Who should teach photography?

Started Sep 26, 2013 | Polls thread
Dennis
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Teach who what about photography ?
In reply to Jeff_Donald, Sep 26, 2013

Hmmm ... so the tech guys know nothing about art and can only teach how to make boring images ... but you don't mention whether the artists know anything about the craft. Do I sense a bit of bias ?

First off, if you take a look at Great Bustards photos, he's quite a good photographer; easily better than the majority of posters here who know less than him about about the technical details. (I can't comment on bobn2 or steen bay or others).  In GB I see someone I look up to as both far more knowledgeable about the craft and far better at the art than I am.  And I can't say that about anyone arguing against him.  (I can think of a couple names of people who are arguing that some of the argument simply isn't necessary, but aren't arguing against him).

Second, I wouldn't say that any of those people (listed in your poll) would necessarily make good teachers; that takes an understanding of what the students already know, want to learn, and how best to communicate that.

I would, however, suggest that both artists and tech guys should supply the material, depending on whether the intent is to teach art, craft, or both.

People often like to quote Ansel Adams: "There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept."  He was a guy who produced some pretty nice stuff; some claim he's overrated, but he'd probably prove to be inspirational to many students.  He was also a serious techie who literally wrote the book on the craft.

On the other hand, I recommend Nick Kelsh's books ("How to photograph your baby", etc.) to new parents or friends who just want "better pictures" without learning photography.  His approach is pretty formulaic (it assumes the reader is using a point & shoot): turn off the crummy on board flash & don't worry about noise, get close, don't take just one shot and so on.

There's no one right approach to teaching photography and no one right person to teach it.

- Dennis

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