Brian Loflin is one of our photography teachers. With classes that range from how to effectively use a camera’s flash to nature photography, his classes cover the breadth of the topic and dig deep into it, too. We interviewed Brian to be highlighted on our monthly newsletter and featured some of the interview there, but here is the full interview.
Informal Classes: What are you most excited about sharing with your students?
Brian Loflin: In my field we are now on the cusp of remarkable technological advances in photography, both in image capture and post processing in the computer. My goal is to get my students to learn that technology alone does not make great pictures. Cameras and computers are only tools in a larger arsenal. The main component is the gray matter between our ears. In order to make inspiring images I try to encourage students of all ages to step away from the “auto-everything” mode of technology and develop their acumen to control the camera in order to capture their vision.
IC: Tell us about your background with photography.
BK: I have been inspired by photography and photographers since I was very young. I was blessed by an excellent combination of opportunities and support from others. This has created my great passion for photography and image making. I am most excited by students picking up that passion and growing their own image making. It is a big thrill to see “the light bulb go off” when someone puts it all together. It’s great sailing from that point forward.
I am a biologist by education. Early on I had the requirement to document my work through photography. That work included producing high magnification images and processing the materials in a traditional darkroom. As they say, it got in my blood. Later, I had many fortunate opportunities to travel around the world photographing people, places and products. Today I am back to the pursuit of natural sciences with my wife, Shirley, through writing, photographing and publishing books through Texas A&M University Press. I have recently completed my third in that series and two others. We also lead nature photography workshops in a variety of locations.
I have been teaching now for about four decades. I started teaching at a VoTech school and went on to Community College and then University level. Regardless of where I was, I was always amazed by the desire to learn of my students. Many were like sponges sucking up every morsel. This is a great stimulus to anyone who teaches.
IC: What do you as the instructor learn from your students?
BK: I learn a lot from the students’ reaction to visual media. Visual communication today is an increasingly important source of information in a short time. Photo imaging, whether still or motion, is by far the most powerful communication tool.
Brian’s upcoming classes: