I was just reached with the news that Richard Zakia has died, last March 12th.
Richard (born Rashid Elisha) Zakia was one of the great photography teachers of his era in the United States. A member of the stellar 1956 graduating class at the Rochester Institute of Technology that included Carl Chiarenza, Peter Bunnell, Bruce Davidson, Ken Josephson, Pete Turner and Jerry Uelsmann—and that numbered Minor White and Beaumont Newhall among its teachers—he did a stint at Eastman Kodak as an engineer out of school, and then returned to RIT, where he taught for 34 years, eventually serving as the chair of the Fine Art Photography Department and Graduate Program in Imaging Arts.
He was the author or co-author of 13 books, and edited, with his colleague Leslie Stroebel, the mammoth third edition of The Focal Enclyclopedia of Photography. His most interesting book to me is Perception and Imaging, a fascinating and learned tome on how we see, how the camera sees, and where the twain meet. His most recent book, with co-author Glenn Rand, is Teaching Photography: Tools for the Imaging Educator, published in 2006.
Our condolences to Dick Zakia's family, his friends, and his many students.
(Thanks to Barry Myers)
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Original contents copyright 2012 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Slobodan Blagojevich: "I second your choice of Perception and Imaging...it has been the most influential book in my photographic library. I used to study perception in business school (as in: in marketing, perception is reality), but in photography, Zakia's book was an eye-opener. I often use the concept of optical illusions (mentioned in the book) to introduce the concept of cognitive biases in decision making: we are by now, being familiar with certain well-known optical illusions, quite ready to accept that our brain can play tricks on us, but we are somehow still very reluctant to accept—or, even worse, to consider—that our brain can play tricks on us using cognitive biases."