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Monday, October 3, 2011

Review of Tim Fabian's Speaking Light Lecture and Peer Portfolio Reviews

Speaking Light season at Point Park has officially begun as we welcomed Tim Fabian, Pittsburgh photographer and former Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Point Park University professor, this past Friday, September 30. Although the night was mainly focused on Tim’s lecture, Professor Patrick Millard and students (pictured on the left) gathered outside of the JVH Auditorium an hour before the lecture to have peer portfolio reviews. There were only a few students that brought their portfolios, while most just came to critique. However, after hearing the critiques and reviews of the works that were there, many students expressed that they found this portfolio session beneficial for them and will definitely be bringing their work to next time.
Taryn Chepanoske, (pictured on the right) a second year Photography major and one of the students that attended both the portfolio review and lecture, was one of the students that said she would bring her work next time and didn’t realize how helpful it would be to have her peers look at her work outside of the classroom. Tim Fabian arrived early and participated in the activities by offering up some professional advice and praising many of the portfolios, which gave the evening more of a comfortable atmosphere as we all relocated into the JVH for his lecture.

As Tim Fabian (pictured on the left) started his

presentation, we could all see that he had a strong objective that he wanted to bring across to all us: everything should be done with a purpose. Photography should not just be a snapshot, but really an image that is created and composed, which he expressed as he showed us his own mental process and elements he uses when he creates his images. The elements of an image, from the rule of thirds to the leading lines, should be carefully and exquisitely illustrated in each photograph.

But Tim made it clear that we should have more than a purpose of composing an image; we should have a purpose in what we want to do with it after. He started going into the business aspect of photography, which is not really stressed in the photography curriculum (at least not in the Photojournalism degree) here at Point Park, so to hear some helpful tips and hints, such as how photography should be looked at as a business with elements such as marketing, production, and accounting, gave the evening an interesting twist that I was not expecting.

Something that really shocked and interested me was that for most of Tim’s newer work, he admitted to using mostly just a point-and-shoot camera and Photoshop. He believes that creating photography is more about how you compose an image rather than what you take it with, which is something all photography students realize, but I feel like sometimes we, especially young students, get lost in the glamour of having the best models of DSLRs and lenses that we forget that it is us that makes an image great, not what kind of camera it is. It was reassuring to hear that sometimes passion, not just great camera equipment, can be successful as long as there is determination to back it up.

To check out some of Tim Fabian’s work, you can go to his website at and if you happened to miss this Speaking Light lecture, but would love to attend another one, here is the schedule for the rest of the Fall 2011 semester:

October 28 – Christin Boggs

November 18 – Filippo Tagliati

January 27 – John Holmgren

All lectures start at 6 p.m. and are held in the JVH Audiotorium, and if you are interested in getting helpful critiques from your peers on your work, you are welcome to join us at 5 p.m., an hour before the lectures, for the peer portfolio reviews. A special thank you to Tim Fabian for coming to speak to the students and faculty and thanks to everyone that attended; hope to see you all again on October 28th for Christin Boggs!

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