One popular art course, The Photographic Vision, employs virtual field trips to enhance the student experience. Primarily an overview of photography, its history and the many genres it encompasses, this course also teaches hands-on techniques. The field trips are designed to expose students to a wealth of historical, educational and artistic knowledge directly related to each module’s topic. A visit to the American Museum of Photography provides a history of the discipline, as well as unique exhibitions and research resources. The websites of individual photographers and galleries offer high-quality, contextualized images and lessons in presentation. These in turn assist students as they complete their own photographic assignments for group critiques.
Throughout the course, students take full advantage of experts working in diverse photographic specialities such as journalism, portraiture and documentation. At the National Geographic Magazine site, students find professional advice on specific topics such as “Taking Photos in the Rain” or “Shooting with Available Light” in addition to the vast archive of the magazine’s renown images.
During an exploration of nature photography, students visit the website of master Ansel Adams. In a culminating module on fine art photography, inspirational examples include the modern color work of Chris Enos as well as the dreamy, black and white images of Dianne Duenzl, both of Box Set Gallery.
Virtual field trips offer countless pedagogical benefits, the results of which are often evident in lively online discussions grounded in shared experience.