Professor of Photography
A.A. Communications, Holyoke Community College; B.A. Journalism/Art History, University of Massachusetts-Amherst; M.F.A. Photography, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.
Basic Still Photography, Advanced Black & White Photography, Color Photography, Introduction to Digital Fine Art Photography, Alternative Processes, A Critical Survey of Photography, Photojournalism, Independent Study in Photography.
Favorite thing about teaching:
The thing I enjoy most is watching the widening eyes and excited responses of students when they see their first photograph appear in the developer tray. There's nothing more rewarding for me than when I see them leap further into that greater understanding of the potential of photography as a means of self-expression. The responsibility of helping students working in their formative years as beginning artists and creating the very foundation for their most important years to come is a high honor for me.
Memorable moment at HCC:
Probably the most memorable moment was when the former president of the college enrolled in my photography class and was excited about the experience of the darkroom and learning to "see" photographically. It was an example of how true a universal language photography was within the college community. Other moments have included my watching the bonding and camaraderie of students when traveling to Washington, DC on club field trips to document the Women's political movement and having them learn what it takes to photograph within a real photojournalistic moment of opportunity. It was the perfect classroom experience.
I try to convey to my students that photography is a visual philosophy. Students contain within themselves the raw experience of their own varied lives. With that comes the daily routine of living each moment from one to the next. This provides a student with an endless variety of experiences with which to draw inspiration from. I try to encourage the idea of reaching within to heart and mind to find subject matter that can be discovered through the eyes.
As a professor of photography, I bring my very own experiences as an artist into the teaching process through the showing of my own work. I use a practical approach to the teaching of photography coupled with a spontaneous teaching environment for the creative process to be brought out of the student.
Professor of Photography and Coordinator of the Photography program.
One of my personal accomplishments was to meet with and discuss my photographic work with John Szarkowski, Curator of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art along with the present curator, Peter Galassi and have them purchase it for the collection. Having work included in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA, William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut-Storrs, CT; Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA; Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, MA; University of Massachusetts-Amherst, MA. (Gretchen Fox Collection loan). My images may be seen at www.robertaller.com and at www.oxbowgallery.com.