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Technical Questions

Photography Teachers?

Discuss technical aspects of photography
benjikan
 
Posts: 344

Photography Teachers?

Post Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:01 am


I have recently noticed several advertisements of those that are "teaching" photography.  At a school of photography as a guest speaker I was asked what my thoughts were regarding the whole "I can teach you photography" thing. Well here goes. I don't subscribe to that concept for many reasons. One is how to stunt the growth of a new student by teaching them rules about what is and what isn't right for a starter.  Another is the often over used formulas that in most cases these "specialists" teach the naive student as gospel

 I do however have no problem with a school that assists one in understanding technical issues or a school that deals with the historical and artistic aspects of photography. But a school that deals with issues such as cropping, lighting style etc...Well that's where I put my foot down and say an unequivocal NO, Nein, Non.

 I have had so many poor lost assistants whom I would rather not pinpoint specifically, that have no clue what so ever who they are. If they did come into a school of photography with the hopes of coming out an individual, well that notion was sucked out of them by the energy vampires. I'm not saying that all profs are frustrated unsuccessful photographers that couldn’t make it in their field. However from what I have seen and heard, one could not help but make that assumption.

 I am saying that guest speakers, workshops and specialized advise dealing with specific technical issues might be a reason to seek out advice or when a guest lecturer has come in to speak of his or her experiences, as I did at the Orleans School of Photography in France. Do your research. Read, experiment, take tons of photos inspire yourself and grow as a human. Build up your vocabulary in all disciplines and your life shall be richer as a result. It has been proven that the greater the vocabulary the richer ones life. Take a deep breath and do what comes naturally. If you get stuck creatively, take a short break.  If you need some technical advice, just ask questions.

http://www.benjaminkanarekblog.com/?p=1302

clintbuhler
 
Posts: 2

Re: Photography Teachers?

Post Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:06 pm


I've run into this myself. I once wanted to go to a college for some photography courses to try and expand my understanding of photography as I knew it. I was forced to take B+W Photo 101 as a prerequisite so the college could get as much money from me as possible even though it was way below my experience level. One day my B+W 101 teacher asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up to which I replied "I'm going to be a photographer". Not "I want to try", not "maybe if I'm lucky" ect. His response was " well that's a pretty bold thing to say, it's just not that easy!" Pretty much just shooting down my dreams, because it obviously didn't work for him. So, I used the darkroom to make prints of whatever I wanted, and I'm proud to say that I sold enough prints to fellow students and friends to pay for my class and film/paper costs. I never even attended the final and I got an "F" in the course. I entered a photograph in the college art show (that my teacher didn't tell us about) and ended up winning 2nd place. Since then, I have won quite a few competitions with several perfect scores, and more importantly people PAY me for my work. I've shot many weddings, family portraits, fashion, landscape photography, and pretty much anything you can think of for money. I get nothing but compliments from people who see my photos on gallery display. (even when they don't know I was the photographer) I'm not trying to brag, what I am trying to say is..."EAT THAT TEACH!" I have never taken another course, but I never stopped learning either.

Now, on the other hand, I really enjoy teaching photography. I enjoy inspiring others and encouraging them, because I was not ispired at all. It's fun to see people learn and get better in their skills and technical knowledge as well as artistry. I vowed to never suck the wind out of anyones sails like it was done to me. I now teach small seminars on the side and I really enjoy it. I love photography and anyone has a right to learn and enjoy it!

ericvision
 

Re: Photography Teachers?

Post Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:43 am


Good photographers don't teach photography full time. They are too busy being photographers! This is true of teachers in many subjects - they failed to do what they wanted to do professionally and they went in to as close a thing as possible.

There are the rare examples whose passion is actually sharing their knowledge rather than using it, but they are few and far between. The best way to learn is to do, and to listen to the advice from those who also do and make your own decision as to whether to follow it. Unfortunately we live in a world obsessed with certificates and grades, but fortunately there are still areas in which one can succeed just by being bloody good at it and being willing to put in the time and effort to market themselves.

madlights
 
Posts: 911

Re: Photography Teachers?

Post Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:50 am


There are some good teachers...but mostly it's all turned into a money and licensing game. You go to school for X years. You get a 'license' (degree)so either you really know your subject, or your license says you do and you don't have to know it. The people who learn from the "hard knocks" school...they are eliminated...since they are the dangerous ones...and might break the mold and the system, by finding out too much. Education is big business. It's all a game.

hgharib
 
Posts: 61

Re: Photography Teachers?

