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Plato the Wise

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Re: necessity of photography school
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2012, 01:28:09 PM »
I don't have a photography degree, but I do have a BFA from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in painting and sculpture. Photography was part of our curriculum and I learned a lot in the classes.

In fact, many of the disciplines we now work on digitally in photoshop have their roots in traditional darkroom techniques. The tools and filters at times are even named after the original techniques.

Not to mention the art of photography that is outside of the technique itself that is way more important. Composition, color theory, creative thinking and problem solving to name a few.

Could you learn all of that on your own? Possibly - but then again you could learn any discipline on your own. It might take you a lifetime to learn what you could learn in 4 years of a BFA photography program.

If you are just looking for continuing education classes, most community colleges, universities, and art colleges do offer classes. And like someone stated earlier, you will have access to equipment that you wouldn't normally be exposed to.

Hope that helps.

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Re: necessity of photography school
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2012, 01:28:09 PM »

awinphoto

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Re: necessity of photography school
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2012, 01:34:16 PM »

And from 1 to 10, where would you say you were at before and then after 1 = not knowing you can take off the lens on a slr.  10 = Neuroanatomist

Edit- I do consider photography a form of art and when I said learn, I meant more than just the tech aspect.   
   

Your scale should reflect that edit. Something like...

 1 = not knowing you can take off the lens on a slr.  1000 = Mann, Friedlander, Avedon, Leibovitz, Cartier-Bresson... etc

...and many of them never went to "school".

It's funny how hindsight works... before school, I thought I was pretty decent... maybe a 6-7... I developed my own film, dark room, etc... but after school, I realized i was no where near where I thought I was when first started and was closer to a 2-3...  And now, being out of school for so long, I have grown since the digital revolution and all the advances in technology...  Every time I think I'm a 9-10, something new comes out, a new facet in technology occurs, a new AF system, a new learning curve occurs...  The more I learn, the more I know I need to keep learning... 

I heard a phrase i love... dont worry about not being good enough photographer... there will ALWAYS be a better photographer somewhere... and even the masters in photography cannot come close to the works of God. 

Dont get bogged down into thinking there is ever a 10 on the knowledge scale... things are always changing... 
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Re: necessity of photography school
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2012, 02:17:20 PM »
Edit- I do consider photography a form of art and when I said learn, I meant more than just the tech aspect.   
   

Learning the tech side of it would be very educational and would be helpful if you wanted to be a camera salesman. As a photographer I think it is useless information unless you know how you can apply the information in your vision.

I would prefer the artsie fartsie classes over the technical ones. It is easy for me as a gear head to look at all the data and figure out how things work, I can get that by reading, research and the internet. Putting it all together in a vision and creating a beautiful picture, I find that a bit tougher for my analytical mind.

pdirestajr

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Re: necessity of photography school
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2012, 02:25:45 PM »
I don't have a photography degree, but I do have a BFA from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in painting and sculpture. Photography was part of our curriculum and I learned a lot in the classes.

In fact, many of the disciplines we now work on digitally in photoshop have their roots in traditional darkroom techniques. The tools and filters at times are even named after the original techniques.

Not to mention the art of photography that is outside of the technique itself that is way more important. Composition, color theory, creative thinking and problem solving to name a few.

Could you learn all of that on your own? Possibly - but then again you could learn any discipline on your own. It might take you a lifetime to learn what you could learn in 4 years of a BFA photography program.

If you are just looking for continuing education classes, most community colleges, universities, and art colleges do offer classes. And like someone stated earlier, you will have access to equipment that you wouldn't normally be exposed to.

Hope that helps.

+100

I also went to SVA and got a BFA majoring in illustration. Never turned on a computer or shot a frame of film (even though I took a darkroom class) in 4 years of school. Now I am a professional graphic designer and love photography above all other forms of art.

The point is, art is art. It's all visual communication. Don't get so focused on the current tools you are using. The concepts of form, composition, color theory, etc. transfer to different mediums.

