Who should teach photography?

Started Sep 26, 2013 | Polls
Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 40,847
Set Theory
1

Jeff_Donald wrote:

Basalite wrote:

You are assuming the photographic "craftsmen" will only know how to produce "boring" photos, which is a strange thing to say.

Your experience may be different from mine and I respect that. Craftsmen don't only know how to create boring photos, but in my experience they create mostly images that lack originality, imagination and most importantly emotion.

You mean craftsman as opposed to artists?  That's stacking the deck, isn't it?  One might think that if we have two independent qualities such as artistic vision and analytic thinking, that the intersection of the two groups would naturally be quite small.  It most certainly does not imply that technical knowledge is a bad thing.

The question is if the technically savvy artistically talented photographers have a leg up on the photographers who aren't so technically savvy but artistically talented.  To that end, I have to ask where Ansel Adams place in history might be if he had not been so technically talented.

glasswave Forum Pro • Posts: 10,283
Re: So are Ansel's photos fuzzy or are they boring....

Jeff_Donald wrote:

Basalite wrote:

You are assuming the photographic "craftsmen" will only know how to produce "boring" photos, which is a strange thing to say.

In my experience as a teacher, craftsmen do occasionally produce stunning images. But the norm follows more along the lines of what Ansel Adams said, "There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept."

The digital cameras that we have today are very capable of producing technically correct images. the photos are sharp, properly exposed and in focus. But they are boring.

So are Ansel's photos fuzzy or are they boring? Since you don't seem to believe for the most part that anyone who regularly takes inspiring images is a master of the technical aspects of photography, on which side of the coin falls Ansel Adams. By all accounts he was a brilliant post processor (dark room technician), knew his cameras fore and aft, so I suppose you must consider his images boring.

Your premise seems to demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of the history of photography and art history in general. Camera operation is not rocket science. It does not take much to master the technical aspects of camera operation.

Most formula 1 drivers can rebuild their engines, just like most world cup skiers can tune their skis, just like most painters can stretch a canvas.

I think you are trying to gin up a controversy that does not exist.

Mr Justice Cocklecarrot
Mr Justice Cocklecarrot Forum Member • Posts: 68
Re: Who should teach photography?
2

Ken Rockwell.

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We are all star dust.

(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 2,216
Nuns...
3

Nuns: anyone who can't recite the definition of "Exposure" correctly gets it across the knuckles with a wooden ruler...

Joe

Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 40,847
Damn.

Joe Pineapples wrote:

Nuns: anyone who can't recite the definition of "Exposure" correctly gets it across the knuckles with a wooden ruler...

I thought you were going to say that they'd pose for us, like they do in those low-budget "movies", and we'd not really care how the pics turned out.

Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 40,847
Re: Might not...

Jeff_Donald wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

Beach Bum wrote:

As much as it pains me to say it, it shouldn't be the guys with all the formulas, graphs, charts, etc.

All of that has more to do with picking a camera than taking a picture.

...some of the "guys with all the formulas, graphs, charts, etc." also have some knowledge about the artistic side of photography? Why do so many assume the two are mutually exclusive?

I'm thinking the best person for the job is the person who is best able to communicate the ideas of both the artistic and the technical to students who are there to learn.

You don't need to know chart's, formulas and graphs to inspire students to take create great photos and inspire them to want to learn.

Don't think anyone implied otherwise.

Teaching the really boring stuff first is a great way to lose your audience.

Well, it's hard to say what's boring and what's not -- depends on the person, I suppose.  I guess the best way to "teach", then, is just have a hot nude model come, give everyone a camera, and say, "Figure it out -- you have an hour."

glasswave Forum Pro • Posts: 10,283
Re: Definately not you...
7

Your dpr gallery sux, your website leads to a 404, your profile picture makes you look smug and intolerant, and you come off as a pompous ass in your postings in this thread.

A teacher should be humble and cheerful, not pedantic and cynical.

Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 40,847
Re: Definately not you...

glasswave wrote:

A teacher should be humble and cheerful, not pedantic and cynical.

And dressed.  I got in a lot of trouble over that, once.  Lesson learned, i suppose.

glasswave Forum Pro • Posts: 10,283
Re: Might not...
1

Jeff_Donald wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

Beach Bum wrote:

As much as it pains me to say it, it shouldn't be the guys with all the formulas, graphs, charts, etc.

All of that has more to do with picking a camera than taking a picture.

...some of the "guys with all the formulas, graphs, charts, etc." also have some knowledge about the artistic side of photography? Why do so many assume the two are mutually exclusive?

I'm thinking the best person for the job is the person who is best able to communicate the ideas of both the artistic and the technical to students who are there to learn.

You don't need to know chart's, formulas and graphs to inspire students to take create great photos and inspire them to want to learn. Teaching the really boring stuff first is a great way to lose your audience.

