Idiot question alert - 52 focus points

Started 7 months ago | Questions thread
Truman Prevatt
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Re: Idiot question alert - 52 focus points
In reply to caspianm, 7 months ago

caspianm wrote:

If one picks up a camera system as a hobby is better off to know the basic principals in old school way than just how to get there easy & fast way. That is the way photography is thought in major universities and photography teaching organizations. It is a choice one has to make for himself as how to go about it imo.

I picked up photography in 1969 in my first year of graduate school as a way to relax and clear my mind. After I finished my thesis and got my degree and got a job, I decided to take a night course at a local art institute. I went in to talk with them and about auditing the course and the department chair told me why not just take it for credit - you might need it you might not you will never know. Since all of my other course work through my 8 years of higher education (liberal arts courses) would counted toward a degree I decided I might asget a degree in fine arts. I took her advice and I'm glad I did because it provided a wonderful outlet from the stresses of a job and everyday life.

There is a lot more to photography than pointing and shooting a camera. Here I am talking primarily about fine arts photography but Ansel Adams once said that most commercial photographers could learn a lot about how to improve their work through the study of fine arts photography. Don't get me wrong many commercial photographers produce some wonder art. Some work both on assignment and produce work for galleries. However, I would expect many commercial photographers are too busy making a living to have the time.

Like any art form, photography is an art form with a rich history and a wide breath of disciplines and styles. In painting one can use oil, acrylic, water colors, or actually combinations of some or all on paper or canvas. One can develop into an abstract painter, a neo-cubist, a neo-impressionist or any other hole you want to put an artist in. An painter can paint any subject from a Campbell soup can to pristine landscapes. The painter can use fine strokes with a fine brush, broad strokes with a larger brush or slather the paint on with a knife - what ever is in his/her vision and if he/she has the skill to executed properly and communicate his/her vision it might become famous or it might not.

Photography is no different. There are many different tools one can use. In the days of digital - it is no different - people still use film in formats from 35 mm up to 8x10 view cameras. People still produce stunning work while dragging an 8x10 view camera around in the outdoors, going under the black cloth and capturing their vision. The work of Clyde Butcher is amazing (http://www.clydebutcher.com) is the work of Bruce Barnbaum (http://www.barnbaum.com/barnbaum/Home.html) as is the work of the man who turned out to be my advisor in art school, M. Richard Kirstel who is diseased now. I remember my final project - for my graduation. He gave me a landscape assignment. The location was the Baltimore City landfill.

When a colleague and I set up a photo lab and courses for a large Army base we all the students in the beginning class a TLR for use during the class. That's all they used so they could forget the camera and learning and frankly obsessing over the equipment to learning and understanding the underlying principles of photography. Today the equipment has changed but the good art schools and university art departments that teach photography use the same concept.

People use digital - that is a wonder choice.  However, no camera nor software editing program will not give you the skill to develop you vision and express your vision to the fullest or to get the most our of your investment in your camera.

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Truman
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