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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Film photography forms creativity, different quality

By Joshua West/ reporter

Photography adjunct instructor Gary McCoy teaches student Ryan Winters in film photography class. Although film photography is a dying art form, McCoy says it still provides valuable skills for photo students.Joshua West/The Collegian
Photography adjunct instructor Gary McCoy teaches student Ryan Winters in film photography class. Although film photography is a dying art form, McCoy says it still provides valuable skills for photo students.
Joshua West/The Collegian

Professors still teach film photography even though it is a dying art form.

In the digital age, film photography is almost extinct.

“It’s not about film versus digital. It’s not about what type of camera one uses. It’s about what you point the camera at and the story you want to tell,” photography instructional assistant Mark Penland said.

Gary McCoy, photography adjunct instructor, said there is still value to learning about film.

“Film has been with us for a long time. Film gives a different quality than digital, grain versus noise,” he said. “There is a different palette for expression, texture and quality of a photo.”

Penland said a creative process is involved in making a print.

“Working with film demands a slower and more deliberate method of making images. This investment of time and energy allows the photographer to consider their practice in a more serious and sober way,” he said. “This consideration often leads to a deeper and, hopefully, more meaningful creative experience.”

McCoy started doing film photography when he was a child but didn’t take it seriously until he took a film class in college.

“I was going for graphic design and photography when one day my professor sat down with me and asked me, ‘Which one are you more passionate about?’ That was the key,” he said.

Film photography allows people to create their own art, McCoy said.

“If all is equal, what will separate you from the herd? Where does the herd go? The herd goes to the slaughterhouse,” he said. “Digital is starting to have a certain sameness.”

Photography student Ryan Winters has enjoyed his experience in film.

“To me, it’s more honest. With film, every single shot has to be thought out and prepared, unlike digital photography, where it’s much easier to fall into a habit of point and shoot,” he said. “Each lesson learned in film gives you a stronger foundation and makes it where when you make the move to digital, you maintain those skills. Every shot is a thought-out mindset.”

Film photography may be a dying art but still provides opportunities to learn new skills. McCoy said the film photography course’s popularity is slowly increasing.

“There’s usually a wait to be in the film class, but the digital class has to seek out more students,” he said.

Photo student Barry Anderson does both film and digital photography and said film has helped him with his skill.

“When you strip the whole world of color, you see it a different way,” he said. “Line, contrast, shape and so on. You learn the skeleton of a structure. It’s a valuable skill of problem solving.”

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