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Old Sep 7, 2009, 3:07 AM   #1
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Default Photography Teachers?

I have recently noticed several advertisements of those that are "teaching" photography. At a school of photography as a guest speaker I was asked what my thoughts were regarding the whole "I can teach you photography" thing. Well here goes. I don't subscribe to that concept for many reasons. One is how to stunt the growth of a new student by teaching them rules about what is and what isn't right for a starter. Another is the often over used formulas that in most cases these "specialists" teach the naive student as gospel

I do however have no problem with a school that assists one in understanding technical issues or a school that deals with the historical and artistic aspects of photography. But a school that deals with issues such as cropping, lighting style etc...Well that's where I put my foot down and say an unequivocal NO, Nein, Non.

I have had so many poor lost assistants whom I would rather not pinpoint specifically, that have no clue what so ever who they are. If they did come into a school of photography with the hopes of coming out an individual, well that notion was sucked out of them by the energy vampires. I'm not saying that all profs are frustrated unsuccessful photographers that couldn’t make it in their field. However from what I have seen and heard, one could not help but make that assumption.

I am saying that guest speakers, workshops and specialized advise dealing with specific technical issues might be a reason to seek out advice or when a guest lecturer has come in to speak of his or her experiences, as I did at the Orleans School of Photography in France. Do your research. Read, experiment, take tons of photos inspire yourself and grow as a human. Build up your vocabulary in all disciplines and your life shall be richer as a result. It has been proven that the greater the vocabulary the richer ones life. Take a deep breath and do what comes naturally. If you get stuck creatively, take a short break. If you need some technical advice, just ask questions.

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Old Sep 8, 2009, 2:43 PM   #2
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Default Thank You!


I like your work very much. It is beyond the canned photos that people seem to try and duplicate and imitate over and over again.

I find that most people's work that I am attracted to don't have the formal training so to speak to stunt their creativity and ideas.

If one is trained to think that certain things aren't possible then they won't bother to try anything new since it is their mis-informed belief that it can't be done or that it isn't the right way of doing things.

I enjoy your posts not only the images but your ideas and experiences.

Thanks for sharing,

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Old Sep 11, 2009, 8:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by benjikan View Post
... But a school that deals with issues such as cropping, lighting style etc...Well that's where I put my foot down and say an unequivocal NO, Nein, Non. ...
I feel you are quite wrong in your argument.

You flame "photography" schools improperly. Your argument, whether valid or not, is actually about the teaching of art in general and has absolutely nothing to do with photography specifically. There is absolutely no valid reason to single out photography schools or courses.

For your argument to hold any water at all it must speak about the broad spectrum of art education. There is nothing about lighting or composition that differs between photography and any other visual art other than the purely technical aspects. Leaving painting, drawing, ... out of your argument makes it incorrect.
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Old Sep 29, 2009, 4:44 PM   #4
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I think you may have made the same mistake by limiting your argument to art. I believe he made his point in the context he chose as have you and I.
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