Quote Originally Posted by BainDarret View Post
I teach a photography composition course, part time, and I find there is a real age divide. My students range in age from late teens to retirees. The first 3 evenings they are briefly exposed to Daguerre, Fox Talbot, Fenton, Samuel Bourne, Cartier-Bresson, Winogrand, Weegee, Salomon, Brassai and several other of the big names from photography's past. You can just see that the younger students are bored, this stuff just ain't cool for them. The older students, in some gratifying cases, become enthralled. I always try to instil in them that photography has a long and glorious tradition. One approach I take is to show them how easy they have it now. They don't need dozens of porters humping 10x12 wet plate equipment through the Himalayas to get a good landscape photo as Samuel Bourne did. I also acquaint them with the hardships that Hurley and Ponting went through to get shots in Antarctica a hundred years ago. Sometimes that gets the attention of the younger folk. But history is not valued by many these days. I think that is disempowering.

I would disagree with this in part, as the technical effort put into a shot, in the form of a wet plate or a digital snap is only important from a fine art context, or painterly view. What makes some of the shots taken by these photographers is the historical and social context. My younger students appreciate pictures by Weegee when I explain the photograph in context of the situation, or HCB in terms of MO to get the shot.