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01-19-2019, 12:56 PM   #16
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I did two years (1969 - 1971) in college in a major called Photographic Science and Instrumentation. It covered the optics, physics and chemistry of photography. Interestingly enough while Kodak hardly hired any of he graduates, the CIA was always looking for them. They even did summer internships for students.


As to picture taking skills, just mostly the school of hard knocks and a book called "The Amateur Photographers Handbook" 8th Edition by Aaron Sussman. Still an excellent book in matters of lighting, composition etc. The old Kodak publications were pretty good too. Their book on macro and micro photography was a big help to me.


Patting myself on the back, my lab partner and I are the only two time winners or Dr. Francis's make your own film emulsion from scratch contest. Winning team got a case of beer. Back then the legal drinking age in NY was 18. OF course out generation could handle booze back then. Not like the younger generation today. The first time we actually got an image after a long exposure. The second time we came up with a film with an ASA of almost 100.

01-19-2019, 01:07 PM   #17
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Never went to a proper photography course. Read about 6 books each book approaching the topic from a different view point. I learned some ideas from photographers of Magnum Photo (Magnum Photos ? News, Arts & Culture, and Photography), [Robert Capa, Raymond Depardon, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Ansel Adams], and Lens Culture (LensCulture - Contemporary Photography) and scene framing technique for movies.
01-19-2019, 01:08 PM   #18
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I studied at two different photo schools as I did my bachelors and masters in fine art. This was specialising in darkroom and 19th c. processes. During that time I had about half a dozen teachers who had entire careers in darkroom and studio photography who I learned a great deal from. I also worked closely with the technicians at both schools (who also had an enormous amount of knowledge).

During this time I also had to put up with a few tutors who were frankly just idiots - they had learned from theory rather than doing and refused to accept that there isn't one right way to do things. For instance I had a tutor tear strips off me when critiquing my work because I had centered the subject instead of used rule of thirds, therefore all of my work was bad. This was because they believed that all good photographs had to be based on rule of thirds (not fifths, not sevenths or any other geometric constant), and as far as they were concerned this had always been the case. That discussion did not go his way - the other tutors responded pretty strongly to his assertions. The same lecturer also believed and campaigned for the school to abandon analog and darkroom practices altogether because they believed that you can do everything with digital.

The good tutors teaching technique went a bit like - "Well most people do this, but if you do it differently then this and that can happen, if you want to find out more then just try doing it differently and see what happens". The other tutors had an attitude more like "This is the correct way of doing things, you should do what I say because I am older and more experienced than you". I personally learn better from experimentation, which some of the latter sort took as a personal affront when I didn't follow their instructions to the letter.

I've subsequently taught at a couple of art schools, both as a lecturer and as a photo technician, and had a bit to do with some photo clubs, and have found that experienced professionals tend to be less opinionated and more open to experimentation than people who haven't learned from commercial work. One of the big things which I look at when looking at somebodies teaching style is how they react when a student asks "why?", If they have actually tested things they should be able to say why you do things a certain way rather than just appealing to authority.

The thing I've consistently found with good teachers is that they will learn from their students at the same time as they teach them. I do believe that you can teach yourself, I've probably taught myself %95 of what I know, but a good teacher can really help when you get stuck - A bad teacher will just teach you bad habits and hold you back.

I have also worked in commercial environments (like product photography) where you don't really do creative experiments so much as you run a production line (team of people, studio lighting, tethered camera, on the spot image editing and so forth), even there the things which I've learned from just playing with large format cameras, obscure processes, lights, filters and suchlike have been invaluable.
01-19-2019, 01:44 PM   #19
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I have take a couple of courses offered at the Beverly Art Center in Chicago I have also done a couple of course from the "Great Course's" The ones by Joel Sartori are great and you can do them at home lots of great information delivered in a down to earth manner

01-19-2019, 02:05 PM   #20
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I can not speak to the course/school topic because I am self taught. I would no doubt have been, and currently be, better had I done that route. I am degreed in chemistry and biology. Late in undergrad I started reading everything I could find related to photography at the university library (when I wasn't studying, teaching labs, or partying with my fraternity). The next year in grad school I continued to read about photography and obtained a Fujica AZ1 film camera and later a Pentax ESII (both M42 mount). While in grad school I took a course in Electron Microscopy and learned to develop B&W (the EM images were film back then and up to 300K magnification). I continue to read stuff and observe what is written here. I am not an optical engineer or electrical engineer, but there are some on this forum and they can expound on things. I would suggest continuing education in and out of a course setting. Good luck.

JB

Last edited by Take-5-JB; 01-19-2019 at 02:17 PM.
01-19-2019, 02:24 PM   #21
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I think attending photography courses (with someone with experience) it a good idea, however I have not attended one yet (in person). Some day I intend to seek out a course by someone with experience.

