PDA

View Full Version : formal education


Dave H
09-11-2005, 01:10
Hi,

Any of you got any formal Photography education ?

Toby
09-11-2005, 02:21
Postgraduate Diploma in Photojournalism University of Wales Cardiff (1 year course)

haven't stopped learning though

rover
09-11-2005, 03:21
I have take community college classes which I guess takes me out of the "We don't need no stinking classes" category.

peter_n
09-11-2005, 06:01
I'm of the "we don't need no educashun" philosophy and I'm afraid it shows. :(

x-ray
09-11-2005, 06:28
I had some very lame courses in college in the sixties and did a residence study with Ansel Adams in the 1975. Also did a residence study with Arnold Newman in the seventies. Also had some very good 1st hand one on one with Imogen Cunningham.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=5045

Gabriel M.A.
09-11-2005, 07:22
I can't vote in this poll. There is no option for "self-taught" or similar that excludes Internet, that doesn't say "none" for qualifications. :D

Not gloating, just pointing it out...you'd be surprised how many people have gone about it that way.

back alley
09-11-2005, 07:31
i'm mostly self taught, from lots of practice (mistakes) and reading books (in the old days).
i have taken some 1 day seminars like the nikon school, also evening classes at a local community college and some longer workshops through the university.

i have also taught some courses in basic photography for a community college (at the local prison) and some evening classes for a city college here.

joe

ray_g
09-11-2005, 07:54
Good grief, Joe. Now you have created convicts running around with GAS!! :bang:

Just kidding.

cary
09-11-2005, 08:56
BFA degree Brooks Institute of Photography.

Cary Chin

OldNick
09-11-2005, 09:11
Completed Air Force Photographic Officer correspondence course in the 1950s as part of my Air Force Reserve training. Haven't found much calling for aerial reconasance work since then. I did take a friend up in a Piper Cub so that he could photograph the lot where he was planning to build a house, using my old Speed Graphic.

f/stopblues
09-11-2005, 09:11
I clicked the "A levels" for the photo1 course I took from the community college straight out of high school. It was my diving board for the hobby, including basic darkroom technique. Other than that I was self-taught from experimentation and *lots* of reading at the local Barnes & Noble and Borders. 1-million espressos and thousands of frames later, here I am!

Chris

egpj
09-11-2005, 10:09
I did read the Ansel Adams three book series but that is about it.

denishr
09-11-2005, 10:36
Completely self-taught, in the days predating the Internet :)
However, the 'net helped a lot in giving me GAS :(

Joking aside, I've never had any formal photo education - but I was exposed and introduced to photography in primary school, if I remember correctly. But, that didn't really take hold.
It was at about the age of 19-20 that I got my first camera and started photography for real. I read everything about photography that I could lay my hands on - I read many books and began to learn to distinguish good photos from bad (or average snapshots). I also began immediately to process my own stuff - developing negs and making prints in the local community lab.

I also read a lot about visual arts in general - I think the elementary reading in painting (composition, light, color, etc.) is mandatory for any would-be shooter... Being a movie fan at that time also helped, I guess.

Denis

stet
09-11-2005, 10:36
I ticked the seminars box because that seems the closest to the photography classes I take at my local arts center. They're 10-week sessions, starting with "what's an f/stop" Photo I to basically paying for darkroom time in Photo III (i.e., no more real instruction at that point). Some people have taken Photo III for 15 years. This will be my first time in Photo III, and I'll have to work around the vet who's been the only student using the 4x5 enlarger for the last 8 years.

I guess you can never learn as much, as quickly as in Photo I, but after those basics I basically picked up everything else from the 770 stacks in the library (currently with Feininger'sLight and Lighting in Photography) and from the Net, especially here (cheers, RFF!).

johne
09-11-2005, 10:41
Since this is about education, one might note that the correct verb form on the last option should be "learned." Just a thought. Johne

Or perhaps it is about "ejukation."

kbg32
09-11-2005, 10:44
MFA - Cranbrook Academy of Art - Carl Toth teacher.
BFA - School of Visual Arts, main teacher influence at this time was Tad Yamashiro, assistant to Diane and Alan Arbus.

Lots of assisting and reading as well.