Since I have that art foundation, for me, learning a program or a new "system" is the easy part. Anyone can master a piece of technology.
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pdirestajr

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Re: necessity of photography school
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2012, 02:29:31 PM »
Going to photography school is the same as going to "art school" in a more broader sense ... I guess they hand out photography diplomas in art schools but I digress. A couple of art history courses and may be a specialized course for 3 or 4 credits on top in a regular liberal arts curriculum will do more good... Granted over priced in this context. But most proprietary "art schools" in small communities are run by people who are more ignorant about art than Mr. Squeers-like schoolmasters from Dickensian novels.

I think art of any kind stands out when it has a unique and personal view point. By training students to mostly conform, we blunt innovation and uniqueness. If I had a nickel for every time I saw a shot of a long straight road going into infinity in a perspective shot... I'll be Donald Trump (hopefully without the badger hair). Most of what an "art school" can teach can be acquired from public sources, me thinks.

And here is a scene from the classic Britcom "Red Dwarf" :)

Lister: I went to art college.
Rimmer: You!!!
Lister: Yeah.
Rimmer: How did you get into art college?
Lister: The normal way you get into art college. The same old usual, boring, normal way you get in. Failed my exams and applied. They snapped me up.

:D

Disagree.
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awinphoto

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Re: necessity of photography school
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2012, 02:30:48 PM »
Edit- I do consider photography a form of art and when I said learn, I meant more than just the tech aspect.   
   

Learning the tech side of it would be very educational and would be helpful if you wanted to be a camera salesman. As a photographer I think it is useless information unless you know how you can apply the information in your vision.

I would prefer the artsie fartsie classes over the technical ones. It is easy for me as a gear head to look at all the data and figure out how things work, I can get that by reading, research and the internet. Putting it all together in a vision and creating a beautiful picture, I find that a bit tougher for my analytical mind.

Not as useless as you would think... Think of it like this...  Your shooting a couple outdoors, open sun, you set your exposure... all of a sudden, a cloud comes overhead... you need to instinctively know to compensate... is it 1 stop or 2?  Is it a thick light killing cloud or a thin softbox style cloud...  Then you go into an open shade... what affect does that have not only on exposure but color?  Maybe you want to throw on a polarizer... maybe a sun filter... 1/3 stop or 1/2...  maybe you switch lenses to a macro lenses to do artsie fartsie shots of your clients eyes...  your macro so your losing light... you need to know to compensate...  This basic stuff is stuff a lot of "pros" miss on a daily occurrence... this is the stuff you get hammered into your head from day 1 and this is what will be the difference in if you get "that shot" or you dont... It will make the difference if your considered a shoot and burner or highly regarding professional commanding top dollar...  Sometimes it does matter... Technical stuff is necessary, but it isn't everything...
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Larry

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Re: necessity of photography school
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2012, 02:36:44 PM »
[=Plato the Wise =]

Isn't that redundant? ???

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Re: necessity of photography school
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2012, 02:36:44 PM »

PackLight

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Re: necessity of photography school
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2012, 02:41:30 PM »
Edit- I do consider photography a form of art and when I said learn, I meant more than just the tech aspect.   
   

Learning the tech side of it would be very educational and would be helpful if you wanted to be a camera salesman. As a photographer I think it is useless information unless you know how you can apply the information in your vision.

I would prefer the artsie fartsie classes over the technical ones. It is easy for me as a gear head to look at all the data and figure out how things work, I can get that by reading, research and the internet. Putting it all together in a vision and creating a beautiful picture, I find that a bit tougher for my analytical mind.

Not as useless as you would think... Think of it like this...  Your shooting a couple outdoors, open sun, you set your exposure... all of a sudden, a cloud comes overhead... you need to instinctively know to compensate... is it 1 stop or 2?  Is it a thick light killing cloud or a thin softbox style cloud...  Then you go into an open shade... what affect does that have not only on exposure but color?  Maybe you want to throw on a polarizer... maybe a sun filter... 1/3 stop or 1/2...  maybe you switch lenses to a macro lenses to do artsie fartsie shots of your clients eyes...  your macro so your losing light... you need to know to compensate...  This basic stuff is stuff a lot of "pros" miss on a daily occurrence... this is the stuff you get hammered into your head from day 1 and this is what will be the difference in if you get "that shot" or you dont... It will make the difference if your considered a shoot and burner or highly regarding professional commanding top dollar...  Sometimes it does matter... Technical stuff is necessary, but it isn't everything...

