New beginning for GIT

| Kelsea Renz managing editor |

Starting this summer, photography students in the Graphics and Imaging Technology (GIT) Department will get the chance to work with new, high-quality equipment thanks to an anonymous donation.
The donation of $30,000 was used to revamp the department’s photography studios and purchase new equipment, including two professional cameras, for the students to practice on.
“Initially I proposed to the donor a $15,000 donation to replace our cameras and get a few other needed things,” said Rion Huffman, assistant professor of GIT. “The donor decided to bump up the donation so we could get better cameras and more equipment.”
Huffman, who has been the assistant professor only since August, has been working to get this donation since he took the position.
“My first teaching job was in this department almost three years ago and I noticed right away that we needed new equipment,” he said. “I had a goal to be a full-time professor, so I made a goal of this being the first thing I would do.”
The donation was finalized in February and the department was able to purchase everything by March. Students have been using some of the new equipment since then and have noticed a dramatic difference in performance.
“The students are very happy to have the new equipment. They feel they are more capable with this,” Huffman said. “We used to have pretty strict limitations about what we could do because the cameras were so old. Because of the new technology, that’s been alleviated.”
Originally, Huffman intended only to replace the department’s crop of cameras. However, because of the donor’s willingness to increase the donation, the department now has good enough equipment to revamp the program as a whole.
“A big reason the donor jumped up the money was so that we could get the professional camera to demo for the students,” Huffman said.
Huffman looks forward to using one of the professional cameras, a Canon 1DX, to teach students how to shoot sports professionally, which is something the department has not been able to do before.
“Our cameras were eight years old. They were so old they couldn’t take available light shots in the building, which was sometimes required for assignments,” he said. “We just got this equipment in, so we haven’t been able to do any sports yet.”
This summer, Huffman will also fully implement the new equipment and redevelop the photography classes based around the capabilities of the cameras.
“It will be a fun pilot course. We’ll use all the new equipment, new strategies, do a lot of on-location shooting,” he said. “It will be a departure from what the class has been before.”

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