Roman
09-11-2005, 10:44
Since this is about education, one might note that the correct verb form on the last option should be "learned." Just a thought. Johne

Or perhaps it is about "ejukation."

AFAIK that is only true in American English - in British English the 'learnt'-spelling is quite correct!

Roman

johne
09-11-2005, 10:48
Here in the hills and the South "Larned" is still preferred. Johne

Then George Bernard Shaw said the only true, pure English is spoken in Dublin.

peter_n
09-11-2005, 11:02
And he was right too! :) Dubs truly believe that still I think...

johne
09-11-2005, 12:12
Peter_n
But is that the people in Dublin, Erin, or Dublin, Kentucky. [Just a few miles south of here]. :-))

Richard Black
09-11-2005, 12:22
None of the above! Self-taught with the aid of magazines and books along with some discussions with photo store owners.

jdos2
09-11-2005, 12:27
Nothing formal.
I picked the hobby back up after a disastrous introduction in the late 80's Navy days.
Bought a Mamiya Universal (to be accurate, I bought a light-leaky RB67 with a 127mm lens, which was almost enough to make me forget the hobby again, then the Universal which got me into Rangefinders) , two cases of out-of-date 667, and let fly.
Suffice it to say that I have hundreds and hundreds of REALLY BAD shots, but they did get better over time.

peter_n
09-11-2005, 13:00
Peter_n
But is that the people in Dublin, Erin, or Dublin, Kentucky. [Just a few miles south of here]. :-))hey you got me there... :) Didn't know there was a Dublin in KY... I spent eight wonderful years living in Dublin (th'oul sod one ;)) and I can tell you that Shaw's quote was taken for granted as accurate. Now the population is much more heterogenous so it may not hold as much water as previously...

dmr
09-11-2005, 13:17
When I was in HS, photography was not offered at my school. (I went to what you would now call a math/science "magnet" school.) Friends at a nearby HS did have a basic photography course. Closest I got in HS was Art Technique, which covered lighting, perspective, things like that which are relevant. In college I took several Journalism and Broadcasting courses, but nothing in photography per se. Mine came by my desire to do exactly opposite what my dad said to do with a camera. :)

phototone
09-11-2005, 18:46
We don't need no steenkin' classes. I have been making a good living at photography for 30+ years now. Completely self-taught.

Photography is perhaps the only profession where one does not have to have a degree to be successful, and a degree is no guarantee of success.

FrankS
09-11-2005, 18:56
Self taught by reading books to understand the theory/concepts (eg. exposure, depth of field) and by hands-on experience. I did join the university photography club and later took some college courses, but that was mainly to have access to their darkrooms before I had my own. Have taught adults in a community college course in basic photography.

Doug
09-11-2005, 21:02
I took the Famous Photographers correspondence course in the late 60's, then went back to university in the '80's and pretty nearly finished a Photo BFA. Not quite sure why I didn't complete the last requirement or two before being swept away by computers and typography. Well, at least I learned what "banal" meant! :)

pvdhaar
09-11-2005, 23:17
Initially, I was self-taught. But at a certain point I did decide to join a photo course. Although I didn't learn anything new from a technique point of view (apertures, shutter speeds, depth of field and all that I already understood), it was still very valuable. The challenging athmosphere prompted to put in more effort, to keep a better eye open for opportunities, and to put more though into composition.

Sean Reid
09-12-2005, 13:58
I studied photography formally and intensively at Bard College (BA degree). In my case, that experience probably altered the course of my life and so it was extremely valuable. My professors were Stephen Shore and Ben Lifson. I know that my approach to photography and my whole understanding and sense of visual art is vastly different because of Stephen and Ben. Ben became a close friend and has acted as a mentor ever since. Now that he's photographing seriously again, after many years of primarily writing, etc. we end up helping each other. He now teaches privately, BTW. I also met casually with Helen Levitt, in her NYC apartment, in the early 1990s to discuss the subway pictures.

How useful is education for photographers? There's no general answer. How important is meeting a woman? Perhaps that meeting will have no effect or perhaps it changes one's life. It depends on the woman, the timing, other intangibles. I think it's much the same way with education: it depends on the teacher, the student, the timing, etc.. Some photographic education does more harm than good but sometimes it does great good. Paul Strand was the student of Lewis Hine. Henri Cartier Bresson let Helen Levitt become his informal student. Winogrand learned a lot from Robert Frank, albeit indirectly...etc. etc.

