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Thread: Hot for Teacher

  1. #11
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arigram View Post
    I guess, first would be where I stand with my photography.
    But, what I really want to learn is the things I can't think about and so, I can't talk of the things I want to learn because I don't know what they are!
    Okay, that is a fair answer.

    I became interested in how people teach photography and found many different teaching styles. It may be worthwhile first to consider the many possibilities. One of the most interesting and unconventional teaching styles was that of Minor White. Let me suggest reading about his methods. My guess, based on your astute answer, is that you are well beyond classical schooling methods and need Mr. White (or a similar yoda) to give you some zen exercises so that you learn how to set all that knowledge aside. White woudl have you read Zen in the Art of Archery.

    This reminds me of one of the deep and beautiful Rumsfeld poems, set in verse form by Hart Seely at Slate magazine:

    The Unknown

    As we know,
    There are known knowns.
    There are things we know we know.
    We also know
    There are known unknowns.
    That is to say
    We know there are some things
    We do not know.
    But there are also unknown unknowns,
    The ones we don't know
    We don't know.


    —D.H. Rumsfeld, Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  2. #12

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    What you need is to find an internet site that offers serious critiques for submitted images. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any that really do. Most places I've visited mainly offer comments of "nice pic" or "nice colors" even for the most flawed of images. You might try Photo.net or Photo.sig... but I haven't been there in well over a year so not too sure how good they are nowadays in critiqueing or suggesting ways to improve images.

    Best method would be to find a local mentor, or camera club, that's willing to teach and suggest and critique images honestly.

  3. #13
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Keith- Rumsfeld forgot to include the last pair - unknown knowns - the things we didn't realize we knew all along. As in, if we invade a foreign country whose population is not supportive of the invasion, we will suffer inordinate casualties, our mission will suffer, and we will embarass ourselves in the world community.

  4. #14
    arigram's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn M View Post
    What you need is to find an internet site that offers serious critiques for submitted images. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any that really do. Most places I've visited mainly offer comments of "nice pic" or "nice colors" even for the most flawed of images. You might try Photo.net or Photo.sig... but I haven't been there in well over a year so not too sure how good they are nowadays in critiqueing or suggesting ways to improve images.

    Best method would be to find a local mentor, or camera club, that's willing to teach and suggest and critique images honestly.
    Tried internet sites, the local camera club is a den of snakes and if I could find a local mentor I wouldn't be asking for help online.

    Keith, maybe you are right. I've learned from my two zen teachers (one a drawing teacher at the SMFA, the other an actual zen teacher), than from any other approach and I also consider looking at thousand of photographs to be such a learning.
    I can't say I want to learn anything from Donald Rumsfeld though, not the type of man I would consider my teacher. Sorry 'bout that.

    How about people reading my thoughts on photography and looking at my photos and telling me two things:
    1) Where I am heading to (unconsciously)
    2) What my flaws are

    Maybe I will help you by saying that life made me shy, even though naturally I am not and every time I walk out with my camera or ask someone to my studio, is a great struggle. But that's more of a personal thing and in the end doesn't affect my actual photography as you can see from my photos. Its just one more thing I have to fight inside of me. I took up photography to help my relationship with people for one thing (not that it has helped).
    aristotelis grammatikakis
    www.arigram.gr
    Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
    no digital additives and shit




  5. #15
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Ari... I just had a quick look at your site... something I haven't done in awhile, and I think it might help for you to organize and group your photographs, not so much by subject.. i.e. women, men, kids, etc., and group them where you find visual or emotional cohesion.

    Like, perhaps many of us, I find myself floundering as I work on my own. I did a portfolio development class last fall which clarified my thinking about what I was doing. I'm fortunate that Boston is not too far away, and I can take advantage of those resources.

    Good luck.. I hope you can find someone local, I think it's best to get a mentor or peer to peer relationship in person.

  6. #16
    jpeets's Avatar
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    I suspect this is a situation that many photographers encounter.

    The standard online critiques seem of little value, as previous posters point out - lot's of bland positive comments, and if a critiqus is actually made, it is often not very thoughtful.

    I have a photographer friend whose work I respect: we often critique each other's work, but I suspect that we aren't totally honest - that's hard to do.

    Maybe an online relationship with a mentor is a useful thing - it just impersonal enough that we might tend to be a bit more honest. If there is an APUG member whose work appeals to you, maybe an offline discussion and print critique would be the way to go.

