I haven’t set foot in a dark room in over 15 years.
That’s what happens when you use digital cameras and computer programs daily to edit, crop and adjust photos.
But while in the area, I stopped by to visit Mesa High School a few weeks back, to talk to the photographer class of Jesse Castellano’s, or better known to Mesa High students as “Mr. C.”
I try and stop by once a year to visit and talk photography.
Castellano will be retiring this year after teaching photography for 34 years at Mesa High.
While I was visiting, he pointed out a calendar on the back of his office door, counting down to his last day. As a graduate from ASU with a degree in Art Education, Mr. C. began teaching photography, and occasionally ceramics classes.
Over the 34 years, Mr. C. has loved teaching the art of photography to students – and he did it his way.
With little adjustments on what he teaches – the only ones due to the changing camera technology – and how he teaches it, he has taught nearly 8,500 students how to load a camera with film, develop film and print their first image in the dark room.
In talking with him, he said he looks forward to being able to travel with his camera into Mexico, and even Italy.
It was there in his class where learned the basics that sparked the fire to explore and learn about photography.
Teachers like “Mr. C.” will be missed.