Well I think your comments fall under the last part of the sentence which says "unless you can apply the information in your vision". But the techie stuff runs deeper than this on CR and often revolves around things such as sensor and lens comparisons and how they work. Some things are nice to know, but you need to ask yourself how does this apply to what I want to do?

robbymack

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Re: necessity of photography school
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2012, 02:44:59 PM »
I wouldn't say school is unnecessary however school simply provides you an avenue for learning. I don't think anything can replace simply shooting and being critiqued. For that school is great but not something you couldn't pick up through several local venues like photo clubs, other working pros, and of course the Internet. Are some better than others, sure, but do t dilude yourself into thinking school is the only answer. Since this is only a hobby for most of us the easiest way is to just put yourself out there. Find a local pro who's work you like and see if you can pick his brain, maybe offer to help in his studio (for free) from time to time. If your into event see if you can score a few second shooting roles. I guess my point is there are plenty of ways to learn. Don't get trapped by just one.

Caps18

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Re: necessity of photography school
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2012, 02:51:20 PM »
I know enough to l know that there is a lot of things I don't know.  And, I've looked at enough photo books to realize that it takes a special eye to look at something and 'see' the photo from a different angle or framing. 

The classes like DSLR camera controls, software post-processing, studio lighting, wedding, landscape, etc. would all have details that I don't know and could learn.  But, even with a bunch of classes, it takes practice (and being in the right locations) to get really good.
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awinphoto

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Re: necessity of photography school
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2012, 02:52:05 PM »
Edit- I do consider photography a form of art and when I said learn, I meant more than just the tech aspect.   
   

Learning the tech side of it would be very educational and would be helpful if you wanted to be a camera salesman. As a photographer I think it is useless information unless you know how you can apply the information in your vision.

I would prefer the artsie fartsie classes over the technical ones. It is easy for me as a gear head to look at all the data and figure out how things work, I can get that by reading, research and the internet. Putting it all together in a vision and creating a beautiful picture, I find that a bit tougher for my analytical mind.

Not as useless as you would think... Think of it like this...  Your shooting a couple outdoors, open sun, you set your exposure... all of a sudden, a cloud comes overhead... you need to instinctively know to compensate... is it 1 stop or 2?  Is it a thick light killing cloud or a thin softbox style cloud...  Then you go into an open shade... what affect does that have not only on exposure but color?  Maybe you want to throw on a polarizer... maybe a sun filter... 1/3 stop or 1/2...  maybe you switch lenses to a macro lenses to do artsie fartsie shots of your clients eyes...  your macro so your losing light... you need to know to compensate...  This basic stuff is stuff a lot of "pros" miss on a daily occurrence... this is the stuff you get hammered into your head from day 1 and this is what will be the difference in if you get "that shot" or you dont... It will make the difference if your considered a shoot and burner or highly regarding professional commanding top dollar...  Sometimes it does matter... Technical stuff is necessary, but it isn't everything...

Well I think your comments fall under the last part of the sentence which says "unless you can apply the information in your vision". But the techie stuff runs deeper than this on CR and often revolves around things such as sensor and lens comparisons and how they work. Some things are nice to know, but you need to ask yourself how does this apply to what I want to do?

Fair enough... you have to have the vision and apply the technique to get the shot...  I'm sure ansel adams would not be nearly as infamous if he made mistakes like missing exposures due to environment conditions...  With that said, as a working photographer, from shooting a wedding, lighting is always changing, and you realize the couple rarely remembers the day because it goes by like a blur, so they rely on you for their memories... you cannot miss shots... and you would be surprised how commonplace that is...  In commercial shots, if an art director, who is on scene, see's an out-take and it isn't up to snuff, you could be cut and replaced in a heartbeat... your just a dollar sign to them...  for what I do, this stuff is VERY relevant in every day shooting... and dont think this is one of the things i exploit when i market to new clients... Do you want a photographer that gets the shot every time, or someone who wont... it is what it is...
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

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Re: necessity of photography school
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2012, 03:04:08 PM »
I'm sure ansel adams would not be nearly as infamous if he made mistakes like missing exposures due to environment conditions... 

"Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop."
Ansel Adams

I am sure he had a few bad exposures.
I wonder what he would have said about DxO scores. ::)

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Re: necessity of photography school
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2012, 03:19:32 PM »
It's funny how hindsight works... before school, I thought I was pretty decent... maybe a 6-7... I developed my own film, dark room, etc... but after school, I realized i was no where near where I thought I was when first started and was closer to a 2-3...  And now, being out of school for so long, I have grown since the digital revolution and all the advances in technology...  Every time I think I'm a 9-10, something new comes out, a new facet in technology occurs, a new AF system, a new learning curve occurs...  The more I learn, the more I know I need to keep learning... 

What you've observed about your own photographic progression is a very real thing, and has been studied and written about numerous times. The less someone knows about a subject the less accurately they can judge their own skill/knowledge in that subject.  It's the old "you don't know what you don't know".

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Re: necessity of photography school
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2012, 03:19:32 PM »

Chuck Alaimo

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Re: necessity of photography school
« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2012, 03:22:02 PM »
Edit- I do consider photography a form of art and when I said learn, I meant more than just the tech aspect.   
   

Learning the tech side of it would be very educational and would be helpful if you wanted to be a camera salesman. As a photographer I think it is useless information unless you know how you can apply the information in your vision.

I would prefer the artsie fartsie classes over the technical ones. It is easy for me as a gear head to look at all the data and figure out how things work, I can get that by reading, research and the internet. Putting it all together in a vision and creating a beautiful picture, I find that a bit tougher for my analytical mind.

Not as useless as you would think... Think of it like this...  Your shooting a couple outdoors, open sun, you set your exposure... all of a sudden, a cloud comes overhead... you need to instinctively know to compensate... is it 1 stop or 2?  Is it a thick light killing cloud or a thin softbox style cloud...  Then you go into an open shade... what affect does that have not only on exposure but color?  Maybe you want to throw on a polarizer... maybe a sun filter... 1/3 stop or 1/2...  maybe you switch lenses to a macro lenses to do artsie fartsie shots of your clients eyes...  your macro so your losing light... you need to know to compensate...  This basic stuff is stuff a lot of "pros" miss on a daily occurrence... this is the stuff you get hammered into your head from day 1 and this is what will be the difference in if you get "that shot" or you dont... It will make the difference if your considered a shoot and burner or highly regarding professional commanding top dollar...  Sometimes it does matter... Technical stuff is necessary, but it isn't everything...

Well I think your comments fall under the last part of the sentence which says "unless you can apply the information in your vision". But the techie stuff runs deeper than this on CR and often revolves around things such as sensor and lens comparisons and how they work. Some things are nice to know, but you need to ask yourself how does this apply to what I want to do?

Fair enough... you have to have the vision and apply the technique to get the shot...  I'm sure ansel adams would not be nearly as infamous if he made mistakes like missing exposures due to environment conditions...  With that said, as a working photographer, from shooting a wedding, lighting is always changing, and you realize the couple rarely remembers the day because it goes by like a blur, so they rely on you for their memories... you cannot miss shots... and you would be surprised how commonplace that is...  In commercial shots, if an art director, who is on scene, see's an out-take and it isn't up to snuff, you could be cut and replaced in a heartbeat... your just a dollar sign to them...  for what I do, this stuff is VERY relevant in every day shooting... and dont think this is one of the things i exploit when i market to new clients... Do you want a photographer that gets the shot every time, or someone who wont... it is what it is...

I think it's all about how we individually learn.  Some need that school based, beat it into you or you won't learn it method.  But if your a driven, if you actually want to learn - things like gauging the changing lighting are totally learnable just by shooting regular, analyzing what your doing - making mistakes but being open enough to learn from the mistakes - whther it be going home, reviewing seeing oddities then reading articles, then going out the next day - or having an instructor beat it into your head.   So i guess it would really depend on the person, how do they learn best?
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pdirestajr

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Re: necessity of photography school
« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2012, 03:40:29 PM »

I'm sure ansel adams would not be nearly as infamous if he made mistakes like missing exposures due to environment conditions... 

"Infamous"? Sorry, pet peeve of mine.
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Re: necessity of photography school
« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2012, 03:40:29 PM »