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01-19-2019, 11:26 PM - 1 Like   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
If you learn the basics, you can figure out the rest.
The rest is what makes the difference.

01-20-2019, 03:48 AM - 1 Like   #32
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I have taken a few, starting with a shop class in photography in high school.

Before my daughter was born I tried a couple of ACE courses at a local high school,
including one taught by a sculptor who couldn't operate a camera.

In between, in college (1980's) I studied Cultural Anthropology. One course I took was called Ethnographic Photography.
We had unlimited access to the full working darkroom in the basement of the Anthropology Department's off-campus house at Queens College.
There they had a half-dozen or more Beseler 23C enlargers, and fresh chemicals mixed daily.
IIRC we only had to buy our own paper, which we could leave stored there safely.

The class made weekly field trips to neighborhoods all around the Tri-State area, a very diverse cultural area.

The instructor Dr. Robert Glasse had done his anthropological field work in Papua New Guinea.
He was an excellent photographer and a master printer. We all learned a lot from him.

In retrospect, this course was probably the high point of my life's photography.

RIP Bob Glasse
https://www.nytimes.com/1993/01/06/nyregion/robert-glasse-63-an-anthropologist-in-new-guinea-dies.html

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 01-22-2019 at 07:19 PM.
01-20-2019, 04:34 AM   #33
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I haven't taken any specific courses.

I think that a lot can be learned from books, if you learn that way. A class can be helpful if you have a good instructor. I think that Roberto Valenzuela's books like Picture Perfect Practice have a very nice combination of exercises and photos to demonstrate capturing better images. Michael Freeman's books like the Photographer's Eye are also excellent. To me, there are different aspects. The technical aspect -- what aperture to shoot at, how to get a good exposure -- are relatively easy with modern cameras. The composition and framing and just seeing the image are often more difficult and that is probably harder both to teach and learn.
01-20-2019, 07:24 AM   #34
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There are at least 35 different "learning styles" ways people will learn more efficiently. Not everyone learns the same way. We can only assume that in self directed learning people are finding ways that work for them, and that's all that matters.

01-20-2019, 08:05 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
There are at least 35 different "learning styles" ways people will learn more efficiently. Not everyone learns the same way. We can only assume that in self directed learning people are finding ways that work for them, and that's all that matters.
Best post yet!
01-20-2019, 09:28 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
There are at least 35 different "learning styles" ways people will learn more efficiently. Not everyone learns the same way. We can only assume that in self directed learning people are finding ways that work for them, and that's all that matters.
QuoteOriginally posted by Mikesul Quote
Best post yet!
Being self taught, perhaps, BUT while I had no formal photography classes, I had optics, and illumination engineering courses, that taught color temperature, lighting techniques for diffent applications, and the fundamentals of how lenses worked.

That gave some background into photography, but I learned B&W processing from start to finish, and cinachrome processing of slides all by myself. (Literally in the dark)

What I would like to do when I retire, is to take some courses on the artistic side, I believe, perhaps wrongly, that I have the technical side down pat.

I am also considering a club, again when I retire,

I have heard both for courses, and clubs, that there are a lot that only speak canikon speak, or photoshop speak. This deters me a little
01-20-2019, 01:04 PM - 1 Like   #37
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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.
Any thoughts on where the point is when formal learning ceases to be valuable and it's just a matter of experience?
I am a photography teacher that has taught teens, college students, and adults, so I am biased.

There are pros and cons to taking brick & mortar* classes, online classes, or being self-taught (a.k.a. YouTube University). I've done all three and here are reasons why I think taking a class in real time in a physical space has benefits over the other two:

a) It's a bigger commitment and investment from the student and therefore you're more likely to try harder and make it work.
b) You can hear questions from other students that you may not even have thought about asking.
c) One of the best ways to learn is by teaching. In class, another student may be confused and when you help them, you are reinforcing your own knowledge and skills to a higher degree.
d) Physically handling and seeing others and the teacher work with their cameras, tripods, or if photoshop or a darkroom is involved...again, you're not alone. You will see and pick up things almost subconsciously from observation and interaction.

I am sure there are more valid reasons including some indirect benefits like improving ones "real" social skills, BUT the key to the value of the class will be in the teacher. A bad or dull or mediocre teacher can do more harm than good. Not only do you want a teacher that is competent technically, but that they can actually teach, inspire, and challenge you in ways that will make you progress. Some use fear, some praise, and hopefully there's a balance where not everything is "great" nor always negatively critiqued. The best photographers and the best teachers are in the zone, in the moment, and not just going through the motions.