Cheers,

Sean

hoot
09-12-2005, 14:53
Back in 2000, while I was writing weekly columns for an e-zine, one of my colleagues got me into photography. In numerous online chat sessions, he taught me the basics of operating a manual camera (f-stop, shutter speed etc.), and I taught myself artistic composition by looking at the work of the greats (my biggest inspiration back then was Edward Weston; I hadn't gotten into the street photographers until years later). Then I met Roman on pnet, and he taught me everything I know about darkroom work and classic cameras, gave me GAS (up until then I'd been completely disinterested in any camera that wasn't my own... ah, the happy days!) and introduced me to my fellow sufferers at RFF. A dozen cameras, hundreds of rolls of film and an empty wallet later, here I am!

Roman
09-12-2005, 15:11
Then I met Roman on pnet, and he taught me everything I know about darkroom work and classic cameras, gave me GAS (up until then I'd been completely disinterested in any camera that wasn't my own... ah, the happy days!) and introduced me to my fellow sufferers at RFF. A dozen cameras, hundreds of rolls of film and an empty wallet later, here I am!

Yeah, right, blame it on me... don't I always warn you before looking at yet another model that it might not be perfect for your needs...? :D

Roman

kiev4a
09-12-2005, 15:21
Learned basics from my father. Attended several National Press Photographers seminars while shooting for a newspaper. The LIFE Library of Photography (contains a lot of information) Six years in an Army National Guard Public Affairs Detachment.

rbiemer
09-13-2005, 06:57
My education in photography doesn't quite fit into the categories offered so:
Back in the dims recesses of time I borrowed the Boy Scout manual from a friend and made a pinhole camera. Years later, I took the majority of the pictures in my Highschool newspaper. And a lot of the informal pictures in my yearbook. With about 20 minutes of instruction about using the K-1000 camera the school loaned me for the last two years of school.
My folks bought the Time-Life science series of books and I then bought the Life photo books. Then Ansel Adams' trio. Then Alfred Blaker's book about nature photography. Then several books about coloor, light, and composition(aimed mostly at painters). The local college here still offeres a basic BW class--only once a year and it's going to be the spring '06 semester this year--that I'm trying to adjust my work schedule to be able to take. Mostly to have the use of the darkroom but also for the instruction/criticism.
So, mostly self taught and certainly still trying to learn.
Rob

JOE1951
09-13-2005, 08:12
Hello

Took a 1 yr. Community College course 20 some years ago!

It gave me the opportunity to try stuff and use some equipment, but I never really learned anything until you get out in the real world.

Took a workshop and met Duane Michals and Ralph Gibson. Nice people, but it was a bit of a let down, only because my appreciation for their work put these guys on too high a pedestal, they couldn't live up to what I was expecting.

Worked as a darkroom tech, camera operator/assistant for Film/Television, Pressman and pre-press tech for a couple of printing companies, presently Photographer/Digital Image tech at a university.

I still meet new students from the same course and teachers I had, and I'm amazed at just how little they know, and some who just blow me away with their talent.

The most important thing about education is not the technical stuff, but getting feedback regarding your work, and learning from, sometimes harsh, criticism. If you don't get used to that in school, you will suffer in the real world!!

wlewisiii
09-13-2005, 09:01
What real teaching I've had was at the Army craft shop in Illesheim, FRG about 21 years ago. Got to use the dark room and had someone to ask questions of... :eek: Other than that, it's been using and doing with the internet providing many useful texts.

Learning and playing daily... :D

William

Fred
09-16-2005, 13:04
City and Guilds levels one and two during evening classes at the local college. Thankfully passed em and have the empty bank account to prove it. Causes GAS.

