The missing category in the poll is "informally trained".
I had the benefit of a "non-formal" photographic tutor for a short while; a short period of professional experience; lots of amateur experience; a course or two in related imaging technology; and a lot more amateur experience. Hence: yes and no.
Nothing formal for me either. In college I studied more on the art and photo history side and got degrees in degrees in different subjects (anthropology & business). Learned a little bit of basic darkroom stuff from a friend, and the rest was from books, the web, and self experimentation.
doh.. I miss clicked on the poll, you cant undo and revote can you? haha
I've done formal education (Maryland Institute College of Art Continuing Studies program), informal (Center for Alternative Processes, Project Basho, Smithsonian Resident Associates), and "self-taught" (pick up a book, follow the directions, get a result, lather, rinse, repeat).
Good Afternoon Again,
In my first post in this thread, I neglected to mention that I've been with APUG almost since its beginning; that's added enormously to whatever photographic knowledge I can claim. Many thanks to those who have contributed!
Well I said "self taught" but yes, to me that equates to 'no formal training'. I shot a few rolls with folding Kodaks of models no longer remembered when I was maybe 8 or 9 in the late 1940s (gulp!), presumably with some parental advice. I was then awarded a Brownie Target Six-20* (to keep some distance between me and my parents 'good' cameras, I'll bet). I remember a Cub Scout activity when a bunch of us developed a roll of film -- see-sawing through containers under a red safelight -- must have been the original ortho Verichrome. The photography stuck better than the scouting, and by high school I was improvising a darkroom and doing some stuff at home.
Observing details, and working with processes changing one variable at a time can be a significant learning experience.
I've had perhaps a little more formal training in the painting side of things, although even that was mostly at the adult evening school sort of thing. (Grade school "art" classes were just enough they could claim they had some as I remember them.) Certainly comments about light and composition could equally apply to photography -- in the art side, as opposed to the technology. In the tech areas I pursued all sorts of mechanical and electrical stuff from the time I was a toddler, so some things seem to me to have just happened by magic, though perhaps someone like my dad may have tossed out some pointers along the way. By now I can claim about sixty years of experience -- even though I don't think it actually means much. :confused:
* Still have it, still works -- a good investment on their part!
Other things I have picked up at work without formal training include CAD drawing, using our CNC router and various other machines.
I consider all of this to be self tuition even if it did involve asking other people questions.
I don't have qualifications in any of it but I'm too close to retirement to worry about that now!
I had one high school class that included photography.
Plus another two high school classes learning how to operate offset presses, including camera work in support.
Plus two night school courses that were really just a way of getting time in a darkroom.
Plus lots and lots and lots of informal education from my father, friends, co-workers, and Kodak publications.
Plus APUG :).