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This critical paper aims to discuss used approaches and method in photography education. For years now, photography and media education played common roles as well as worked hand in hand in endowing students with new and innovative ways in improving imagery. Its curriculum has advanced greatly and effortlessly with the constant birth of latest photographic technology. At Birmingham Institute of Art and Design this field is brought in hand together with the cooperation of the Arts Council of England, West Midlands Arts and local community photography agencies. These institutions have done case studies with goals of exploring how young people used photography, especially in their self-empowerment and careers. Art students have chosen photography topics like challenging conceptions of visual stereotypes of disability, young lesbian, gay and bisexual people constructing their own website, and individuals and groups creating and modifying their own images in a shopping centre, which are modern mediums. Each passing year, students seek for new and novel topics that they can expound on and possible get famous for. From the basic camera to digital recorders, photography has greatly evolved. Specifically speaking, photography is, basically, an art that asks for a blend of creativity and skill. In a photography class, a mentor can aid art students with skills and techniques that can be leading to a student's original photography style; social skills in starting a photography business; teach how to market personal art works, which shows a successful photographer who able to make money from photography; advice on career path; and provides students with experience needed to be a great photographer. These are the particular aspects focused to be improved on in the field of photography education. In this paper, it will be discussed how these factors are taught on photography students as well as the needed points to be addressed in order to improve the photography curriculum.
A critical evaluation of the main philosophical approaches in education research.
Photography and media education has worked hand-in-hand over the pass years of art education. It has followed and instigated a lot philosophical approaches. From teaching the basic picture, its subjects have changed into advance techniques like digital imaging, vibrant colours and light exposures. One good example of an endearing committee aimed in advancing photography curriculum and is a good role model to other art universities and academic institutions is the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design. It works in collaboration with the Arts Council of England, West Midlands Arts, and local community photography agencies to improve its teaching techniques and styles in photography. Together, these committees studies and explore how young people used photography, especially in purposes of self-empowerment as well as career choices. Indeed the said field of art can be used in varied genres and a picture not only captures the scene, but also the heart of every photographer taking it. In photography curriculums, students are given photography topics like challenging conceptions of visual stereotypes of disability, young lesbian, gay and bisexual people constructing their own website, and individuals and groups creating and modifying their own images in a shopping centre. These types of philosophical approaches in photography are a far fetched transformation from the old times topics of photography like portraits and still life in solid or basic colours. Today, students can use contemporary ones like metallic pinks and neon highlights.
In this lieu, Nick Stanley during the 1990 became the chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain's Photography and the National Curriculum Working Party (Stanley, 2003). He pursued goals of advancing the profile of photography in the National Curriculum, wherein the said institution offered worked out examples of an effective photography practice. Adding to this is Darren Newbury's project 'Styles and Sites of Photographic Education', which promoted as a main philosophical approaches in education research of photography a monitoring of initially tracked the career development of professional photography students in the institution's secondary and further education. There was more focus on vocational courses. What he did was, he applied in teaching the concepts formed from "Creating Vision," but gave highlights to the value of visual literacy in learning photography. There were 2 considerations taught:
Deconstructive visual literacy - the ability of the photography student to show an understanding of visual texts in writing.
Communication in visual - ask the photography student to interpret and express his/her views of a visual image.
Furthermore, during the 1997 the Arts Council of England also contributed a significant opportunity for photography students in its country. It promoted the training of art teachers to improve photography education. In this program, Roz Hall was the assigned chairman. The title of the said program is 'Young people, digital technology and democratic cultural engagement', which ended until 2002. It has aims of advancing photographic technology as well as integrating proper understanding of different cultures in art works of the photography students.
Basing from these shown efforts to improve photography education, it can be said that the study of photography has greatly grown over time, which makes it even more interesting for young people to expound on. From a simple camera, today digital photography takes the lead in capturing images and even improving painting exhibits. Moreover, the proposal to train photography teachers not only develops the skills of these mentors, but also shows that artistic gifts and talents are not suffice to transfer knowledge to art students. There are techniques and theories needed to be applied in photography education like career paths and business ideas. From prose into art work is a very hard thing to do and an art teacher's expertise is greatly needed in these. Art expressionism should go beyond what the student sees and encourage his/her to stand for an original art or photography idea.