Scarpia
09-16-2005, 15:11
i have also taught some courses in basic photography for a community college (at the local prison).

joe[/QUOTE
Serves you right for lifting those Canons :D :D

I joined the camera club in the sixth grade and somehow learned (and retained) a fair amount. We had an excellent teacher a Mr. Rubin. I always regretted that I never had him as a class teacher. I used a 127 camera, a photo-flex, see
www.merrillphoto.com/JunkStoreCameras.htm
I eventually broke it and totally destroyed it trying to fix it.
Kurt M.

canonetc
09-20-2005, 08:19
The University of Trial and Error, Bachelor's degree. For obvious reasons, it was a ten year course covering color (failed miserably), followed by a ten year course in Black and White, Digital, and Darkroom development. Underscored with a minor white in aesthetic theory, Anselary Zoning (I just could not understand that rot), and a Cartier-B and Gown fellowship in Find Arts.

I pledged with Contaxus Leicus Capa; buggers hazed me terribly, causing me to have to shoot with my left eye and bet often on horses. Magnum returned my submission with "no comment. You simply have no connections!"

AP lent a hand with my graduate studies. Of this history, there is little worth mentioning in the public eye, as they claimed all ownership of images and called me a "stringer". What that was, I've never quite figured out. I am honored, none the less.

Then I spent six years, every day, in a dark red cave, putting odd paper in foul smelling chemicals. Things..... appeared on the paper, asking me to "burn or dodge" them. Still trying to understand what that was all about.

A nice couple one day asked me to "do their wedding". Well, I tried my best; but after looking at my patch-worn cassock, they told me they did not need a priest. Oh, I said. I didn't know about money, so I only asked $350.00 to shoot ten or so rolls of color film. Goodness, that was a hard lesson. No wonder my bank account went dry.

Other "wedding photgraphers" laughed and castigated me on my meager earnings, promising eternal damnation and ridicule if I did not raise my rates. Naturally I complied, not wanting to upset them, nor keep the account empty. Now we are good friends.

So, The UTE was a good start, and a fine ejukation. :)

Cheers,

Chris
canonetc

Oldprof
09-20-2005, 09:19
I started in photography when I was about 16 years old, and much of what I learned came from reading the articles in Popular Photography and Modern Photography. I was such an avid reader of these magazines that I spent hours in the library going through back issues. To be honest, I also spent a lot of time looking at ads for cameras I couldn't afford. The rest of my photographic "education" came from experimentation, and trial and error.

VinceC
09-20-2005, 09:22
In my teens I was very interested in astronomy and learned about f/stops that way. After a considerable amount of pestering, my dad bought me a 35mm SLR camera to take pictures of the 1979 solar eclipse in Canada. I was somewhat annoyed because I needed a manual camera for blast off various exposures in the two-minute duration of totality, and he instead got me a Pentax ME-Super which was automatic, and actually a much nicer camera than I expected. It only took pictures of stars and eclipsed suns for several years.

I joined the Army (U.S.) in 1981 and my training as a public affairs specialist included a week of photography and darkroom work. It wasn't until I was stationed in Germany a couple of years later that I really got interested in photography. I was running a small one-person weekly installation newspaper and had to take the pictures for it, so I had a swift, steep learning curve. Like one of the other forum members, I spent a huge amount of time in an Army craft shop photo lab, this one in Garlstedt, near Bremen and Bremerhaven. The exchange rate was really cheap in those days, so I was able to by a box of 100 sheets of photo paper for about $25 from the German photo stores, and I went through many, many boxes. Also pored through magazines and books. Mostly, too, photography gave me a reason to head off base on weekends in search of new pictures and places. The Army issued me a Canon F1. For my second body, I sold my Pentax to another GI and bought a Nikomat at a German camera shop.

Several assignments later, in 1988, the Army sent me to a summerlong photojournalism course at the University of South Carolina. Ten weeks of total immersion for 10-12 hours a day. That was my only formal schooling.

unohuu
09-20-2005, 15:10
Would like to take a class, but I have been too busy shooting to have someone talk down to me about my street and lab experience.

kiev4a
09-20-2005, 15:58
I joined the Army (U.S.) in 1981 and my training as a public affairs specialist included a week of photography and darkroom work. It wasn't until I was stationed in Germany a couple of years later that I really got interested in photography. I was running a small one-person weekly installation newspaper and had to take the pictures for it, so I had a swift, steep learning curve. Like one of the other forum members, I spent a huge amount of time in an Army craft shop photo lab, this one in Garlstedt, near Bremen and Bremerhaven. The exchange rate was really cheap in those days, so I was able to by a box of 100 sheets of photo paper for about $25 from the German photo stores, and I went through many, many boxes. Also pored through magazines and books. Mostly, too, photography gave me a reason to head off base on weekends in search of new pictures and places. The Army issued me a Canon F1. For my second body, I sold my Pentax to another GI and bought a Nikomat at a German camera shop.

