Where oh where do the students go?
This is aimed primarily at the students enrolled in photography courses. After reading some of the posts in Karen's intro, I started thinking about comments I had heard from Ryan, who is studying photography here at the U of A. At out last informal large format gathering, he had expressed his concerns about the direction taken at a university level degree in photography. Equipment was being poorly maintained, mistreated and the general state of image making was rather poor with respect to quality. "Conceptual photography" was emphasized, not photographic skill.
I'm wondering about the technical skills of the instructors at this level. Are they proficient in their ability to make a fine print in a wet darkroom? Is the mastery of materials an aid to a degree, or is it just something mentioned in passing? Are people being pushed to improve their skills, or just herded along to get a grade and then turned loose in the world?
With the advent of digital, I continue to hear that a wet darkroom is a thing of the past. Were is the emphasis now and what feelings are out there about this medium? I know this is a rather large question with too many answers, but I'm curious where the students in photographic studies see things headed. I'm sure a lot of the answers will be based on the individual instructor's abilities and whims, but what is going on? Thanks, tim