LACOSTE, France — Second-year student Marissa Thomas spent most of her second weekend in Lacoste, France, cursing a scanner.
“It takes 15 minutes just to output one 4-by-6-inch image from a negative,” said Thomas about a process that usually takes three to five minutes at the Savannah campus. Her images came out with dust spots and odd discolored lines.
Thomas and other photography students became frustrated with the scanner and its lacking in quality, so, Fred Moraillon, the information and technology specialist at Lacoste, ordered a new one.
The Epson V750 Pro Perfection Photo Scanner, shipped and installed in less than a week, did the trick. It replaced a MicroTek TMA1600 9800XL that was only compatible with outdated film.
“That was incredible,” said Thomas when she used the new scanner for the first time. “It’s so quick — five photos in less than a minute in 800 DPI. Wow.”
Moraillon started working with the school in 2003 when the campus only had about 20 computers and one Epson 1290 printer specifically for photographic prints. Although the amount of computers doubled, they were still using that same printer until last year.
“We got so many complaints that SCAD finally decided that, yes, we need to get a better printer,” said Moraillon.
HP donated an Epson Stylus Pro 4880, which broke within 48 hours of arrival. At that time there was a Lacoste student whose father knew the CEO of HP and another printer arrived on campus. They never came to pick up the other one, and Moraillon got it running again.
“I fixed it with soap,” said Moraillon.
Both see heavy use. Photography professor Tom Fischer is teaching three photo-based classes this quarter, and has been flexible with students as they work through printer and scanner malfunctions. Fischer was there when SCAD bought buildings in Lacoste in 2000.
“When I first came here I just came to look at the property and it was not in good shape,” said Fischer.
He helped design and build a dark room and in 2002 the campus opened to students. Photography classes have always been offered at least once a year. Having the proper printing equipment is what makes the program popular and successful among students.
“The whole idea was to make it so it wasn’t a struggle to end up getting the final prints,” Fischer said. “You want that to be the easy part, so people can really do their work.”
Taylor James a second-year student, worked mostly in the dark room since he got here.
“The dark room is great here,” said James. “We have great quality enlargers.”
James expressed his excitement about the collaborative nature of his Lacoste experience so far.
“Everyone is just constantly asking each other questions and trying to understand more and more. It’s a complete immersion in photo for me,” he said.
Professor Fischer has taught at Lacoste four times. Each quarter he comes back the campus has improved technologically. But he says one thing has remained consistent: When students come to Lacoste, they work harder than they ever have.
“We get great work that comes out of this place,” said Fischer.Contact Anna Geannopoulos.