Several assignments later, in 1988, the Army sent me to a summerlong photojournalism course at the University of South Carolina. Ten weeks of total immersion for 10-12 hours a day. That was my only formal schooling.

Speaking of public affairs units the members of our unit were stunned back in the mid '70s when we transitioned directly from Speed Fraphics to Canon F1s and Canadian-Built Leica M4s. Wish I had one of those Leica kits today--Black body and 35, 50, and 135mm lenses.

Uncle Bill
09-20-2005, 16:30
I am self taught, however I would like to take some specific classes at some point, when I have time, I am taking classes for my career.

Bill

DougK
09-20-2005, 19:13
Self-taught, mostly. A lot of pointers from my dad growing up, reading everything I could get my hands on, and shooting lots of rolls of crap. I'd like to think I'm making some headway though.

djon
10-16-2005, 22:34
Took two formal classes, wonderful. Both at Mendocino Art Center in 1967, both two or three weeks long. Taught two courses in photography, one as a psychology course at San Francisco State College and one for general public in 1982, immediately after I'd abandoned commercial photography, in Calistoga CA.

Teachers:

1) Ed Cooper, a fine traditional studio photographer, one of the first in the country to use studio strobes routinely. Graphic orientation. Fine man, fine teacher.

2) Conrad Forbes, a personal student of Minor White...he (perhaps) taught me to see the obvious (zenwise, more or less). Conrad died at 45 of Parkinsonism, which had been diagnosed when he was 31...he was my mentor for 12 years, I met him shortly after his diagnosis...his last photographic work was a color exhibition he managed to accomplish despite being almost immobile for his last several years...he was largely "frozen" much of the time, substantially the result of being an early subject of L Dopa experimentation: his exhibition: "A Scream From Within." For context, see the video "Case of the Frozen Addict."

...also, my great grand uncle was a portrait phographer (his huge Voigtlander lens is gathering dust over my desk) and everybody else afterward seems to have been. My mother shot color slides at the 1939 Treasure Island Fair in San Francisco http://www.sfmuseum.net/hist6/gayway.html then processed it at home...I have the slides, Anscochrome, they're very colorful today. My mother taught me to process film when I was 8 (1951)..I'd shot the big Kodak my grandfather had used extensively, and that's now fallen apart in a box under my desk...I have my grandfather's film from that camera. :angel:

nomade
10-16-2005, 23:36
Well no i taught myself, and still teaching myself, books and internet...

wlewisiii
04-06-2006, 23:45
I joined the Army (U.S.) in 1981 and my training as a public affairs specialist included a week of photography and darkroom work. It wasn't until I was stationed in Germany a couple of years later that I really got interested in photography. I was running a small one-person weekly installation newspaper and had to take the pictures for it, so I had a swift, steep learning curve.

Yikes! You have my sincere sympathy. The Illesheim craft shop was fine for sort of teaching me the basics in the darkroom, but to be publishing _anything_ based on that???? Major :bang: :bang: :bang:

I'll admit the ~5 DM to the dollar exchange rate made much of the experimentation practical though. Nice to see you made a better career than I out of it :D

William

nzeeman
04-07-2006, 00:58
i am self taught and i think i dont need any classes because i just do this for fun. i dont expect to make some great piece of art and to make any money from this, just to have a little fun.

lubitel
04-07-2006, 01:04
my first experience was shooting with Lomo 35 and developing and printing with my dad and my brother at age 8. Back then in USSR (at least in Moldova) that was the only way to get photographs, there were no photo labs.

then I didnt do anything until senior HS, where I took a photo class and bought Canon AE-1. Then I took a beginning class in College. And that was it. About five years after that I got back into photography and cameras. I would like to develop by myself again, but have neither time, nor space. I'd like to take some more classes though. A few months ago I had my first photo show, multiple exposures done with a holga. Didnt sell anything but it was a lot of fun.

markinlondon
04-07-2006, 02:19
I see we autodidacts have it so far. I did have some informal instruction at school and took a printing course as a refresher a few years ago. Apart from that it's been making it up as I go along with the help of a lot of reading.

