Feeling Ranty

Today, after hearing complaints from various other students about the state of the “photography studio” on campus, I couldn’t help but to express my disappointment over the state of the “studio” to one of my professors who seemed to meet to the subject which as much disgust as I felt.  Various students in various classes today were also complaining about the fact that none of the sync cords for the strobes worked, well except the one that is a whole 6″ long and it appears that over the past week one of the students who was in the studio broke one of the strobes.  Accidents happen but in the case of the strobe being broken, I can tell you that it was most likely the case of a careless inexperienced student treating the equipment carelessly.

The sync cord issue pisses me off immensely.  The sync cords have all had shorts in them for well over 6 months, probably longer but right now my memory is going back to this summer… when I brought several people into the studio and was met with complete embarrassment over the state of the studio and the equipment malfunctioning.  The department has not bothered to replace them.  Obviously the answer to me is to find the size of sync cord I need and buy my own if I wish to use the studio strobes, although it should not be necessary.  The ideal situation was supposed to  be, the studio offered the student everything that they needed in order to operate the strobes and lighting within the studio.

Today the studio door had various sticky notes from students posted on it, complaining about the issues of the sync cords, some rather angry notes.

Sync cord issue aside, when I was first introduced by my advisor into the studio…. no it was nothing fancy but at least then it was somewhat respectable for a student doing basic work within it.  The past year the studio situation is a humongous joke.  Every single time I have entered it, it has been one huge disaster of a mess in there.  Again, absolutely embarrassing to bring anyone in there for portrait work, etc.  I have always been very careful to clean up when I am done… obviously a lot of people don’t show the same respect.

The more I think about it as well, the more I feel pained that my university does not provide better facilities for the photography students.  Granted, in the grand scheme of things in the art department we are a very small minority.  And I think the facilities offered to us to learn, makes us even more aware of that.  The fine art majors have respectable working spaces.  The Visual Communication & Design Department (which is a separate program from Fine Arts) seems to cater to their Graphic Design majors, which seems to be 95% of the program.  They easily get everything they need with iMacs and all the software they could ever dream of.  The Photography majors?  Oh we get a cramped, hot, stuffy “studio”.  Oh yeah… there’s a dark room… which is pretty much pointless seeing everyone is shooting digital these days.  Meanwhile they build an entire new  music building….

In hindsight, if I had realized I was going to end up choosing photography as my major… I would have pushed for a different school that had more respect for their photography students and offered appropriate facilities to foster the growth of the photo students.  I do not feel that I am getting that out of my education. I often feel like I am left to my own devices, which would be a completely different story if… oh I wasn’t majoring in photography.

Bringing up my disappointment about the subject to any of the faculty is playing with fire.  Like I said, they often present a similar level of disgust about the whole situation and then when you throw in the fact that providing the appropriate facilities would involve *gasp* money…. yeah…. universities and money… providing things for students…. pulling teeth… better chance of seeing a goat fly blah blah blah.  As one person, I want to make the situation better, but as one person… and a lowly student, I haven’t quite figured out what I could do, if anything, to foster any sort of growth in the photography department.

 

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