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Thread started 02 Jan 2012 (Monday) 10:43
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Debating on going back to school for design/photography....

 
Ross ­ J
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Jan 04, 2012 19:01 as a reply to  @ post 13646725 |  #16
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SethDuBois makes an interesting point of discussion about hands-on training because photography technique can only really be learned in practice. Each photography school or department is going to be unique in the sense that the instructors are unique as individuals. However, my general experience is that there are two basic types of schools. The first is the hands-on school that is heavy into technique but light on theory. The second is the classroom type of school that is heavy into theory but light on technique. Generally, the vocational type of art schools are the most hands-on while the college/university system is the most theoretical.

Balance is necessary to be really good at something, so a person really needs to have both hands-on technical training and a good liberal art history/ theory background in order to be the most well rounded. Unfortunately, it's not usually possible to get both of those at just one school and almost impossible to get them by being self-taught. The bad thing about being self-taught is that it lacks the context of a knowledgeable community. At school, there is a lot of competition so each individual student can judge his work directly against the work of his peers. Most self-taught folks only have friends, family and casual acquaintances as an audience so they never really know if they are "shooting up or shooting down." In other words, they lack the competitive community experience to help them figure out of they're actually improving or just getting stuck repeating themselves. Folks like Ansel Adams were self-taught BUT his close friends were top members of the arts community of the time so he still was part of a highly competitive community. It's very easy to please an average audience but really hard to please a knowledgeable audience and that's the achilles heel of most self-taught photography education.




  
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SethDuBois
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Jan 04, 2012 19:56 |  #17

^ Very, very good point on the self-taught theory. I'm on the page of being self-taught and not having many people around to learn from or get feedback from. A lot of my friends think I'm an awesome photographer, and often comment on how my work is "incredible". It was nice to hear initially, but at this point I'd rather them tell me it sucked and offer me suggestions for improvement. That's where this forum comes in to play, the critiques help to keep me humbled :lol:.

Balance really is the key. Learning theory is just as important as first hand experience. Theory is essentially knowledge provided from others first hand experience anyways. Hands on learning involves a lot of trial and error. If you learn about other peoples errors or achievements before hand, then you can arrive at any given goal in a quicker amount of time with a lot less errors. This is speaking generally of course, but the point is if you are really interested in photography classes then I'm certain you will gain something from them.


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PinknBlue
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Jan 04, 2012 21:27 |  #18

Hi,

I have almost finished my degree in Marketing and Creative Services. You can major in Photomedia with this degree as well. I advanced to 3rd level in photography (got recognition for first two units because of previous experience).

I'd do it, but go for a mix of photography & business/marketing so you will know how to make your business grow.

The best thing about it is having access to a professional studio any time and being able to borrow awesome gear to take home. Worst thing about it was i taught myself everything i know - the uni taught me next to nothing.

Hope that helps.


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PhotosGuy
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Jan 05, 2012 10:04 |  #19

SethDuBois wrote in post #13647998 (external link)
^ Very, very good point on the self-taught theory. I'm on the page of being self-taught and not having many people around to learn from or get feedback from.

Isn't that why you're here? ;)
If you're a self-starter, I don't think there's a better source for learning these days than a good photography forum. You have access to a whole world of experience.


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rhommel
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Jan 05, 2012 12:12 |  #20

getting education is always good.
if you have the time and money, i say go for it!

i,too, am self taught for most things.. I am a full time web developer/reporting analyst (.net, php, sql, etc, etc) and self taught :D.. i also do about 15 weddings a year (also self taught) :)


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SethDuBois
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Jan 05, 2012 17:40 |  #21

PhotosGuy wrote in post #13650951 (external link)
Isn't that why you're here? ;)

SethDuBois wrote in post #13647998 (external link)
That's where this forum comes in to play, the critiques help to keep me humbled :lol:.

You bet! ;)


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JacobPhoto
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Jan 05, 2012 20:03 |  #22

I would highly highly recommend business and/or marketing classes if you want to grow your photography business. if you already have a degree, you can likely take some classes at a local community college and learn some good things. If you don't, I'd recommend taking business classes over photography classes and getting a degree in business over photography.

