Photography is the creative art of capturing a moment and turning it into a rich, lasting memory – having one image tell a story. “What is challenging about photography as an art form is to be in the moment and try to create what it feels like in the image.” This is what inspires Mr. Scranton to continue to teach and evolve his own photography.
Mr. Scranton attended Kingswood Oxford as a student, where he took many art classes, and while he liked art, it was not yet his lifelong pursuit. He went to Villanova intending to become a nurse, but quickly realized it was not for him when taking a class on time-based media where he learned photoshop and other digital technology. “[It] opened up an entire spectrum of new possibilities,” Mr. Scranton said.
He transferred to Oberlin college and he said he was exposed to a whole new world that he didn’t realize even existed. He majored in studio art, focusing on video installations, experimenting with different mediums. He then went on to graduate school at the University of Minnesota, where he became a teaching assistant to defray the cost of his tuition. He found, like going to Oberlin, that this experience also opened his mind to new possibilities. He realized that not only did he enjoy creating his own art, but he also liked to teach.
“What I enjoy most about teaching is that I am learning while I am doing,” he said. “I inspire others and I get to be inspired by what the students are doing.” He had a few jobs in the art industry after moving back to the east coast, fortunately for all of us at KO, he found his way back home and gets to pursue his passion and develop passion in those that are lucky enough to take one of his classes: Photography one, Photography two, Portfolio prep and his senior seminar.
There are many layers to the image that is Mr. Scranton. He is not just a passionate teacher. He loves music, particularly artists that align with his views on politics and the world. He is a “staunch feminist” and actually co-chaired the Feminist Coalition while at Villanova and gravitates to artists who have a purpose or message with their music. He has been a blogger and photographer of musicians for years. He gets excited by the complexity of shooting a show and trying to capture the mood and feeling of a show through images. The first show he shot was at the Arch Street Tavern in Hartford. There are many factors to contend with – lighting, movement of the artists, the audience, and the peculiarities of each venue. Even in photography, there are dilemmas. One, he wrestles with is how much to edit – wanting to improve the image without losing the authenticity of the moment. He continues to pursue and evolve his approach to music photography hoping one day to have the opportunity to shoot a famous band in a large stadium like ”Pearl Jam at Fenway Park.”
What makes Mr. Scranton so incredible as a teacher is his commitment to inspiring in his students, the passion and appreciation he feels for photography. “I looked up, everyone was intently researching in their own way. It meant that the students were into it! It was so gratifying,” he said.