A succinct, critical discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches
However, there is a great transformation in the pictures of photography classes, it still bears critics and praises from the public, administration and the students themselves. One seen disadvantage of modern photography education is that it is too costly for students to enrol in. Plus, the topics are most of the times similar and un-original. On the other hand, in the critical paper of Stanley, entitled "Young People and Photography," he mentioned the advantages of improving photography education (Stanley, 2003). These are:
Methodological Ingenuity and Innovation - as part of the goals of professional photographic education, you can find a subject on photographic technical control, which covers areas like lighting, camera and lens, as well as the importance of the responsibilities of the professional photographer in an art work.
b. Engagement, Facilitation and Empowerment - in photography education, ethical considerations are also present. It is though of greatly in planning the curriculum and performance of all stages of research. In this lieu, teaching photography to students should be able to encourage them on freely expressing their own views and expound on these more. However, a photography class states clear what 'freedom of expression' means for any art professional or an expert photographer. If the student has incapacities and shows doubts on interpreting his/her art works then these art works themselves will seem to set boundaries or even block them from expressing original ideas.
Quality and Evaluation - The most important advantage mentioned by Stanley is the implementation of rigorous standards in Photography education. He said the success of the university projects lies in here. The inter-related concepts of quality and education should be expounded on by academic committees in arts and photography. Moreover, in the photography process itself, the level of quality is very vital in increasing the worth of an art work like its price and award. Yet, this aspect is not a neutral concept in photography. Today, more academic committees recognized the value of photographic research as a product of the community art work. Explaining this more, the evaluation of art works exhibited greatly contributes to the value of the art work itself, wherein the art professionals or expert photographers, who are owners of this art work, should prioritize what the community will say to affect the quality in the resulting product. This only reinforces the dominant hierarchy assumptions in art appreciation or photography field. We can say here that these art professionals or expert photographers move as a 'complicit in the process of marginalisation' in doing their art works.
Support for Literature of Social Science Research
The History of Photography Education
Pertaining on the history of photography has not been that active in the topics of state research in countries. Hence, it is not surprising that photographic subjects' trespasses on rules outside what art appreciators and critics ask for in analysis photography. Some of these critics are the Art Bulletin, College Art Association, the Art Journal, and other periodicals also used by art students in research. Nonetheless, the study of photography remains exact in lines-methodologically, ideologically and theory. Being a latecomer to academic institutions, the field of photography was given birth in the 1980s, but with an uncomfortable position as an academic subject and certain heated controversies in the public scene (Nickel, 2001). During the development of photography education, chairs and university courses were written especially to address a promising up-and-coming attraction in photography from doctoral students with goals of teaching concepts, increasing popularity of photographic activities like galleries in museums and book trades, and market opportunities. Adding to these, teaching photography should also be incorporative of a critical writing on the various methods of the history of photography, traditional art historical approaches and significance of photographic subjects and appreciating art appreciators as well as public views of photography. Following this is the subject of photography history, wherein the topics like The Collodion (Wet Plate) Process, Dry Plate Photography, Contemporary Photography, Daguerreotypes, Calotypes, Scientific Photography and Moving Pictures are addressed. These are what Newhall calls "the Basic Laws" of photography. Contrary to this, the ersatz Wolfflinian move defines 2 fundamental factors typifying photography in terms of period, detail and mass. These are the daguerreotype and Edward Weston's Sand Dunes as well as Hill's calotypes and modern enlargements used in miniature cameras.
The aesthetic "schism" started by the photograph mediums expounding technical potentialities is a prominent pattern in photography history. There are optical dimensions and chemical aspects. Chosen techniques in photography undergoes transformations in functions, intentions, and authorships, which sets aside theories from the history of photography that has basic goals in line with non-strict historical but institutional topics. In this lieu, an the exhibition press release once said that, "it is the hope of the Museum and of the Advisory Council that this exhibition will enable visitors to understand the principles which have governed photography since the earliest days and that it will demonstrate the capabilities of the camera as a medium of expression." The detail and mass of the Museum of Modern Art's department of photography was used in the said exhibit.
Transformation of Photography Internationally
Shortly upon the birth of photography, it has spread through out countries not only as a form of art, but also as part of education (Azoulay, 2005). Here are the highlights of the role of photography in the globe:
It has become a prime mediator in the scenes of social and political relations of the public and authorities
It has been a significant part of the lives of every person.
Media publications in different fields used it so much. Examples are the medicine, newspaper reportage, jurisprudence, politics, family, entertainment, recreation and education.
It has been used freely and set to follow no restrictions by the public.
A subject of it can be anything. Of course, excluding photography in military zones and other enclosed spaces with mandatory rules.
Other fields will use it as a requirement like identity of photos for official documents or basic class photographs.
Each camera can capture the world as a picture with the holder or user as the object of a photograph or views at photographs.
