Digitizing the Decisive Moment




This article describes the introduction of the newly emerging technology of digital photography into the curriculum of Visual Arts at Penn State University in the middle 1990s. It had never been taught at this level before and at the time represented a paradigm shift in the education of photography. The narrative profiles Gerald Lang, the professor then already nearing retirement, who challenged deeply entrenched academic axioms resistant to the technology and to any change in the instruction of photography that throughout its history had been grounded in film, chemicals, and darkrooms. The Digital Photography Studio at Penn State was destined to become the first and most sophisticated of its kind in higher education.