There is certainly nothing boring about the way camera work and the technology behind recording images. Perhaps there is no such thing as boring information, just boring teachers.

bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 56,358
Re: Might not...

Great Bustard wrote:

Jeff_Donald wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

Beach Bum wrote:

As much as it pains me to say it, it shouldn't be the guys with all the formulas, graphs, charts, etc.

All of that has more to do with picking a camera than taking a picture.

...some of the "guys with all the formulas, graphs, charts, etc." also have some knowledge about the artistic side of photography? Why do so many assume the two are mutually exclusive?

I'm thinking the best person for the job is the person who is best able to communicate the ideas of both the artistic and the technical to students who are there to learn.

You don't need to know chart's, formulas and graphs to inspire students to take create great photos and inspire them to want to learn.

Don't think anyone implied otherwise.

Teaching the really boring stuff first is a great way to lose your audience.

Well, it's hard to say what's boring and what's not -- depends on the person, I suppose. I guess the best way to "teach", then, is just have a hot nude model come, give everyone a camera, and say, "Figure it out -- you have an hour."

Yes, thanks for doing that session for me. But I'm sorry, I'm going to have to let you go. They'd all said they'd finished after 5 minutes and left, and I'm not making any money that way.

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Bob

glasswave Forum Pro • Posts: 10,283
Re: Who should teach photography?
5

Jeff_Donald wrote:

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.

So that makes it OK to post useless surveys with biased and leading answers in a effort to demonstrate your ability to force the respondents to prove your point?

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.

This is true, for most of us the objective of producing meaningful, artistically meritorious imagery requires study, practice, failure, successes, learning and struggle. Most of us are not gifted, we study, we practice, we learn we improve.

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.

What, pray tell, then are you doing hanging out on gear forum. Is the pot calling the kettle black?

In the vast majority of cases the students that really don't care about the techie stuff create visually more stimulating and interesting photos.

In my experience, 20 years teaching the creative arts and associated technology. It's the ones who immerse themselves and struggle to learn all they can about both the artistic and technical aspects of their craft that consistently find the most success.

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.

Are you living in some sort of fantasy land? The briefest survey of photo history will readily prove that the camera possesses no gender bias at all, could it be you that possess the gender bias. Perhaps you simply don't understand how to inspire your male students to pursue great images. Do you subjectively discriminate against your male students or those that show an interest in the technical underpinnings of the art of photography.

Do you use your photo classes to innfluence naive young women that may look up to their professor for "artistic" affirmation? Eeeewwwww! I know that type of prof!!

These same women rarely participate in the photo men's clubs that are the online forums.

Again, railing against photo forums and the men [and women] that participate in them, all the while participating in said "photo men's clubs." Is there something here that you are not telling us??

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.

As far as I can tell, no one here purports to be teachers of the craft. No one forces a rigid doctrine upon anyone. This is an internet forum not some sort of Catholic/Budhist/Hindu monastery.

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.

Conversely, I'd argue that the threads here about producing interesting images result in verbal insights and images that are precisely about that!

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 info available here at dpr has definitely helped me grow as a photog and I'd certainly never post bragging about a "great image" I had taken. The more I learn about the photography, the more I become convinced that it is unlikely that I'll ever take a "great image," but my hopes remain that with practice learning and hard work, I may take a few pretty darn good ones.

The vast majority of these members produce boring images. I'm not saying the images are bad.

Certainly not, how could it be construed that boring images are bad. I LIVE for boring images, woooHoooo!

In many cases they are a recording of the times of the photographers lives.

This is what photography is, a perfect definition.

Images of cats, dogs, children, relatives and vacations and milestones in the families history. But are they art? Decidedly no, they are snapshots...

These are the images upon which photography is built, were it not for these images, there would be no metric at all upon which to build a standard that represents great photography. If a stick figure had never been drawn and only Rembrandt's and Van gogh's ever been painted, could we recognize these as great works. But yes, they are art, make no mistake about that. Art is what ever the artist says is art, good art is when most other agree.

and will probably be lost forever when the hard drive they were stored on crashes.

Perhaps, someone on these forums has learned of the importance of back ups.

I can hardly imagine that I have ever responded to a post on these forums where each and every sentence thunders out for refutation, but I fear I have now encountered such a post.

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Executive Director Florida Center of Creative Photography

Your sig/title comes off as pretentious, yet does little to enhance your credibility.

glasswave Forum Pro • Posts: 10,283
Re: Bobn, I found this image to be very inspring....

bobn2 wrote:

Jeff_Donald wrote:

steelhead3 wrote:

Bob2 should teach so no lies are taught by his definition.

I've looked at Bob's gallery of images and I'm sorry to say that I find nothing inspirational in the images he has posted.

That's OK, because I looked at your gallery of images and found nothing.

