Photography art students learn that film and prints still matter
By Sean Lyons
In an age of iPhones and Androids, why would students want to spend time learning how to make art prints of their photographs, which are often shot on film? Professor of Art William Wylie says it’s because after learning what makes a good image, some students see value in the experience of the photograph amid modern technologies.
“The object nature of a print versus the fleeting experience of something stored on a computer or viewed online is a very different way to think about art,” he says. “There’s something about the time and space required to look at a physical print. And using film gives you a certain richness and detail that digital just can’t capture.”
For more than a decade, Wylie has been teaching an advanced photography class to fourth-year students, whose portfolios become part of the photography department’s collection.
“That means something to students,” he says. “It’s helpful as a teacher too, because when I show current students the work from previous years, they see this incredible work and know they have something to measure up to. It creates a certain expectation. And if any of them ever become world famous—and a few might—we can say we’ve got one of their prints here at UVA.”
Below are the student photographs from this year’s graduating class selected for the portfolio, along with a brief comment by Wylie on why they were chosen.