Is a college photography degree worth it? It depends on who you ask. There are plenty of successful photographers out there who have never set foot inside a university photography lecture, while others have done just as well after earning that diploma. According to a recent study by Kiplinger, however, you might want to think twice before checking the “photography” box on your college app. After analyzing the salaries and jobless rates for grads of the 100 most popular majors, they found photography to be one of the 10 worst, and write,
Shutterbugs beware: The new-grad unemployment rate for film and photography majors is only narrowly better than the rate for high school dropouts. Film and photo students face tough competition in a crowded industry, and low starting salaries are the norm even in expensive industry hubs such as New York and Los Angeles. Interestingly, film and photography grads are still the best-paid of the art majors, though they make almost $10,000 less than the typical holder of a bachelor’s degree.
Some interesting figures: there’s a 7.3% unemployment rate for photo degree holders in general, and a 12.9% rate for recent graduates. The median salaries are $45,000 and $30,000, respectively.
Worst College Majors for Your Career [Yahoo via Fstoppers]
Image credit: Class Photo Shoot by A. Blokzyl
Marc Levoy, the Stanford professor behind the “Frankencamera” project, teaches a course on digital photography called CS 178. The class website is a treasure trove for anyone looking for some great free education in photography:
An introduction to the scientific, artistic, and computing aspects of digital photography – how digital cameras work, how to take good pictures using them, and how to manipulate these pictures afterwards. Topics include lenses and optics, light and sensors, optical effects in nature, perspective and depth of field, sampling and noise, the camera as a computing platform, image processing and editing, history of photography, and computational photography. We’ll also survey the history of photography and look at the work of famous photographers.
Think you know all there is to know about digital photography? Try answering these 10 final exam review questions (answers can be found here). Leave a comment telling us how many you got right!
CS 178 – Digital Photography (via Reddit)
Robots might not be able to convey emotions or tell stories through photographs, but one thing they’re theoretically better than humans at is calculating proportions in a scene, and that’s exactly what one robot at India’s IIT Hydrabad has been taught to do. Computer scientist Raghudeep Gadde programmed a humanoid robot with a head-mounted camera to perfectly obey the rule of thirds and the golden ratio. New Scientist writes,
The robot is also programmed to assess the quality of its photos by rating focus, lighting and colour. The researchers taught it what makes a great photo by analysing the top and bottom 10 per cent of 60,000 images from a website hosting a photography contest, as rated by humans.
Armed with this knowledge, the robot can take photos when told to, then determine their quality. If the image scores below a certain quality threshold, the robot automatically makes another attempt. It improves on the first shot by working out the photo’s deviation from the guidelines and making the appropriate correction to its camera’s orientation.
It’s definitely a step up from Lewis, a wedding photography robot built in the early 2000s that was taught to recognize faces.
(via New Scientist via DVICE)
Yale University has announced the acquisition of American photographer Lee Friedlander‘s archive, and 2,000 prints from his collection. The joint acquisition by Yale’s Art Gallery and Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library involves over 40,000 rolls of film and contact sheets by the prolific photographer.
So far, 2010 has been a year of big photographic acquisitions. Just over a month ago, billionaire Michael Dell’s investment firm purchased Magnum’s entire press print archive, which was then relocated to the University of Texas at Austin.
Image credit: Friedlander by -will wilson-