Photography column last week was misguided
As a photography student myself, I was irritated, to say the least, when I read Adelle Whitefoot’s column in the April 14 issue of The North Wind. I understand that she is clearly stating her opinion, but I believe that as a journalist one should be able to back up, with facts, their opinion/story. Ms. Whitefoot fails to clearly state the reasons behind why the School of Art and Design’s photography department has made the changes they have. Simply stating that because “the world has turned to digital photography” is not enough. The main reason that the Photography program has been changed is because it is required for other majors. It was decided that because of the amount of non-majors who also require the 100- and 200-level photography classes, the alternative processes would be moved to upper-level classes. Non-photography majors have found that the darkroom processes were not practical applications for their media.
Whitefoot wrote, “Photography is not an art anymore, but a way to preserve a moment in time.” I believe that if she had taken the time to properly research the history of photography, she may have been amazed to find out that its impetus, in fact, was to have the ability to create a document or keep records, which roughly translates to what she referred to as “preserving a moment in time.” Photography wasn’t even recognized as an art form until the early 20th century, which is approximately 70+ years after the formal recognition that photography even existed. But now, because we have had technical advances, she wants to discredit our ability to do what photography was created to do? I don’t think so.
I also take offense to the cut-and-dry definition Whitefoot seems to have regarding art. As art students, we are all too familiar with the debate on the definition of art or lack thereof. Whitefoot has picked the definition that fits her opinion the best, without resolve for the others. Nonetheless, the definition that was presented in her article contradicts her opinion. I think that before Whitefoot decides to publicly denounce one of the largest concentrations in the School of Art and Design, she should take a look and understand the work being produced. The greatly over-generalized assumption she has made is insulting.
Senior photography student