PLEASE if you find a class, and it turns out well, please share that with us.....whenever that will be down the road.

*Note: A brick and mortar class also includes traveling workshops, photo safaris, etc. But again, make sure it's not just a photo op trip, but rather there is a guru, a sensei, a master that is not just leading the expedition, but actively teaching throughout.
01-20-2019, 04:35 PM   #38
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I would go on a course if I was not alone, tried camera clubs back when I was in my 20's and I found I was just out of depth.
Join one of the photo groups here, Daily in January 2019 - discussion thread - PentaxForums.com
I have learnt so much from the regular folks in these dailies. Knowledge is freely shared and I have never been made to feel my photos are terrible even if they have been =)
This group even allows all makes of cameras and phones not just Pentax.

01-20-2019, 06:33 PM - 1 Like   #39
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I'm going to be taking a Dark Room course in a months time. It's not really a class to take pictures but a different way to process for a younger generation like myself. I'm really excited.
01-20-2019, 09:04 PM   #40
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I took classes in high school many years ago. Now I've been looking at Kelbyone.com courses. It costs $10 a month but I've been enjoying the free courses before committing money. There's some good free, basic stuff there you might benefit from until you find what you are looking for.
01-20-2019, 10:39 PM   #41
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My story is yes but mostly no. In the beginning I was self taught and over seen by my father who was also self taught. I read a lot, including the entire series of Time Life Photography books. During High school I was a photographer for the newspaper and annual. After High School my father and I built a dark room and started shooting B&W, color, slides an printing from all three types of film. (Besler 23 C II with Dichroic head - I still have it) After college I taught a class in "Scientific Photography" while working in the Archaeology lab.

The only formal class work I did was while getting my second Bachelors degree. I had to take a "Art" class because while earning my first degree I earned a low grade in "Music Appreciation" (long story but I do know how to appreciate music and my better half holds a Maters Degree in Piano Performance) so I took a course in photography. I almost aced it, but a note from the sister teaching the course put me in my place in terms of photograph,"Don't give up you day job".

So after all that, I have taken the odd ball workshop (2005 -one full week with NG) and seminars, but no classwork or on-line courses.

Last edited by PDL; 01-20-2019 at 11:02 PM.
01-21-2019, 05:53 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
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.
My ADHD has taken me many places and I have accomplished many things when harnessed properly however as I have aged I have slowed. On the negative side my ADHD has also contributed to rash, foolish choices as well.
01-21-2019, 07:27 AM   #43
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Along the way, I've taken college courses, evening classes at a vo-tech, short workshops, long workshops, spent years in a camera club, attended many lectures, and did a LOT of reading, thinking, and shooting. I like to think I gained something from all of the various learning opportunities. But then, my ultimate goal was never to try and make a living at photography. I was simply trying to get better as a photographer. I think Normhead made an important point...people learn in different ways. One of the best courses I ever took was a night class at a vo-tech. It was just a general photography course, but the instructor understood that everyone learns differently so he would lecture on whatever that day's topic was, but then pass out printed material that covered the same topic so that those who learned by reading were covered...he'd demostrate the topic for those who learned by observing...and then he'd assign homework so those who learned by doing were covered. I've found that no matter how long you've been at this, there's almost always something to be learned from pretty much any class, lecture, or workshop if you really want to improve.
01-21-2019, 08:46 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
It was just a general photography course, but the instructor understood that everyone learns differently so he would lecture on whatever that day's topic was, but then pass out printed material that covered the same topic so that those who learned by reading were covered...he'd demostrate the topic for those who learned by observing...and then he'd assign homework so those who learned by doing were covered.
He must have done some training in education. It's amazing how many would be educators don't do that as matter of course. Of course the downside of that is the kids who got what they needed from the lecture, go and do the assignment and hand in work as good (usually better) as students who need more time do. The class can get a little boring for them. Self guided computers based research bonus assignments for those kids while others were still slaving away on the assignments was a god send.
01-21-2019, 11:12 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
There are at least 35 different "learning styles" ways people will learn more efficiently. Not everyone learns the same way. We can only assume that in self directed learning people are finding ways that work for them, and that's all that matters.
Sure, that's why artists differ so much from each other. Beyond some basics, all the school does it to teach what some re-known artists do, or what the teachers like. There is personal work and reflecting to do to develop our own style.
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