I started with reading a photography manual (and another couple more later on), and experimenting with the ideas (initially with film as that was all we had). I also had a group of friends who were also interested in photography who I used to regularly go out shooting with - we all had strengths and weaknesses and learnt a lot from sharing ideas. In more recent times I have watched various online tutorials and blogs from photographers (who produce photos I really like the look of). Some are "professional" and others more amateur (with an interesting style).

That all said, I try not to take it all too seriously, and when I'm getting photos I like the look of then I'm happy. As a side note, there are "popular" photos on Flickr etc that I either love or hate - its all pretty subjective and its great looking at others photos to figure out what styles / looks you like personally. Of course there are top notch photographers that seem to be able to take universally liked photos (perhaps a course run by one of those people would be a great learning experience!).

Whats key for me personally is I really enjoy the process of taking photos and love trying out new elements of gear and experimenting generally (although I'm sure a course would feed in more ideas to play with).

Don't have a good excuse as to why I haven't gone to a course yet except the usual family and work pressures.
01-19-2019, 02:32 PM - 1 Like   #22
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No classes for me, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express....

I keep signing up for classes at our Purdue extension in Fort Wayne, but the class seems to always be canceled due to lack of participants. I'll try another landscape class this spring (crossing my fingers).

I kicked around the idea of joining a photo club. That's my option B if the class doesn't pan out this spring.
01-19-2019, 02:42 PM   #23
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Not since high school.

01-19-2019, 03:21 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Not since high school.
If you learn the basics, you can figure out the rest.

---------- Post added 01-19-19 at 05:23 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Riggomatic Quote
I keep signing up for classes at our Purdue extension in Fort Wayne, but the class seems to always be canceled due to lack of participants. I'll try another landscape class this spring (crossing my fingers).
I keep thinking I'll start a photography club here in Whitney, but I never actually get around to it. One of these years I tell myself.
01-19-2019, 04:59 PM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Journalism courses weren't mandatory to my photography course.

Just saying.
Just being Norm, eh? LOL
01-19-2019, 05:11 PM - 2 Likes   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady95 Quote
Just being Norm, eh? LOL
I have no idea why that popped into my head, I was resting a bit this afternoon, that post come to mind, and I thought, "where did that come from?"
01-19-2019, 05:41 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I have no idea why that popped into my head, I was resting a bit this afternoon, that post come to mind, and I thought, "where did that come from?"
...........
01-19-2019, 06:35 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by dieselpunk Quote
I'm considering upping my general photography knowledge this year and have been thinking about whether it makes sense to take a photography course or two. I'm imagining something online to get flexible scheduling but I suppose a live class would make me commit. Interested in hearing anyone's experiences and recommendations on this topic.

I'm not a pure beginner and I'm also not a professional by any stretch (nor do I aspire to be one). Any thoughts on where the point is when formal learning ceases to be valuable and it's just a matter of experience?
Studied under my photography year book teacher (a professional photographer) to working 2 years at junior high school year book and lab. 3 Years of in classroom in High School( under Another Professional photographer) also did year book. Ran a photo lab then a studio all while training myself, taking seminars, classes, then internet classes. Manuals, magazines, photo clubs and practice, practice, practice. and more practice.
What I have learned is there is so much to learn by book and personal experience. A formal education is good but you must have the creative eye, the artistic abilities to really make your art stand out. There were many good ideas here where you can get the training you might want that I agree with that I have taken.

I believe get as much education as you can afford time and financially then more importantly go out and enjoy practicing your passion.
01-19-2019, 06:36 PM   #29
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I was a journalism major in college and took a photojournalism class that I really enjoyed. The instructor had been an army combat photographer in Viet Nam, so he was all about many different ways to get the photo. The last day of class he showed a slide show of his Viet Nam work and it was incredible. Even though I did not pick up a camera for several years after the class, an awful lot of what I learned came back. Interestingly I took another journalism class on page layout and it has so much to do with composition, not only for photos but I've used that knowledge for several newspaper ads, posters, banners, and web page designs in the my job. I'm not doing that stuff anymore at work, but it was a lot of fun.
01-19-2019, 07:20 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by 77tbholmes Quote
Studied under my photography year book teacher (a professional photographer) to working 2 years at junior high school year book and lab. 3 Years of in classroom in High School( under Another Professional photographer) also did year book. Ran a photo lab then a studio all while training myself, taking seminars, classes, then internet classes. Manuals, magazines, photo clubs and practice, practice, practice. and more practice.
What I have learned is there is so much to learn by book and personal experience. A formal education is good but you must have the creative eye, the artistic abilities to really make your art stand out. There were many good ideas here where you can get the training you might want that I agree with that I have taken.

I believe get as much education as you can afford time and financially then more importantly go out and enjoy practicing your passion.
Here is a pure example of the kind of hustle guy I knew I wasn't after a year in school. I always envied those guys. "Where does all that energy come from?" I used to ask myself. But, I never wanted to be one of those guys.
Way too much activity for me.
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