What photography schooling did you take?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by gr82bart, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    This is a question I have been meaning to ask for a while. I'm just curious because recently I have been contemplating looking at a 'real' school for a master in fine arts program in photography or something similar.

    I've been taking pics since I was 12 and pretty much taught myself everything, but recently I took a couple courses at NYU and ICP and have found the bug again to goto school. Especially from the artistic/creative point of view.

    It's a significant departure from the MBA and engineering degree I have, and won't help me at all with my career, but at least it'll be fun!

    What photography classes, courses, schools have you all been/gone to/recommend?

    Art.
     
  2. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Took a incredibly pointless photo class my freshman year of college and dropped while I could still get my money back--the teacher spent the first two days explaining what SLR meant. I had also planned on using my rolleicord for the class, but was told that I couldn't by the professor because it was too advanced--apparantly 50 years old with bigger film=advanced?

    Did take a weekend palladium printing workshop with Clay Harmon that was fantastic! I really enjoyed the workshop atmosphere and plan to attend the next free week-long Per Volquartz workshop and hopefully save enough to attend one of Michael Smith's weekend vision workshops.
     
  3. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Self-taught the basics. Then, on-the-job working in studios and labs.
     
  4. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Self-taught...with the help of thousands of mags and books!! I would like to do a course, but something specific, such as alternative processes or time with a real master. I am trying to get up and running professionally, so time will tell whether I should have taken a course!!

    Tom
     
  5. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    My advice... drop your life for a couple of years and go find a good technical school, like NESOP or Brooks. The level of photgraphic experience you are going to find will blow your socks off. Intense, goal driven, artistic challanging, ego reducing classes that will make you into a fine photographer with professional potential.

    I did this in 1985/86 and don't regret a single moment I spent there. I later went and got the engineering degree that supports my kids, kameras, and kritters.

    tim in san jose (robotics software engineer, B&W photographer)
     
  6. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Got a Media Arts degree from the University of South Carolina (would have preferred going to a dedicated photo school but was not a choice at the time). I took many photo courses, even many digital courses in photoshop *gasp. I hated all the non traditional photo courses we were forced to take and did poorly in them, got high marks in the photo courses (I seem to only do well if I am passionate about something). My main photo instructor was Gene Crediford, and he was a blast, a true old school photog if you ever saw one. I sure wish I could catch up with him but no idea where he has gone to or if he is even still alive..
     
  7. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Self-taught for about the first 25 years - then went on a photography (arts) foundation course and later a photography (craft) foundation course, both more to use the darkroom facilities than anything else. The second one taught me some darkroom skills, but I've learned more here about analog alchemy than I did on both courses. A HUGE Thank You Everyone :D
     
  8. Robert Brummitt

    Robert Brummitt Member

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    I did the same as some of you. I went to the local commuinty college photography dept. It didn't hurt that many local West coast fine art assistants taught while I was there. The school was raided by the local commerical labs for employees on a monthly basis. What's nice about a lab was the free film processing and low cost to printing.
    But, that was sometime ago and digital is king amoung labs.
    I think you need to ask yourself. What kind of photography are you interested in? Commerical, journalism, weddings (dread) or fine art. Then look to see what workshops are around you, what kind of schools and then test the waters,
    Robert8x10
     
  9. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

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    Self-taught.
     
  10. roteague

    roteague Member

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    So, how did you wind up in New Zealand?
     
  11. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Me too, and in my case, not very well at that. :D
     
  12. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Tim, this I find interesting. Of all the graduates of Brooks ( Santa Barbara) how many do you think are working professionals in photography.

    In my experience, a very high percentage are privileged LA, kids who want to be photographic "stars" a la Arney Fretag (sp?) or film makers. I wonder what your experience was with this.

    I, like most portrait photographer started by the seat of my pants doing weddings and gradually got into doing better work by attending seminars. I attended Winona School of Professional Photography in Winona Lake Indiana (now Chicago)which is run by Professional Photographers of American.These were usually one week seminars taught by working professionals who came to teach for a week.

    I attended about 7 different ones of these as well as West Coast School (Brooks Institute) and a number of others as well as seminars put on by the Professional Photographers of Canada.

    I believe that although full time schools are the best way to learn technical information, that often the best people photographers are self taught. I think that in Europe that a commercial photographer has to apprentice although I'm not sure about a portrait photographer.