Post Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:03 pm


I spent 250GBP 2 years ago on a photography course at the local college. They made me do B&W photos and lot of wet lab work over 9 months. The teacher was totally unhelpful. A total waste of time and money. I just could not understand what I paid 250GBP for.

sheila
 
Posts: 1303

Re: Photography Teachers?

Post Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:56 pm


To quote Elliott Erwitt "All the technique in the world does not compensate for the inability to notice". You can teach technique but that's as far as it goes.

Sheila
Sheila Smart
Canon 5D Mark III; 17-40L; 24-70 f/2.8L; 70-300 f.4-5.6 L USM; 135 f/2L; 100 f/2.8 macro; 8-15 f/4 L fisheye

Blog: http://sheilasmartphotography.blogspot.com/

namratasnv
 
Posts: 9

Re: Photography Teachers?

Post Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:52 am


According to me I think that teaching photography is good but still it depends on how much you implement all the points when you have to do it practically.

As, when you finally do it practically then only your work highlights.

Thanks!

pentax67
 
Posts: 14

Re: Photography Teachers?

Post Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:58 pm


sheila wrote:To quote Elliott Erwitt "All the technique in the world does not compensate for the inability to notice". You can teach technique but that's as far as it goes.

Sheila


Reminds me of another quote.

Those that can - do. Those that can't - teach.

parpho
 
Posts: 235

Re: Photography Teachers?

Post Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:13 pm


pentax67 wrote:
sheila wrote:To quote Elliott Erwitt "All the technique in the world does not compensate for the inability to notice". You can teach technique but that's as far as it goes.

Sheila


Reminds me of another quote.

Those that can - do. Those that can't - teach.

Since you only have 27 images posted are we to conclude that you, as I do, teach.
Michael

pentax67
 
Posts: 14

Re: Photography Teachers?

Post Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:33 am


parpho wrote:
pentax67 wrote:
sheila wrote:To quote Elliott Erwitt "All the technique in the world does not compensate for the inability to notice". You can teach technique but that's as far as it goes.

Sheila


Reminds me of another quote.

Those that can - do. Those that can't - teach.

Since you only have 27 images posted are we to conclude that you, as I do, teach.
Michael


Me teach? Surely you jest? I have enough problems just learning.

igor

ash
 
Posts: 1

Re: Photography Teachers?

Post Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:57 pm


I'm sorry you feel that way benjikan. You sound very arrogant with your " I have had so many poor lost assistants" and your blog is certainly very pretentious. There are many gifted and potentially excellent photographers who don't neccessarily have your blind self regard and need direction. Let's hope they never find you as a teacher. As the saying goes "when the student is ready......................"
I taught a few night classes in digital photography and the students (mainly over 65) were so pleased to have a nudge in the right direction, including composition, perspective, motivation, etc. which helped them on to an enjoyable photographic experience. We don't all have to be brilliant "artists"
Andrew

akmc_in_au
 
Posts: 921

Re: Photography Teachers?

Post Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:57 am


ash wrote:I'm sorry you feel that way benjikan. You sound very arrogant with your " I have had so many poor lost assistants" and your blog is certainly very pretentious. There are many gifted and potentially excellent photographers who don't neccessarily have your blind self regard and need direction. Let's hope they never find you as a teacher. As the saying goes "when the student is ready......................"
I taught a few night classes in digital photography and the students (mainly over 65) were so pleased to have a nudge in the right direction, including composition, perspective, motivation, etc. which helped them on to an enjoyable photographic experience. We don't all have to be brilliant "artists"
Andrew


Couldn't agree more, Andrew. Photography is a skill, and like any skill it can be taught. An ability to notice is not some gift bestowed by the gods to a select few. As with all skills some who take it up will have more native talent than others (and some others will think that they have), some won't go beyond the basics because of a lack of persistence or genuine interest or, I'll concede, in some cases aptitude... and yet others are, as you've correctly indicated, just waiting for the right teacher to help unleash their potential. If we're dealing in one liners, my preference is for Plutarch's statement that "The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be lighted". The right teacher, with the right skills, and most importantly the right attitude, can help to light such a fire, to assist the students not with mere rote techniques but to open their eyes to new ways of seeing.

If you've got someone who's a professional photographer and who is merely conducting a course to make money between assignments, then sure, you probably won't have someone who's an outstanding teacher. If you have someone whose motivation goes beyond turning a buck and who has a genuine love of the art of photography and wants to bestow that, and who isn't apprehensive about potentially losing market share to newcomers, then chances are you're looking at someone who has the potential to be a good teacher.

dominique_r
 
Posts: 2

Re: Photography Teachers?

