I don’t mean that photography itself is dying because everyone can take a photo. The ability to compose a photo to create an image that a person can’t forget is dying.
Low-quality photos are taken all the time because cellphones make that easy for anyone. Yes, many of the new cellphone models are doing a fantastic job upgrading their cameras, but it’s not the same.
I wanted to write about this not because I think I’m so good that I can bring this art back to life or that I want to call out anyone who takes a bad photo (I always have a collection of bad photos). I wanted to write this to share a moment I had Monday evening.
I’m currently taking the Advanced Photojournalism class this semester because I knew what to expect and having four other difficult classes with it, I needed something a little easier and more fun. My teacher, Mr. Talbert still gives me new knowledge on photography despite having him in Photojournalism a year ago.
Well, this semester there are only two Advanced students: me and a student I knew from Media Writing last semester. Everyone else is a beginner photojournalist.
Monday evening in class, Mr. Talbert sent out the photojournalism students to practice perspective. Me and the other student stuck around the classroom because we didn’t see a need to do the same thing. So Mr. Talbert took a look at our photos.
After he finished looking at mine (he looked at the other’s beforehand), he told the two of us that he is so glad we took his class. He’s glad because he can see we have a heart for photography. He loves to see how excited we are to take photos and show them to him. He wants us to go places with our photos. He wound up a little misty-eyed.
After that class that evening, I realized that to my teacher, photography is more than just pointing a lens at a scene and snapping the shot. It’s his passion, his life, his love. And nothing brings him more joy than to see students in his classes rise up to have that same passion. He’s living in a world where the new generations have cameras at their fingertips and don’t take true advantage of it. I can only imagine how that may feel when he has years of practice on film (which is a whole new world compared to digital).
I don’t know if you’ll ever see this blog, but I will make sure that I no longer take this art form for granted again. I’ll do everything to rise to a new level in my photography and make something of my photos. I’ll work hard to work for National Geographic like I’ve been saying for weeks now. Keep teaching students how amazing photography is!