A CENTER THAT IS A PHOTOGRAPHY SCHOOL
From its origins, registered in photochemical emulsions made up of silver halogen grains, up to its more recent form of fragmentation and capture, the pixel, photography is establishing itself as the great protagonist of the artistic, scientific and technological contemporary knowledge. Here in Brazil, this artistic and technical language and its relationship with those that use or develop it, has created a paradox. The more the photograph is created, developed, researched and manipulated, more it is seen as a simple accessory or instrument, not being classified as excellence area yet, in the academic levels of our country. In the Northern Hemisphere, in countries such as Canada, the United States, France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, England, among others, the photograph, in a larger scale, is already included in greatly requested curricula for graduation and post-graduation in Photography, mainly with an emphasis in Arts and Communication.
Besides, it became the main lever in the artistic and scientific progress of several areas, such as: Television, Movies, Fine arts, Communication, Information and Entertainment, Internet, Medicine (diagnosis by image, angiographies, endographies, x-rays, etc.), digital virtual atmospheres (Computer graphics, Digital Art), Thermography, Holography, images of no-visible spectra (Physics), Astrophotography, Biophotografy, Geophotografy, among several other ways of using it that are found in different research levels and in the way it is taught in developed countries. Here, more precisely in the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), since 1992, through the Photography Center, the photograph is seen, researched and applied in the production of knowledge and qualification of human resources, as an excellence area. For that it was implanted, in 1993, a research program, based on the experimental and applied photography denominated FOT.XPER,UFRGS, where Photography is the protagonist, the Individual, the method, and the production of Knowledge and Purpose. Through this program, the Photography Center grants the opportunity, organizes and guides individual projects (authorial) of photographic research, based on analogue photography, as well as on digital photography, where graduation students, and postgraduates from several areas of UFRGS as well as recently graduated or doing college courses in other universities (as guests) try to practice photography in all its inclusions, starting from several stages of visual-space perception, appropriate theoretical concepts towards the applications of experimental methodologies, concomitantly to the several types and forms of practical manipulations.
This way the Center produces and applies the knowledge that it gains from these researches to the development of courses and workshops in academical extension and qualifying the photography subject for the Communication and Archivology courses, and, in the near future, for the Biology, Geography and Librarianship courses at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Brazil as well.
Mario Bitt-Monteiro 
Coordinator of the Photography Center of UFRGS