Mark

Ergo
04-07-2006, 09:25
I once saw an Ansel Adams copy on antique roadshow...

Pherdinand
04-07-2006, 09:53
look at my gallery and you can guess. For the ones that have no time to waste, here it is, none. Nothing.
But i got a lot of education in other stuff!:) Not that THAT would be visible!

RicardoD
04-07-2006, 09:54
Self-Taught. Bought a Minolta manual SLR with money saving up from cutting lawns at age 16 after I found my Dad's Minolta lenses in his closet. A high school friend showed me how to use the school's darkroom and I even made my own prints. Very terribly but I did it myself! Got back into photography via the digital revolution after college and now thanks to you guys I know about Diafine and here we go again back to film in the coming months!

I would have killed for all this info back in my high school days (early 80s).

dazedgonebye
04-07-2006, 09:54
I've been playing at it on and off for almost 30 years now. The last 3 have been my most productive.
I've never had any classes, but as a teen, a studio photographer that went to my church took me under his wing for awhile.
I'd love to find good classes or a mentor. Most of the classes I find are too basic. Most of the experienced photographers I find are either too modest to teach or too arrogant to be tolerated.
I have seen workshops advertised that look to be very good, but I don't have thousands of dollars to travel to some distant city and can't spend a week or more away from my family.
I'd like to do the Santa Fe workshops thing, but that's a distant dream.

dreilly
04-07-2006, 09:55
High School, but that only taught me about exposure and some technical things: everything I learned about taking pictures just took practice. 2 years as a Peace Corps volunteer, with a ton of time to kill and cheap developing, worked nicely as a kind of "university of life" in terms of photography.

Warren T.
04-07-2006, 11:00
I've had a real camera since I was about 10. I learned the basics of photography in the photography club of my junior high school (middle school). From that time, I've been mostly self taught except for the 3 years that I was an assistant to a well known, local professional wedding photographer from whom I learned the wedding photography business. I have not put that knowledge to professional use, having made the decision to advance my career in Information Technology rather than take over for my retiring mentor. I still entertain the idea of doing some sort of professional photography someday when I retire from my current profession.

Regards,

Warren

amateriat
04-08-2006, 11:29
Save for one year's HS photography class (which was great), nothing formal for me. Did stints in a number of NYC labs, including one right next door to Magnum's old W. 46th St. HQ. We did a ton of work for them, and that's where I feel my true education kicked in, from hanging out with (insert well-known Magnum shooter here), and simply forcing myself to just shut up and listen most of the time (not easy for me around those guys and gals). Everything else I learned was from Seat o' the Pants University, Hard Knocks Campus (Associate degree). :)


- Barrett

Simon Larbalestier
04-08-2006, 20:02
"Photography" was a rather loose term when i was studying it was either Graphics or Fine Art and i was bang in the middle of both when studying at college. At school it was worse "ART" wasn't even considered a recognised subject so according to the head of sixth form i was studying "two "A" levels and Art" ( it was the 70's)
so my formal training is

BA (Hons) Graphic Design 1981-84, Newcastle Polytechnic
MA (RCA) Illustration 1985-87 Royal Collage of Art, London

The Illustration course was very loose in its defintion of "illustration" so i spent 99% of my time in the Photography department and got tutored from both deparments - the best of both worlds.

From 1992-2001 i was a part time lecturer at the Camberwell Collage of Art, now the London Institute. I opted to teach photography to those students who enrolled on the Graphics Course
but found themselves image makers at heart. I still go back to do tuturials when i have time and am in London.

working with fresh enquiring minds is very inspriational.

oftheherd
04-09-2006, 13:09
I enjoyed snapshooting for many years with a box camera under the indulgence of my father. After he died, I got a little more interested during my first year of college, using a camera he built from a 9x12 and a roll film camera.