    Michael MCBlane
     
  13. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    You know, Robert, I was thinking the same thing...must be the beer :smile:
     
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  15. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Having been to NZ, I would move there tomorrow if it were possible.
     
  16. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy Member

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    Ha ha. Thats horrible, kind of like the person who called me "High Tech" for using a 60 year old 4x5 press camera. Appaerently advanced means using your brain instead of letting the SLR figure out all the settings for you?

    I took three semesters of photo in colloge, partially to fill my minor requirements, and mostly just to get access to the darkroom. The Photo I actually tought me a bit, but from there on out they classes becaome mostly "Expressing your emotions" type teaching, so I had to mainly rely on the internet and books to gather information so I could progress beyond taking very 18% gray photos of my cat or bedroom wall.
     
  17. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Michael I don't know if it's common but I usually get told I capture something that "trained photographers" don't when I shoot portraits, which usually leads to me taking work off the studio's around here. So possibly it's people skills that are more important when it comes to portraits.
     
  18. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    Me three, as long as I didn't have to be someplace at "sivin" o'clock. :wink:

    As to the original question, I'm also self-taught. I only wish I had picked a better instructor.
     
  19. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    I think most of the UK would move after seeing Billy Connolly and his world tour of NZ.

    Back on topic before I get me wrist slapped again, alas we don't get much choice of courses in the West Country as well are always forgotten (bring on the violins)
     
  20. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I have a good friend who lives on the South Island; she migrated there from the UK about 7 years ago.
     
  21. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    I bet she never regrets the move for a second. From pictures and the television it looks beautiful and a god made outdoor studio for photographers.
     
  22. oriecat

    oriecat Member

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    I got my first camera in 8th grade, took my first class in 10th - an after school TAG (talented and gifted program) class through the Portland Art Museum school (now the Pacific NW College of Art). Then I took 2 years in high school. In college, I again took a semester or two. So I learned most of it through those classes (not that I know much...), reading a couple books the past two years to refresh my memory when I decided to get back into, and now I am learning a lot from you nice people here. :smile:
     
  23. rjs003

    rjs003 Subscriber

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    My first professional training was while I was in the Navy. I then hung out at the base darkroom and learned all I could from the pro. who ran the base darkroom. When I left the Navy I got to know the local industrial photographer, who answered all my questions. The most important piece of information he gave me was that the camera did nothing more then hold the film flat, while the shutter regulated the amount of light hitting the film. It was the photographer that made the difference between a good photo and a snap shot.
     
  24. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Back in my Army days, I used the darkroom facilities at the base hobby shop.
     
  25. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    My personal preference is 6-8 week college courses over 1-2-even 5 day workshops. This allows you breathing time in a structured course. I’ve been to workshops where equipment failed or people didn’t understand. The compressed schedule time got eaten up. The result was disappointing.

    With a larger time frame the level of complexity can build, new techniques can be practiced and I have the sense of accomplishing more. Of course it is a personal decision often guided by other factors in our lives.

    I’m 64, retired a couple of years. I’ve taken six local college photo courses, gone to three workshops, built a darkroom, and worked with 35mm, 6x7cm, 4x5” and am starting to use an 8x10 for platinum printing.

    In a 4x5 course we started with the mechanical basics using school provided gear and had increasingly more difficult commercial style assignments every week. Every weekend we could come in and work with the gear to experiment or catch up, which ever was needed.

    In the fine arts classes we have to put ten show quality, 11x14” B&W prints up on the board for critique every two weeks. We create the theme idea, improve our technique in the darkroom, endure and grow from the criticism. We work toward a goal of a single subject, twenty matted picture show at the end of the term. I like the deadlines because they push me to give it my full attention.

    At 64 it feels very fresh working with 20 year olds. Some times I have to cheat. The other day a pretty 20 year old was falling asleep in the chair beside me in our 6-9 PM class. She groaned and said “how do you keep up at your age”. I laughed and told her “naps”.

    John Powers
     
  26. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    2 years in high school, 7 semesters in college ( designed 2 semesters myself as "directed studies" ... i was a photo "minor" in the pre-architectural studies program).
    after college, i assisted and did lab-work for local professionals and then started shooting on my own.

    didn't get a graduate degree in photography, but in preservation planning, and use that, my architecture background and photography skills to try to eek out a living doing documentary photography. luckily my wife gets health insurance where she works. :smile:

    NESOP and the art institute of boston offer really good photography degrees, and they are usually taught by adjunct professors who actually shoot for a living (when not teaching).