The Importance of Research and Learning New Things

by valrac4_a3kqdy

Self-portrait © Dominik Magdziak

Photo Life is proud to partner with Seneca students to document their journey through the school curriculum. This week Dominik Magdziak shares about his research project.

Class:  History of Imaging
Assignment: Final Presentation
Student: Dominik Magdziak

Professor: Lorne Wolk
Assignment guidelines: Pick a topic that we are interested in and learn the history of this topic. Deliver a PowerPoint presentation in front of the class or write an essay on the topic.

Photo of Lorne Wolk

Professor Lorne Wolk © Dominik Magdziak

During our first semester we were required to take a course on the history of photography, taught by industrial photographer Lorne Wolk. For our final assignment, we had to pick a topic that we were interested in and learn the history of it. The beauty of this assignment is that it began broad, but once you chose a topic, the specifics came in. Not many assignments give you the freedom to express your own interests. I picked the topic of the history of underwater photography, where I fed my interest and desire to pursue taking photographs underwater.

Process: As a person who cannot stop talking, the lengthy PowerPoint was the perfect delivery in my case. Everything about this final project came down to the choices the student makes: the topic, the delivery, the style and the presentation. For a student that has dedication and commitment to learning, this project is simply the best way to learn. I put a lot more effort into this assignment than a studio-class final because I was able to expand and work on my interest, rather than work on something that maybe irrelevant to my interest. A lot of professors give out assignments with specific details on how it must be done and delivered, resulting in students like myself who will do exactly that, but won’t learn a lot from it because our input, creativity and self-expression are limited. This assignment is a way for students to learn more on their own and to learn from other students, in contrast to having to learn from a professor who has been teaching the same topic over and over again. The students are not the only ones learning from the project; the professor learns and benefits from this process too. They can apply the new knowledge to future lessons.

Conclusion: This project taught me more than the history; it taught me how to condense important information and present it within a certain time frame. All in all, this project taught me a lot of what I’m actually interested in, and I got to learn a lot about topics that were not taught in the course.

The Seneca @ York Independent Digital Photography Program is a two-year diploma course that prepares students for a freelance career and provides them with the necessary skill set to work in a multidisciplinary studio.

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