Robert Hirsch is author of Exploring Color Photography: From Film to Pixels; Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age; Photographic Possibilities: The Expressive Use of Equipment, Ideas, Materials, and Processes; and Seizing the Light: A Social History of Photography. Hirsch has published scores of articles about visual culture and interviewed eminent photographers of our time. He has had many one-person shows and curated numerous exhibitions. The former executive director of CEPA Gallery, he now heads Light Research.
|Kallitype and Vandyke Brown Print Processes|
|Simple Cameras Connect With the Essence of Photography|
|My Favorite Filter... Circular Polarizing Filter|
|Interview With Hirsch|
|Transformational Imagemaking: An Interview with Robert Hirsch|
Ask The Experts
I am teaching a class on the history of photography (using your Seizing the Light book), and I was wondering if you have any tips on how to create an exciting environment about photography while still learning the facts involved and being able to identify important people. This class will be offered online adn in the classroom. Thanks! Tamala
Dear Tamala, I know of no magic bullet for getting students excited about any course except teacher enthusiasm and knowledge of the subject. If you are jazzed about what you are doing then it increases the likelihood that some of the students will follow your lead. Teach what interests you about the history of photography, find ways to link it to what was happening in the world, and stay away from rote academic exercises. Go to: http://www.negativepositive.com/ and click on the Education link to see one approach I used online. Best
Hi, I've read that every photographer from beginner to pro should at least have in their filter collection a Polarizer,UV & ND filter. I have the Polarizer & UV but no ND. I know that there are different ranges of ND's but I don't know which one I should get. If I had to chose one to start with, What # would you recommend I get? I am using a Nikon FG camera which has a TTL metering system. Thank you! Louis
Dear Louis, UV filter - definitely, Polarizer - yes, ND - depends. Tell me why you think you need one. ND filters are used to reduce the overall intensity of the light. They are available in different densities - ND 2, 4, and 8. Typically they are used when the light is too intense for the ISO of your film when you want to use a slower shutter speed and/or a larger lens aperture. It can be very useful for reducing depth of field. For a good introductory overview of filters see: Exploring Color Photography: From the Darkroom to the Digital Studio Chapter 4 - Filtering the Light
I need to defend my creditability for teaching a 300 level History of Photography Course. The course was written by the first Photography instructor at our university who is long since gone. Now there is one person creating a hubbub that the instructor should have a terminal degree in Art History instead of a MFA in Photography. Do you have access to any statistics concerning the degrees held by History of Photography instructors in other University / College Photography programs? As you might imagine one problem would be finding an Art History Instructor with a doctorate in the history of photography. Any help and even your opinion would be greatly appreciated. You were most helpful with an earlier question about digital photography. I respect your opinion and appreciate your time and willingness to be of help. I am currently teaching Color Photography with your latest edition of "Exploring Color Photography" and am quite happy with the digital additions. Sincerely, Jayne
Dear Jayne, You have my deepest sympathy. In a perfect world what would be important is an individual's knowledge, their ability to communicate it and to get students excited about the history of photography. Unfortunately you are caught up in a old running academic turf feud over credentials. When I was writing Seizing the Light I applied to the Getty for a grant to assist in the research. I was turned down with the reply of "We do NOT fund MFAs." Since its publication I have been criticized as not being qualified to have undertaken such a project. Being a maker has given me unique insights into how and why other photographers make their images the way they do and why some have influenced the entire field. This is extremely valuable for students taking studio classes in photography at all levels. PhDs don't usually have this depth of experience. Ultimately it depends on the goals of your program. Does your program want to turn out informed makers or writers who can be critics and theorists? You might try contacting the Executive Director of SPE to see if they have gathered any information on this topic and if not, suggest that they undertake such a study. Let me know how it goes. Glad to hear that you are finding the latest edition of Exploring Color Photography valuable in your classroom. Best with all,
Ask a Question!