I, too, hope to one day unbox a D800!

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There is simply too much beauty in the world to photograph it all, but I'm trying.

bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 56,358
Re: Bobn, I found this image to be very inspring....
1

glasswave wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

Jeff_Donald wrote:

steelhead3 wrote:

Bob2 should teach so no lies are taught by his definition.

I've looked at Bob's gallery of images and I'm sorry to say that I find nothing inspirational in the images he has posted.

That's OK, because I looked at your gallery of images and found nothing.

I, too, hope to one day unbox a D800!

-- hide signature --

There is simply too much beauty in the world to photograph it all, but I'm trying.

I'm glad I inspired you, though I'd recommend buying your D800 from a reputable supplier. You don't always get what it says on the box.

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Bob

Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 40,847
Re: Might not...

glasswave wrote:

Jeff_Donald wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

Beach Bum wrote:

As much as it pains me to say it, it shouldn't be the guys with all the formulas, graphs, charts, etc.

All of that has more to do with picking a camera than taking a picture.

...some of the "guys with all the formulas, graphs, charts, etc." also have some knowledge about the artistic side of photography? Why do so many assume the two are mutually exclusive?

I'm thinking the best person for the job is the person who is best able to communicate the ideas of both the artistic and the technical to students who are there to learn.

You don't need to know chart's, formulas and graphs to inspire students to take create great photos and inspire them to want to learn. Teaching the really boring stuff first is a great way to lose your audience.

There is certainly nothing boring about the way camera work and the technology behind recording images. Perhaps there is no such thing as boring information, just boring teachers.

Yeah:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NP0mQeLWCCo

glasswave Forum Pro • Posts: 10,283
Re: Who should teach photography?
2

Jeff_Donald wrote:

D Cox wrote:

Any good photography course will have both artists and technical experts on the staff, so that students can learn from both. A student who is mainly artistic by nature needs the technical training most, and a technically minded student needs the artistic stimulus.

In practice, students learn most from each other.

You're correct that most teachers that stay in the field for very long tend to gravitate to one side of the other. A good photo department will have a balance. However, in my experience the technically minded student really struggles to learn the artistic side and the vast majority remain craftsmen. and struggle with the art. The artistic student learns the basic techie stuff they need to improve on their artistic vision and continue to produce the best artistic work.

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Executive Director Florida Center of Creative Photography

Are you sure we should be blaming the student in this case? Perhaps we should look to the teacher. If the skill of art cannot be effectively taught (or perhaps, you simply fail to teach it), why have art schools at all? Why are you teaching art, if you lack the skill to foster artistic talent in all but your more gifted of students?

bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 56,358
Re: Who should teach photography?

glasswave wrote:

Jeff_Donald wrote:

D Cox wrote:

Any good photography course will have both artists and technical experts on the staff, so that students can learn from both. A student who is mainly artistic by nature needs the technical training most, and a technically minded student needs the artistic stimulus.

In practice, students learn most from each other.

You're correct that most teachers that stay in the field for very long tend to gravitate to one side of the other. A good photo department will have a balance. However, in my experience the technically minded student really struggles to learn the artistic side and the vast majority remain craftsmen. and struggle with the art. The artistic student learns the basic techie stuff they need to improve on their artistic vision and continue to produce the best artistic work.

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Executive Director Florida Center of Creative Photography

Are you sure we should be blaming the student in this case? Perhaps we should look to the teacher. If the skill of art cannot be effectively taught (or perhaps, you simply fail to teach it), why have art schools at all? Why are you teaching art, if you lack the skill to foster artistic talent in all but your more gifted of students?

I worked in an Art School for six years. The favoured pedagogical technique was 'being with' the students. The idea, I suppose, was that some of the excellence of the teacher would transfer to the students by a kind of creative osmosis.

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Bob

micronean Regular Member • Posts: 306
Re: Who should teach photography?

basic photography by a "no nonsense" teacher, so you learn the fundamentals of theory and the camera in a standardized way.

Advanced photography by an artist who can push you to levels you haven't seen before.

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NDaniel Contributing Member • Posts: 733
Re: Who should teach photography?

as an old saying goes " Experience is your best teacher" I know....,  it's a long and painful process

I am lucky enough to have 3 pros, and an ARPS Holder that willing to teach me their view on my result.... though my result is still not yet up to their standard, but I know I've been grow much...

I can short cut my learning process maybe about 3-5 years by just asking them to critique my image, asking what went wrong... composition etc... and some online stuff

Nis

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jcharding Senior Member • Posts: 2,346
Self-Learning [NT]

nothing to see here

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jerome_munich
jerome_munich Contributing Member • Posts: 745
Photography should be taught by Internet trolls only!
2

But since this is not a choice, I clicked "8 years old on youtube". Close enough.

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