Today: Jun 17, 2024

The evolution of photography

Nicole Dellolio – Opinions Editor

Every photographer has their own sense of style, whether it be deliberately or without them even recognizing it.   Coming into college, I had barely any experience with both digital and film photography.  One of the first art classes that I took here while at Southern was Intro to Photography, which was a film class that taught all of the technical aspects that go into taking a successful photo.

When people usually think of film photography, they think of those cheap, disposable cameras that they sell at Walgreens.  But for this first film class, we used good old-fashioned film cameras. That meant digging in my mother’s closet to find her father’s old camera.  The first time I picked this camera up and tried to learn how to use it was the most frustrating thing in the world because all of the controls on it were manual.

Now if you’re one of those people that just use their iPhone to take photographs, you probably have no idea what the words aperture, shutter speed, and ISO mean.  The biggest challenge for me was figuring out how to read the light meter inside the camera so the pictures didn’t come out over-exposed or under-exposed.

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The next step was learning how to actually develop your film.  That doesn’t mean you send your film to Walgreens to get developed; you actually learn how to develop your own film with all of the chemicals.

And then here comes the best part: working in the dark room.  Only photographers will understand the feeling of working in the darkroom.  There’s something about going into a room with only one thought on your mind, and then watching it come to life right in front of your eyes.   For some reason working in the dark room is one of the most relaxing things that you can do as a photographer.

The following semester I took an advanced film class, which was by far one of my favorite classes that I have taken while being a student here.  This class challenged your creative thinking and made you think outside the box every time you did an assignment.  During this class, we were taught different techniques to use while we were shooting and different techniques to use in the darkroom.

We also experimented with different cameras.  For this assignment I shot with a Holga, a toy camera, and it was one of the most difficult cameras to shoot with because it was so simple.  It gave you the option of shooting in the sun or in the shade, and then let you choose what subject you were focusing on.

Learning how to shoot film before shooting digital taught me how to use a digital camera in manual mode.  Shooting with film is a challenge because you have to be very selective on what you shoot because you only have so many shots on one roll of film.  My advice to any aspiring photographers is to take at least one film class while going to college because it will change the way that you look at photography and will give you a chance to work in a darkroom.

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