After joining the US Army, I just snapshot until 1967. I went to an investigative school and we were given about a week of evidence photography with the venerable 4x5. On arriving in Vietnam, we didn't have any Army supplied cameras, so I used my Minolta 16 and Welta Welti. Kodak in Hawaii processed the film at US Army expense.

In 1974, while in the US Army in Korea, I found myself in a mid-sized office in Korea. Very soon I had to investigate a breakin. The office Instamatic had been abused in about every way possible, and I was disgusted with the results. That began my quest to provide the office with good photographic support. I then had a Yashica TL Super I had purchased in Vietnam.

I began reading every photo book at the library and those books and magazines I could purchase at the PX. I went to the Army craft shop and got with a knowedgable Korean instructor. He retaught me development and printing. I volunteered to photograph all crime scenes and on my own photographed all our parties and my own travels about the country. It was fun! And I was off with photography as a hobby. I acquired a Fujica ST 901, some additional lenses, and a Super Press 23.

I did take a photo class in Korea not long before I left, and did find some things to learn. I got something of a reputation wherever I went after that, as the office photography man.

By 1983 I was teaching as an adjunct instructor at Austin Peay State University, teaching amoung other things, evidence photography. I found I had to spend the start of the quarter teaching basic photography. That was OK by me. I enjoyed teaching and felt I taught well. My students seemed to agree and I think because they were all interested in learning, they in fact did.

All that to say my education in photography was mostly on my own. But I had a lot of help from Army craft shops, fellow photographers, photo books and magazines.

And mistakes along the way. I always say you should learn from your mistakes, and I have learned a lot! :p

No vote as I didn't think anything quite fit the options.

smudwhisk
04-09-2006, 14:43
Got back into film photography courtesy of the only B&W developing and printing course in the whole of Birmingham 18 months ago - had gone digital basically before that. Now my poor bank balance is suffering more than when I bought my DSLR! But am enjoying it more, otherwise self taught and definately shows it ..... :bang:

Magnus
04-09-2006, 14:54
Now honestly what is there to learn about photography .... I would think that experience is the important factor, not theoretical knowledge.

unohuu
04-09-2006, 19:32
Masters and post graduate study for a certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Luke

ChrisPlatt
04-09-2006, 20:38
When I was an undergraduate student at Queens College CUNY
in the early 1980's I took a course in Ethnographic Photography.

Much of the instructor's portfolio was drawn from his fieldwork;
years spent living among tribesmen in Papua New Guinea.
Once we had mastered the basics of lighting and exposure,
he taught us how we could apply a similar approach in several
field trips to ethnic enclaves in and around New York City.

A fully stocked darkroom and the instructor's printing expertise
helped everyone in the class turn out first rate finished work.

The memory of this course stays with me, even after 20+ years.
Against it I measure all others, before or since.

The Queens College Anthroplogy Dept. still offers the course.

"Excelsior, you fathead!"
-Chris-

CameraQuest
04-09-2006, 21:27
1) I am a big fan of photo education, a huge fan, a mega huge fan.

2) wherever you are in photography, education will only make you better

3) that being said, I believe true artistic photographic talent is a gift, and can not be taught. either you have it, or you don't, like a great actor, like a great painter

Stephen

tedwhite
04-09-2006, 21:29
When I was twelve, in L.A., my father one day told me to quite bitching about having nothing to do and handed me an old Kodak Box Brownie. But what made the difference was that he bought me a beginner's developing kit to go with it. Each night, after dinner, I set up my little kit on the service porch, developed film (I forget the MF size) and learned how to make contact prints (flattened negs with a piece of glass over a sheet of 8X10, then turned on the ceiling light for one second). When I first saw an image appear in the developer tray, that was it.

Decades later I found myself teaching English in a midwestern college. One day, while perusing the college's catalogue of offerings, I noticed there were no photography courses. So I started one. It would develop into a major. I found it a bit ironic, that in an institution that defines itself on academic credentials, I was able to initiate a program with none.

A couple of years later I got a job in a university teaching it at the graduate level. Sounds lofty, but all I was doing was helping MFA students with their final portfolios.

