Irby Pace makes his way to Troy as new photography professor

Parker McCann
Staff Writer
This semester will be Irby Pace’s first semester at Troy University.
Pace has been teaching for almost five years and has been a photographer for 14 years, since he started his associate’s degree in 2000.
This semester, Pace will be teaching Photography Studio 1, 2 and 3. He will also be teaching Collab Studio, and Time and Sound.
“I grew up in a small town, so it’s like being back home,” Pace said. “I love the area for students and their creativity. I really like all the students, and all the faculty has been awesome and supportive.”
Pace is bringing a lot of content to the art department with his talents in photography and video, as well as his experience with technology and commercial photography, and other forms of photography.
He hopes he can help bring a lot of creativity and fun for the students.
In his Photography Studio 1 class, the students are currently making pinhole cameras.
To make them, all that is needed is a common household box (any size), an aluminum can, black spray paint, duct tape, a needle and some photography paper.
Take the box and cut a shutter out of it — a simple square wherever you want the camera to point — then take a piece of an aluminum can, cut for the shutter, and put a pinhole in it with the needle. Next, tape the can piece to the shutter.
Make a flap over the shutter, and paint the inside of the box black.
Once it dries, put a piece of photography paper inside the box, opposite from where the can piece is. To test for light coming in, leave the shutter closed and put the box in full sunlight.
Develop the test piece, and if it stays white, then the inside is lightproof and you can start working the box as a camera.
The light will go through the pinhole and make an upside-down negative. After taking multiple negatives through the development process, take one of the better negatives and make a print.
To make the print, shine a light on a face-up piece of photography paper with the facedown negative on top, and then take the print through the development process.
Pace will gladly help anyone who wants to make his or her own print. However, the prints will be black and white; they can be made in color at the lab.
It normally takes about an hour or so to make the box itself ready, depending on its complexity. The testing for light also takes an hour, and testing negatives and prints takes an hour or more.
Altogether, it takes those who are experienced up to three hours to create. For first-timers, it could take up to five hours.
Pace would like to see more printing and video courses, including some courses on using darkrooms, though he is not sure why they are lacking such courses.
“I want to keep Photo Studio 1 so I can introduce people to the darkroom. It’s been bypassed by digital means, so the need for it isn’t as big, but I love seeing students experience it for the first time because it’s so new to them,” Pace said.
“It’s nice to see people fall in love with photography,” Pace said.
Anna Payne, a sophomore fine arts major from Andalusia, said: “He brings a lot of enthusiasm to the department. He’s funny and tons of fun to work with. The class has been going great, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot about developing in only three class periods.”

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