One of the best classes I took in college was called Promotional Marketing. It talked about how to create and build a promotion which maximizes the return on investment, and was a very hands-on class. We took a $2,500 budget and grew it to over $16,000 in direct revenue for a local business.


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snyderman
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Jan 05, 2012 20:52 |  #23

It's possible that you're really struggling with focus for your photography. What do you shoot? Are you really good at it? Are your areas of interest something you can move forward to paid work? Is that what you're looking for?

When I started shooting, sports was my main area of focus. And boy, did I SUCK at it! I hung around here, looked at images from those who were already experienced, (and very good!) sports shooters. What I saw here set the bar quite high.

It wasn't all that long until I was producing images nearly as good as the better sports shooters here at POTN. The main reason I got better is because of the focus on a single subject--sports shooting.

If you don't have some sort of goal in mind, it's tough to motivate yourself to become better at anything. I wasn't satisfied with crap images so I got better in a damn hurry! Now THAT'S motivation!

dave


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Rden
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Jan 06, 2012 14:02 |  #24

check out lynda.com pay the $25/ month and learn some new things. It's a pretty good resource.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Jan 06, 2012 15:18 |  #25

Ross J wrote in post #13647699 (external link)
SethDuBois makes an interesting point of discussion about hands-on training because photography technique can only really be learned in practice. Each photography school or department is going to be unique in the sense that the instructors are unique as individuals. However, my general experience is that there are two basic types of schools. The first is the hands-on school that is heavy into technique but light on theory. The second is the classroom type of school that is heavy into theory but light on technique. Generally, the vocational type of art schools are the most hands-on while the college/university system is the most theoretical.

Balance is necessary to be really good at something, so a person really needs to have both hands-on technical training and a good liberal art history/ theory background in order to be the most well rounded. Unfortunately, it's not usually possible to get both of those at just one school and almost impossible to get them by being self-taught. The bad thing about being self-taught is that it lacks the context of a knowledgeable community. At school, there is a lot of competition so each individual student can judge his work directly against the work of his peers. Most self-taught folks only have friends, family and casual acquaintances as an audience so they never really know if they are "shooting up or shooting down." In other words, they lack the competitive community experience to help them figure out of they're actually improving or just getting stuck repeating themselves. Folks like Ansel Adams were self-taught BUT his close friends were top members of the arts community of the time so he still was part of a highly competitive community. It's very easy to please an average audience but really hard to please a knowledgeable audience and that's the achilles heel of most self-taught photography education.

Yes because most of the time and most (not all) only learn what they want to learn and stay away from things that they probably should learn. Good schools will force you into situations that many would never go into. Photography is a discipline. The easy part and one part that can really take years to get extremely proficient at, is the technical side. The really hard side and the side that can really only thrive, usually after the technique as become second nature, is the visual side. Art history and the history of photography are so important as learning things like 2 dimensional design and color theory.

A good school will focus on both and I was very, very lucky to have had several professors that had studies with some of the best. One got his MFA from RISD and had Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind as teachers. I actually got to meet Callahan before he had his stroke because of the friendship this professor had with Harry.

Learning and working along side other creative people in a very creative environment is so beneficial and has helped me in ways I can't even begin to explain. And then theres the connections and friendship that you make. They can be so valuable and many of mine have been and will be life long.

Adams was self taught kinda I mean when your circle of friends include Weston, Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keeffe, Cunningham and far to many to really mention, most of the significant artists of the time, its a constant education.

Many greats were educated formally. Bresson spent years in school learning art. Uehlsmann has an MFA from Indiana University.

A formal education can cut years off the learning curve and open your mind to things and move you in directions that you might never explore otherwise. I know it helped me and without my education and working for some of the photographers I worked for after graduating I wouldn't be working in the field of photography that I now work in.




  
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SethDuBois
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Jan 06, 2012 15:56 |  #26

Rden wrote in post #13658316 (external link)
check out lynda.com pay the $25/ month and learn some new things. It's a pretty good resource.

Likewise Kelbytraining.com. Another great resource. How Is spend most of my time at work, along with this :oops:.


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