So, I've had no formal training, no courses, just self-taught. I think if you have a good eye, as they say, you can figure out the rest. If you don't have the eye, you can still learn to make technically perfect pictures. A cynic might say, "But, what's the point?" I don't have an answer, other than to feel that if you enjoy doing something, just do it.

jan normandale
04-09-2006, 21:57
Ted, you're a Renaissance guy.. who knew, I thought you were also a career police officer?? I'm coming over for a coffee right now to hear the full story.. LoL!!

When I was twelve, in L.A., my father one day told me to quite bitching about having nothing to do and handed me an old Kodak Box Brownie. But what made the difference was that he bought me a beginner's developing kit to go with it. Each night, after dinner, I set up my little kit on the service porch, developed film (I forget the MF size) and learned how to make contact prints (flattened negs with a piece of glass over a sheet of 8X10, then turned on the ceiling light for one second). When I first saw an image appear in the developer tray, that was it.

Decades later I found myself teaching English in a midwestern college. One day, while perusing the college's catalogue of offerings, I noticed there were no photography courses. So I started one. It would develop into a major. I found it a bit ironic, that in an institution that defines itself on academic credentials, I was able to initiate a program with none.

A couple of years later I got a job in a university teaching it at the graduate level. Sounds lofty, but all I was doing was helping MFA students with their final portfolios.

So, I've had no formal training, no courses, just self-taught. I think if you have a good eye, as they say, you can figure out the rest. If you don't have the eye, you can still learn to make technically perfect pictures. A cynic might say, "But, what's the point?" I don't have an answer, other than to feel that if you enjoy doing something, just do it.

mikeb380
04-10-2006, 06:46
Hi,

Any of you got any formal Photography education ?

When I started in Photography there was not formal education in photography, no internet, no one to teach me.I started at 14 with a 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 speed graphic with RF. I had my own darkroom and began doing pro photography, taking kids pictures. I formed a photo club in high school and taught photography. After leaving the Navy in 1967 I attended the university of SC abd ended up tutoring in the photo lab instead of learning. I opened my own business and taught photography for 3 or 4 years and then moved to NYC where I attended the School for Visual Arts for two semesters. I did learn somewhat about lighting there. I learned more working for/with Max Waldman about theater and dance photography than I could have ever learned from books. Unfortunately for the photo world Max passed away and thus ended my "aprenticeship".

For several years I did no photography and in 2004 I bought a Canon EOS Digital. I truly don't like digital so I have been buying cameras as a collection and now I am again shooting B&W and setting up my darkroom in my bedroom. I'm looking forward to again working inthe dark and printing my photos without a computer in the act. I had bought a Canon F1 because I had some in the early 70s and liked them. I shot my first roll of film last week and am waiting to get chemicals to start in. Next project is to use a Zeiss Ikon Nettar (VF only ) to shoot 120 film. My brain is drooling.

Well, I didn't intend to write this much but..........

Michael :p

tedwhite
04-10-2006, 08:45
Jan: Thanks for the 'Renaissance' compliment. Never was a career cop. In Bakersfield, CA, I got a night job so I could support myself while going to college during the day. The night job happened to be as a deputy sheriff. working 11 PM to 7 AM. I did that for three and a half years. Then I moved to San Diego, worked at odd jobs while attending San Diego State University. After graduation, while waiting for the 'right' job to come along, I worked on the Mexican border as a detective sergeant for two years. When I got accepted to graduate school in San Francisco I immediately quit the det. sgt. job and never looked back.

In retrospect, though, it provided me with a great deal of raw material for stories.

PhotoGeek
04-22-2006, 19:53
I am just about to graduate w/ my BFA in Advertising Photography. Does that count?! ;) haha.

I personally believe that you can learn everything on your own, however, it would just take you your life time to do it.

I've believe that it's an honor to be tutored or taught by a Photographer who has been doing it for a long while, is someone you look up to, or who's work you admire. You also gain the chance to learn from their mistakes w/o having to make them yourself. Sometime this is a huge advantage, especially financially.

You do need the quintessential "eye" for photography as well though. I don't care what anyone says, photography is one the arts.

I also believe that the passing on of knowledge is an essential part of being human, its how we have advanced to where we are, and how we'll keep going long after.

I plan on working on my graduate studies, I would love to have my Masters in Photography, and I would love to teach someday. I'm trying for several MFA program's this fall, wish me luck.
-peter