    Just quickly checked your website: you have some strong images, and I think you are developing a "style" - many of the images initially look like "classic" types but on closer inspection, are a bit quirky (in a good sense). I'd say you clearly don't need any basic feedback, but like all of us, some constructive critique from a high level photographer or other visual artist.

    Good luck with this.

  7. #17

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    Ari,
    I don't teach photography, but I mentor teachers daily at work and have worked with some over the net from else where in the states. For your request, I think there are two avenues you can follow to get the help you need.

    Ave. 1- There are lots of very accomplished photogs on this site, not just "good photographers" but people who have been around the block a while and have made a bit of a name for themselves. Seek these folks out, PM them with a request, and don't give up if the first turns you down. Keep going. They are not going to be able to give you a face to face sit down discussion but you can mail them several prints for them to judge then have a chat in the chatroom here or on something like Instant Messenger. Not very personal but might get you what you need. As you work and discuss more prints can be sent and more exchanges made. I would not rely on website viewing of your work. Nothing compares to the real thing.

    Ave. 2- Move to where the person whom you want as a mentor practices. Some folks would say this was a bit of a stretch but it happens all the time, especially in photography.

    As for the unknown unknowns which keep you from saying what it is you want to learn this could be hashed out with the person who agrees to mentor you after they see your portfolio.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  8. #18
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arigram View Post
    Tried internet sites, the local camera club is a den of snakes and if I could find a local mentor I wouldn't be asking for help online.
    Sounds like the typical Camera Club.

    How about people reading my thoughts on photography and looking at my photos and telling me two things:
    1) Where I am heading to (unconsciously)
    2) What my flaws are
    I would rather:

    1) Where I am heading to (unconsciously - or ... semi-consciously..)
    2) What my good points are, especially those I am not aware of at the moment. Where my most productive "path" might be ... although that information might be - and probably Is - of minor importance, considering the fact that only I have the necessary information to make that decision. My faults? Many. I don't think I have to be reminded of them, or have that knowledge reinforced.

    I wish to concentrate and accelerate down the successful path - not spend my time agonizing over mistakes and flaws.

    Maybe I will help you by saying that life made me shy, even though naturally I am not and every time I walk out with my camera or ask someone to my studio, is a great struggle. But that's more of a personal thing and in the end doesn't affect my actual photography as you can see from my photos. Its just one more thing I have to fight inside of me. I took up photography to help my relationship with people for one thing (not that it has helped).
    That sounds like a monumental struggle - against a most formidable opponent - yourself. I've been there - and all I can say is thaat now I try to place my energies where they are the most productive. Flaw correction? Over time, very little "correction" has proved to be possible, and most corrections have not been necessary.

    We cannot be perfect - so we'll have to settle for "unique". If not AS good, very close to it.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  9. #19
    rwyoung's Avatar
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    Ari -

    There is a critique gallery. I've peeked at it a few times but never used it myself. Perhaps that might help with some portfolio whipping. There is of course the usual disclaimers about on-screen vs. live viewing of images. Certainly could be helpful for composition, lighting and general image management I suppose.
    Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things! http://rwyoung.wordpress.com

  10. #20
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arigram View Post
    Keith, maybe you are right. I've learned from my two zen teachers (one a drawing teacher at the SMFA, the other an actual zen teacher), than from any other approach and I also consider looking at thousand of photographs to be such a learning.
    I can't say I want to learn anything from Donald Rumsfeld though, not the type of man I would consider my teacher. Sorry 'bout that.
    Don't be sorry, I wouldn't hold up Rumsfeld as an authority on deep thought, I merely found the arrangement of his words amusing in an ironic way No political or military endorsement from me is implied :rolleyes:

    Okay, let me offer some more pertinent words from Minor White instead....

    No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer It has chosen. - Minor White

    Quote Originally Posted by arigram View Post
    How about people reading my thoughts on photography and looking at my photos and telling me two things:
    1) Where I am heading to (unconsciously)
    2) What my flaws are
    Sounds like a plan. But again, these are questions that you will ultimately answer for yourself.

    I realize that the classical academic approach is first to make sure that the student)has all the tools that are needed for full creative expression. Unfortunately this process sometimes swallows people whole, and becomes an indoctrination, to the extent that the means fully supplant the end. At a cursory glance, I'd guess that you are well beyond the technical stage and now are thinking more deeply about why you want to create particular compositions, and how on a higher level, not how on the technical level.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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