Resistance to Impressionism and Naturalistic Photography and the Photographic Aesthetic
According to an anonymous artist in a part of the Photographic Times and American Photographer published during the 1887, "The function peculiar to photography is truth-correctness of form-the power of producing as pure a copy of nature's outlines as can be, without the human brain and hand. To this end, no artistic skill is required; photography is confined to the limits of an experimental science, and its results can only be called beautiful in the same sense that a beetle with a pin through it is beautiful that is, scientifically so, and about as far removed from what may be called artistically beautiful as that beetle is from its former self, alive and on the wing." (Sternberge, 2001). This though only says that photography should be naturalistic in nature, meaning a basic camera can capture it also like what a digital camera can do. In this sense, the art professional or expert photographer is the one responsible to choose his/her medium that should be able to communicate more than the simple truthfulness of the captured picture. The requirements to be a great artist covers a skill of transcending basic "copies," which should be a medium to freely express his/her views and inspire spectators on having a life of its own.
Aside from traditional artistic devices, for an artist to be renowned, he/she not only should instil the photograph with the needed artistic value, but also to accept and exploit the found verisimilitude of photography as a mean to find artistic truth in every spectator. Moreover, reality in photography is artistic expression and this is sometimes confused with a misuse of technology that can be misleading and hurt the capacities of the chosen medium of art work by the art professional or expert photographer. Adding to this, it is also believed that this art medium has the ability of doing "special tendencies," which still should be studied and developed. In this lieu, the idea of a "time-honored principle of adjusting our work to the character of our tools and materials" are taught to art students with ambitions of being art professionals or expert of photographers. It is important to know that a photograph can record factual information. Misusing this ability can give under exposure or bad focus to spectators, which are results of inexperience and carelessness or affectation.
A demonstration of an understanding of research methods which are used by different approaches
In order to improve the curriculum of photography education, the committees formed teams to advocate research and development for the said field of arts study. In this lieu, upon achieving their goals, the photography student should be able to gain new and fresh insights in the expertise of photography like photo capture styles and enhanced lighting capabilities of cameras. Aside from Nick Stanley, who is advancing the profile of photography in the National Curriculum during the 1990 wherein he was asked to be chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain's Photography and the National Curriculum Working Party, he also worked out examples of what is a of good practice of photography (Stanley, 2003). Together with other committees concerned, they became a number of 12 conjoining varied explorations and concepts to photography and media education as research methods using different developmental approaches. They gave birth to the publication entitle Creating Vision, which focuses on the photography curriculum planning and a conceptual process model. This has 2 pairs of concepts: engagement with representation and social context with social use. Engagement has brought significant performance in subsequent research. Moreover, it pertains to the active performance of the photography student self in the step of incorporating reading and creating photographs. They are taught of the proper identification of one self on the creation of their own photographs as well as consuming these. Main goals of the said publication are to tackle what happens when and where the self and the photograph meet in photography classes. Wherein, a student thoughts on identification of his/her own in particular views and illustration of own standing as well as how the self is represented. Lastly, the second pair of social context and social use, show the ways in which the students social values are incorporated in creating and interpreting photographic imagery. This step is known as 'critical practice' in photography.
Usually, using photography calls for non- explicit consent from the art professionals or expert photographers, anyone can use it. To this, added research and findings should be done, so that its benefits will be maximized in our times. Improving a picture is not a case of trial and error. An eye of an expert is greatly needed to see its faults and good sides. In the international scene, this has been a big reason why photography is so popular nowadays. Before in the old times, this was not possible to emerge due to oppression or non-practice of "freedom of expression." A great vision of the public was "the conquest of the world as picture" and this was not hastily undertaken or given profound credit to. Conquering the world as a picture can only show that each person is entitled to see using photographs and other views to look beyond what they see. This contribution of photography is not reliable or accountable by any central body using this practice or control of its results to spectators. Photography is known as a field that anyone can put into step. It is present everywhere, in idea or method.
A discussion of the relevance of these research methods to your own professional practise.
Going back to the discussion of photography and education, the achievements of this research touches on expound matters. There is a suggestion of more developed practice and methodology in photography democratic research. Advancements in its subject and curriculum should be dwelt on. Now, the researcher faces these questions: What are the keys to be addressed now in further advancing photography? In this lieu, the researcher needs more engagement and understanding of the purpose of photography not only in self, but also in worldly views. Even today, modern photography education still calls for further advancement in its democratic education. Any camera is special. It captures any photograph. The mood of the medium of any art work lies in the eye of the art professional or expert photographer and the spectator. The 2 work hand in hand. Moreover, in shaping a self comprehension on imageries and photography, any person can use an omnipresent camera, which he/she can freely choose topics of photographic goals. In my own professional practice, holding a basic camera and taking pictures is not suffice to come up with a market potential photo. Expertise and background is very much needed in the art of photography. It is very important that I get to see myself in every picture that I take. It reflects my own vision in life.