As a teacher of photography (who firmly believes in beginning with the black and white darkroom) it has been interesting for me to see the speed at which this medium has evolved in these past few years. Digital technologies have changed some aspects of older two-dimensional art mediums (painting, drawing, printmaking) and have introduced newer media forms into the art world. For some photographers, however, it has totally redefined the input and output of imagery.
As a photographic artist, I see the evolving digital technologies as a unique opportunity to learn some new things about the medium and to adapt this fresh knowledge to my teaching and my practice. An interesting aspect of new technologies is how seemingly easier it is for younger people to catch on than for those of us who have worked in the analog world for so long. This aspect keeps me on my toes and encourages me to stay ahead by learning and using every new version of applicable software as it is introduced. It has been exciting in my personal practice, which has become defined by a continual shift in photographic processes and materials - including 19th century techniques and a web-based project.
There has always seemed to be a common misperception that having more expensive photographic equipment makes better pictures. I believe that it is the person's vision from behind the camera and the choice of which materials or technology best suits the idea that leads to more interesting pictures. This is what I try to teach my students.
Pamela Bannos teaches at Northwestern University in the Department of Art Theory and Practice. She has worked with nearly every photographic process and format from 19th-century gum prints to web-based digital works. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally and is represented by the Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York City.