Why throw the negs out with the bath water?

Macdonald, Iain (2012) Why throw the negs out with the bath water? International Journal of Art and Design Education, 31 (2). pp. 191-214. ISSN 1476-8062

[img] Microsoft Word
Why_Throw_the_Negs_Out_iJADE.doc - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (88kB)


Today’s digital age holds so much promise it is easy to dismiss the previous technologies and processes that provided yesterday’s creative opportunities. Photography has been revolutionised by digital capture and transmission in the last decade. This dissertation argues that there is a digital orthodoxy in education, which has democratised and engaged increasing numbers of students, and has had a particular influence in A Level Photography.
Over the last decade many traditional darkrooms have been replaced for computer suites. My concern is that if secondary schools and colleges with the facilities to teach film are forced to convert to a singular digital mode, we may be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Drawing on qualitative and quantative research I have undertaken at The Henley College students make their own defence for a multiplicity of learning opportunities and media that is not limited by any orthodoxy, digital or otherwise. Using the theories of Raymond Williams and Walter Benjamin this research is seen in the historical context of previous changes in cultural modes of reproduction and exposes the paradox of digital communications furthering the growing interest in the older analogue media of film photography.
Schools and colleges need to allow and facilitate an artistic curiosity that does not exclude students who are experiential learners, and those that eschew the digital age who are content with the organic variety of analogue learning that film offers. Nor should it limit the opportunity for hybrid activity that embraces both media.

Item Type: Article
Print ISSN: 1476-8062
Electronic ISSN: 1476-8070
Uncontrolled Keywords: photography; orthodoxy; digital; analogue; pedagogy;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Edinburgh Napier University, Institute for Creative Industries
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 700 Arts & recreation > 770 Photography & computer art > 778 Fields & kinds of photography
Library of Congress Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Item ID: 5557
Depositing User: Dr Iain Macdonald
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2012 14:58
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2012 14:45

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Edinburgh Napier University is a registered Scottish charity. Registration number SC018373