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September 22, 2011 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2011-09-22

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The Michigan Daily michigandaily.com I Thursday, September 22, 2011

Focusing the lens on the University's
photography scene
by Jacob Axelrad, Daily Community
Culture Editor
ver the years, it has Camera lucida
become commonplace
for photography-minded Hannum's office is located in 21 Tyler
students in the School of House in the basement of East Quad. An
Art & Design to take two Ansel Adams image of Yosemite National
classes in the Residential College: RC Park hangs immediately to the right of
Arts 285 and 385. These courses, taught the door, and black-and-white portrait
by RC instructor Michael Hannum, are prints from former students adorn his
open to any University students who is desk.
interested in the process of film photog- According to Hannum (himself an Art
raphy - Hannum's students work in the & Design alum), when he was a student,
only remaining darkroom on campus. the art school's curriculum was com-
The RC's darkroom is traditional: a room pletely different than it is today. Like
completely enclosed in darkness, with many other art schools across the coun-
the exception of a safelight, so the light- try, it has shifted from a craft-oriented
sensitive negatives can develop without approach to a more conceptual art, focus-
the danger of exposure. ing on creative problem-solving rather
In the rush to be digital, the School than on learning to be a painter or sculp-
of Art & Design removed all darkrooms tor or photographer.
eight years ago, leaving little opportunity But in an age when people are exhib-
for budding photographers to learn about iting a longing to once again get their
wet process. As Hannum explains it, the hands dirty, the school's desire to be
last five years have witnessed a spike in cutting-edge has diminished the chance
the number of students attracted to the for students to learn about an important
prospect of film because they already aspect of photography: developing their
know digital photography techniques pictures in a darkroom.
like Adobe Photoshop and Bridge. The "Things have been moving so fast that
darkroom access that comes with Han- (students) just want to go back to basics,"
num's classes has become a valuable com- Hannum said. "They don't want to be
modity for students looking to expand film photographers, but they want to see
htographic haao what it's all about. What I'm sensing is
A close examination of the Univer- that in the past five years people want
sity's two photography classroom envi- to get their hands wet. They want to see
ronments reveals what could be seen as somethingevolve before their eyes."
a striking difference in pedagogies: Han- For LSA sophomore Ben Case, time
num's teaches using traditional technol- spent in the darkroom is easily applicable
ogy, while the School of Art & Design has to other areas of study.,
a more forward-thinking approach. "I have no problem spending hours in
Ultimately, though, they both provide the darkroom, whereas I have problems
a curriculum that permits students to sitting at a computer editing for hours,"
decide the best means of expression for Case wrote in an e-mail interview. "The
themselves. The tools are secondary. experience in the darkroom gives you a
"It's not the camera and it's not the well-rounded view of photography, and
tool. It's the guy behind the camera," an appreciation of the art. (Hannum)'s
Hannum said. "A film class makes it much RC course has given me an appreciation
more about what you choose to take apic- for patience, which also applies to my life
ture of, how you do it. What you use to get in general."
there doesn't matter so much." See PHOTOGRAPHY, Page 3B

Sept. 22 to 25
The Grammy-winning
University Symphony
Orchestra kicks off
its performance sea-
son tomorrow night
at Hill Auditorium.
Award-winning Ken-
neth Keisler will be
conducting the con-
cert, which includes
pieces by Brahms,
Beethoven and Uni-
versity faculty mem-
ber Louis Nagel, who
will also play piano.
The concert starts at
8 p.m. and is free.
Feel like getting classy
this weekend? Rock
and Roll Hall of Famer
Mavis Staples returns
to the Ark tomorrow,
after performing there
last January. No mere
concert, this event
features a buffet (for
Silver ticketholders and
weU p)courtesy &Zitg-
erman's Roadhouse,
a silent auction and
a dessert reception,
It'll cost you though:
Tickets start at $50.
Doors open at 8 p.m.

"It's not the
camera and it's
not the tool: It's
the guy behind
the camera."
-Michael Hannum,
RC Instructor

Remember the '60s?
Of course you don't.
Your parents were
twinkles in their par-
ents' eyes. But you do
remember the version
on "Mad Men." Any-
way, there's this movie
"X-Men: First Class,"
which is just like all the
other X-Men movies
except set in the '60s.
Oh, and January Jones
is in it too. It's screen-
ing for free at the Natu-
ral Science Auditorium
tomorrow at 7 p.m.
Get in touch with your
inner child this Sunday
when the Grammy-
winning children's
music group Dan Zanes
and Friends plays at
the Power Center for
two matinee concerts
at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Formerly a member of
the '80s garage rock
band The Del Fuegos,
the wild-haired Zanes
is now famous for his
upbeat tunes for kids
and adults of all ages.
Tickets from $16.


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