology. Traditional processes in wet darkrooms are becoming obsolete.

What should we teach? How should we teach it? When should we no longer teach traditional processes? These questions are facing every photography program across the world.

At the USA's Society for Photographic Education 2005 conference, this topic was on everyone's lips. Most photography programs did not expect the speed at which the entire landscape of photography would change. Programs have operated with chemical processes and wet darkrooms since their inception but now digital cameras are superior to film cameras, and the new excellent affordable digital inkjet printers produce prints indistinguishable from chemically produced prints. We have to rewrite our entire curriculum to either include the new or replace what we have now. Universities have limited budgets and these changes will require major renovations to the facilities we teach in changing from wet darkrooms to computer labs equipped with expensive equipment. Can we afford to run parallel programs, or must we do an abrupt switch from wet to digitial?

My co-presenter will discuss briefly how campus support will be stretched to keep up with this rapid change. He will discuss the repurposing of laboratories on campus and strategies that IT units might use to help to focus alignment with goals to solve difficult issues like those in Photography programs.

Keywords: digital photograhy, impact of technology, photography, curriculum changes due to technology, campus support for change in technology
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Ms. Barbara Houghton

Professor of Art/Photography, Department of Art, Northern Kentucky University

Professor Houghton holds an MFA in Photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her undergraduate work was done at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is Professor of Art at Northern Kentucky University where she teaches photography and web design.

She is a working and exhibiting artist whose current work is digital photography dealing with the life of Galileo and also with popular culture. She learned to use current photography on her own because when she was a student, no one was using computer technology in photography.

Gary Pratt

Chief Information Officer - Associate Provost for Information Technology, Information Technology, Northern Kentucky University

Ref: T06P0043