Photography at Pacific University is taught as a participatory art medium. Students have the opportunity to major in art with concentration in photography, or, for non-majors, minor in photography. In both cases, students have the opportunity to follow a number of structured classes, the flexibility to do independent research and study, apply for one of five photography internships, or apply for collaborative research with me.
I have been teaching photography at Pacific for 20 years. My students and I have participated in and won several national and international awards in photography competition.
I teach two travel classes in photography: A seven day field-session in Vancouver, British Columbia every June, and Photography in Hawaii during Winter II in rotation with other art department faculty.
I believe that fine art photography students need to really learn to see creatively, have a good understanding of camera technique, color theory and practice, and a good basic foundation of traditional black-and-white photography taught from a historical perspective. From there they can explore other offerings such as studio photography, digital illustration, Photoshop, digital color and black-and-white printing.
I run an open door policy in my area of the art department. When I am on campus, my office door is always open. It is important that students have access to me as much as possible. I like the interaction of one student or an office full of students. My photography students who are majoring in art spend a great deal of time with me in the digital and traditional darkrooms, in the field, and at my office desk looking at their work.
I try to set an example for my students as an active working photographer. In 2008 and 2012, I was fortunate to receive press photo credentials to the U.S. Olympic Trials for Track and Field and the U.S. Track and Field Championships in 2009 and 2011, all held in Eugene, Ore. The experience was beyond words.
The success of our photography program shows its strength in the numbers of art majors who concentrate in photography, and students from other disciplines who choose to minor in photography. Many of these major and minor graduates are currently working in the photography industry.