Post Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:30 am


I too fully agreement with the fact that the original poster displays a lot of arrogance. His ramblings on "my focal lengths for such and such type of work" are also tiring, and not even well founded technically nor artistically —except for those passages that are completely commonplace, of course, and even there he lacks originality both in content and in form. And as far as regards the "Orléans School of Photography", I confess, despite being French, that I have never heard of it. :lol:

He's better left alone, I think. He's just another one of those self-promoters that do not even realize how ridiculous they are, and how people are laughing behind their backs. :wink:

akmc_in_au wrote:
ash wrote:I'm sorry you feel that way benjikan. You sound very arrogant with your " I have had so many poor lost assistants" and your blog is certainly very pretentious. There are many gifted and potentially excellent photographers who don't neccessarily have your blind self regard and need direction. Let's hope they never find you as a teacher. As the saying goes "when the student is ready......................"
I taught a few night classes in digital photography and the students (mainly over 65) were so pleased to have a nudge in the right direction, including composition, perspective, motivation, etc. which helped them on to an enjoyable photographic experience. We don't all have to be brilliant "artists"
Andrew


Couldn't agree more, Andrew. Photography is a skill, and like any skill it can be taught. An ability to notice is not some gift bestowed by the gods to a select few. As with all skills some who take it up will have more native talent than others (and some others will think that they have), some won't go beyond the basics because of a lack of persistence or genuine interest or, I'll concede, in some cases aptitude... and yet others are, as you've correctly indicated, just waiting for the right teacher to help unleash their potential. If we're dealing in one liners, my preference is for Plutarch's statement that "The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be lighted". The right teacher, with the right skills, and most importantly the right attitude, can help to light such a fire, to assist the students not with mere rote techniques but to open their eyes to new ways of seeing.

If you've got someone who's a professional photographer and who is merely conducting a course to make money between assignments, then sure, you probably won't have someone who's an outstanding teacher. If you have someone whose motivation goes beyond turning a buck and who has a genuine love of the art of photography and wants to bestow that, and who isn't apprehensive about potentially losing market share to newcomers, then chances are you're looking at someone who has the potential to be a good teacher.

ssim
 
Posts: 75

Re: Photography Teachers?

Post Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:15 pm


I've been teaching Photography for quite a few years and it has it good points and of course the bad ones. I don't put out anything on the internet saying I will show you the way but teach through a series of continuing education programs available for persons looking to improve their hobby. I have also done two courses at a juvenile detention center to try and get these young people interested in something else other than the action on the streets.

The one thing that I have noticed is there is a ton of websites offering to teach us the way in photography. By and large I think that these are nothing more than someone seeing a way to make a quick buck. Do they care about the people they are teaching, probably not, they are mostly interested in the payday. Same goes for the innumerable photoshop courses you can take. There is a place for people to learn the basics of the craft. If we listened to the OP no one would take any courses and if they run into a problem just go online somewhere and ask a question. Like all the information you glean from forum boards is accurate. I'm not clear but I think he is also saying that those that take the time to take a Photography and Arts course from a college are wasting their time. Hardly. There is so much more to this industry than simply pushing the shutter button.

Then I took a look at the OP's blog. He is an expert on everything so who are we to question his words.

madlights
 
Posts: 911

Re: Photography Teachers?

Post Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:33 am


ssim wrote:I've been teaching Photography for quite a few years and it has it good points and of course the bad ones. I don't put out anything on the internet saying I will show you the way but teach through a series of continuing education programs available for persons looking to improve their hobby. I have also done two courses at a juvenile detention center to try and get these young people interested in something else other than the action on the streets.

The one thing that I have noticed is there is a ton of websites offering to teach us the way in photography. By and large I think that these are nothing more than someone seeing a way to make a quick buck. Do they care about the people they are teaching, probably not, they are mostly interested in the payday. Same goes for the innumerable photoshop courses you can take. There is a place for people to learn the basics of the craft. If we listened to the OP no one would take any courses and if they run into a problem just go online somewhere and ask a question. Like all the information you glean from forum boards is accurate. I'm not clear but I think he is also saying that those that take the time to take a Photography and Arts course from a college are wasting their time. Hardly. There is so much more to this industry than simply pushing the shutter button.

Then I took a look at the OP's blog. He is an expert on everything so who are we to question his words.

I think you've really hit on it here. That some teachers care about their students, make the courses interesting and get the students experimenting and thinking
(since I kind of think we learn much from our own attempts and exploring, maybe at times with a little guidance)..and some teachers stand up in front of a class and recite facts and figures for a paycheck.

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