Who should teach photography?

Started 11 months ago | Polls thread
Jeff_Donald
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Re: Who should teach photography?
In reply to ilta, 11 months ago

ilta wrote:

Talk about loaded survey responses. Is your point to actually do a poll, or seek confirmation for what you already believe?

And honestly, I think photography, if it's a class, should be taught by craftsmen, with a big headline at the end that is "THESE ARE THE RULES, BUT YOU CAN BREAK THEM ONCE YOU'VE MASTERED THEM. NOW GO AND MAKE ART."

The art will take care of itself. The technical know-how, not so much.

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www.isaiahtpd.info

None of the surveys here are worth a darn.  The number of respondents are too small to draw any kind of unbiased conclusion.

In my experience teaching photography on and off for almost 35 years at all levels (university professor, summer children's programs, adult education etc.) art rarely takes care of itself.  The people that learn the craft side continue to produce boring images that are technically correct.  They migrate to online forums where they congratulate each other on taking technically correct images that in the vast majority of cases are boring.
In the vast majority of cases the students that really don't care about the techie stuff create visually more stimulating and interesting photos.  The majority of these photos are shot by women, who don't care as much about the techie stuff and just want to learn how to create great images.  These same women rarely participate in the photo men's clubs that are the online forums.

The online forums have self appointed members that follow a rigid doctrine and they "teach" the new members that are new to photography the craft.  Evidence of this can be seen in the threads this past week on what is exposure, is ISO part of exposure, is a ND filter part of exposure.  By my most recent count over 500 posts were created across about 10 threads and it didn't create one interesting image.  I like to seen one person that made a post say, 'Wow, that changed how I make photos and look at this great image that resulted form all the learning I received.

The vast majority of these members produce boring images.  I'm not saying the images are bad.  In many cases they are a recording of the times of the photographers lives.  Images of cats, dogs, children, relatives and vacations and milestones in the families history.  But are they art?  Decidedly no, they are snapshots and will probably be lost forever when the hard drive they were stored on crashes.

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Executive Director Florida Center of Creative Photography

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