How absurd. You're obviously not looking with much effort. I spent some time yesterday on my favorite digital web site reading a discussion of Adams' previsualization techniques, the Zone System vs. digital ETTR, and the differences between Adams'/Minor White's/Weston's approach to the art.
I get that most of the folks here don't like digital photography. Fine, don't like it. But do you really consider fellow photographers ignorant fools simply because they don't use the same equipment/process as you? I sure some of them are, but ALL of them?
Obviously there's a difference in the skill sets for processing the image, but for capturing it?
If he's saying it's more important to view original prints than in books or web portfolios, I disagree. Galleries are for leisure, not study. You have to sit down, with a cup of coffee, maybe put on some music and be alone to study art. Visiting galleries is a leisure activity. I don't buy the romantic idea of poor artists sleeping on benches in front of a Van Gogh, then going home charged with divine artistic insight.
First, I have ZERO responsibility whatsoever to a complete stranger who walks in to my gallery uninvited, seeking representation OR advice.
Having my address does not obligate me to you or anyone.
Second, your "knowledge of the past" statement is absurd. You follow it with a similar claim about craft. So what you are saying is that no knowledge at all is required, simply a magical gift of "talent". Nonsense.
Education is good. Studying art, including what was done in the past, will open your mind, change your perceptions and make you see and understand things otherwise you were blind to.
I will take the question one step farther and say that if you consider yourself a "fine art Photographer" you should study art.. not just photography.
While I was studying Kandinsky my non artist mother didn't get it and said his work just looked like a child's work. His work changed me as a human being and changed the way I see.
Looking at a show by Ruth Bernard changed my ideas about nudes and how I would like to work with them.
Looking at a show by Stieglitz changed my vision.
Holding an unframed Irving Penn Platinum print mounted on aluminum changed my direction.
Studying my coffee cup with a reproduction of pears painted by Cezanne set off a whole series of photographs.
Knowing why Weston lived the way he did changed the way I want to live.
Studying etchings affected my aesthetics in platinum printing. As well as studying drawing.
There is nothing in life that is better if it is ignorantly done.
HOW the photograph is achieved is completely irrelevant, as long as it retains the characteristics of a photograph that make photography unique as an art form. I care ONLY about the final image, not how it got there. Digitally I can make a far better print than I ever could in the darkroom and I was no slouch in the darkroom.
I am certain Daguerreotypists angrily complained that silver paper photographers weren't "real photographers" also. The materials and technology matter not at all. The final result is all that matters.
Nothing lasts forever, but that does not make it OK to print supposedly fine art images on trash materials which is where your logical train ends.
A lot of Carbon Printers would disagree with you and this statement shows your lack of knowledge on the subject. The amount of pure carbon pigment allowed though the nossel heads is nothing compared to a pigment load applied by hand by true carbon printers.
Carbon inkjet prints and their longevity is a sham put forth by the inkjet manufacturers.
This is somewhat synonymous to the computer science field. A young guy can whip up an app using the newest technology and not have any idea that John von Neumann invented the stored program and all the people involved in evolving the technology to the point where it is today. But we have to look at the end result rather than the mean. Can someone write two lines of code and have a working application? Yes. Do they need to know how to do the same thing using punch cards? Not really. Would it make them better at their job if they did? It's very likely. There are benefits to knowing the low level aspects. If you can do something in hardware, it will most definitely be faster than doing it in software. This equates to using film in a digital world. Breadboards and transistors vs. reusable software.
Fine art photography seems to be finished at the commercial level. What does the young guy need to know other than point, click, edit, send to be printed? The archival process is in the hands of the marketing department at the lab.