College Offers Class on Cell Phone PhotographyBY Jeff Racheff on March 9, 2011
If everyone has a camera in their cell phone, does that make us all potential photographers? In that case, shouldn’t we be learning how to use them? That’s the idea behind a new course being offered by Immaculata University in suburban Philadelphia that teaches people how to use cell phones for photography.
Cell phones are everywhere, and with technology advanced enough to equip most of them with decent picture-takers, people are now taking photographs everywhere they go as well. For Immaculata communications professor Sean Flannery, this ability comes with a price.
“I think it’s part of our responsibility to teach kids how to use this tool,” he says.
That’s why the professor’s new class will focus not only the technical and artistic aspects of photography, but also the ethical responsibilities that come with having such a handy recording device with you everywhere you go. In other words, students need to understand “the full gravity of what’s at their fingertips and the power they can have,” Flannery says.
While Flannery encourages students to grapple with issues such as privacy and voyeurism, professional photographer Hunter Martin will supplement by teaching traditional skills such as lighting, composition and editing.
Mobile photographs are increasingly used as recorders of important moments from around the world, and Flannery said he hopes “to sell the students on the notion that the camera phone and its usage in culture is news in the making.” He and Martin plan to show an exhibition of their students’ cell phone works on campus in April.