The Photographic Technology class instructor, Nanette Salvaggio shared her thoughts about the first month of this class.

We are just finishing the fourth week of the Fall semester and the students are now pretty acclimated to the class expectations. The Photographic Technology class explores the contemporary  technology required to produce photographs.  The first few months of the fall semester features activities that measure light for both color and intensity.  The students work with both handheld color and exposure meters and with light meters that are internal to a camera.  Students learn about the inverse square law; how different types of light bulbs distribute light; how the voltage and age of the lamp changes brightness; and the affect on the color temperature of a light. Below, RIT student Jaymee Pride poses for a classic demonstration of how spot metering can be a great tool but also reveals the pitfalls of this metering method.  In this exercise students take a spot meter reading off of the three squares and expose according.  They quickly find that spot metering off of something that does not have an 18% reflectance can lead to a poor exposure/result.  They are then asked to expand the concept by using the in-camera meter and need to include scenes that are high and low key. Jaymee felt that “the lab taught her that there is a lot more than just clicking the shutter to get a great picture, understanding how to control metering is essential.”


PT Students Kristina Kaszei and Colton Keenan, shown below, were asked to compare the published, and measured color temperatures of five commonly used lights. The students quickly learned that the published information might be skewed.


PT Student Bridget Fetsko, shown below,  is collecting experimental readings required to compare incident and reflected meter readings. Students are asked to use a Kodak 18% gray card and a white reflector.  This exercise emphasizes how light meters are calibrated and how an incident meter reading can be beneficial for scenes that are uniquely lit. According to Bridget “this activity taught me how to use handheld light meters and what spot meter readings are. I also learned when to use them, something I did not know at the beginning of the school year.”


As the instructor for the class, I have a unique experience with new-to-college students. This year’s freshmen class arrived to campus eager to learn and have embraced this technology class very quickly.  They are excited to learn and very fun to work with.  We all have have a long way to go, but when they get to May, they will be ready to apply what they have learned to create incredible work while at RIT, and hopefully in the rest of their life.