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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    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

    I don't know about Brooks, I have heard it is a fine school, I have seen a mess of work on the web by Brooks graduates and am suitably impressed. As for NESOP, many of my cohorts joined the legions of assistants in the Boston and New York areas. I didn't because I needed to make a living on a semi permanent level as I got married a year or so after school. I spent a couple of years doing graphic arts work for a small screen printing shop, Filene's Advertising department and a high tech plate making firm north of Boston. I only got out when I realized most people making stainless/copper printing plates eventually die of cancer. No thanks. I also turned down a number of jobs that just didn't interest me.

    After I left graphic arts, I went back to school studying Computer Engineering. I worked in the darkroom at the major college I went to and was not particularly impressed with the FA curriculum. Lots of Juniors and Seniors running around, not a clue as to how to make a decent B&W print and wondering "What would the instructor like?". I couldn't get across to them that it shouldn't matter what the teacher likes, it their work.

    David Akiba (do a web search) was one of two of my prime instructors at NESOP. Alan Metnik was the other (If anyone knows what happend to Alan, p-mail me). You got the message early that you didn't take photos for David, you took them for yourself and defended them in class every week from critique by both David and your other classmates. The weak didn't survive. What survived was technically strong work that had a semblance of artistic vision. Your artistic vision. Very few people left NESOP with an incomplete understanding of how to be an assistant or an accomplished darkroom working in the field.

    Could it be done by self learning? Of course. Thi way though you are forced to bring your artistic and photographic standards up to a point where you are at least employable. The student body in 1985 was a mixture of young kids with out a clue and people like myself who might have been making a life change. I was 28 years old, a veteran, an electron equipment field service engineer who had no real responsibilities except to learn something new. Hell, if I hadn't gone there, I would have probably wound up at the North Bennett School or some culinary institute. Not bad choices.

    Some of my best friends in this industry taught themselves. My hat is off to them.


    tim in san jose
    Where ever you are, there you be.

  2. #52

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    Fanshawe College, London Ontario (1992-1995)

    3 year Advanced Photography Diploma.

  3. #53
    FrankB's Avatar
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    Started out on my own. Got the technical basics down (necessary as I was using a Pentax S1a manual-everything camera and a Westonmaster meter) but quickly realised that my composition was utter pants (a British technical term...).

    Signed up for an evening class hoping to improve it. Instead got an introduction into the (very, very) basics of darkroom practice (for which I was grateful) and studio flash work. My composition remained utter pants. Based on my (limited) experience, except as a very basic introduction I would not recommend local college courses in the UK; they are purely interested in getting *everyone* to the minimum standard required to record a pass and thus secure the funds for next year.

    I bought a secondhand darkroom via the classified ads (vastly superior kit to the college's (not difficult)) and started playing around with it. I learnt a *lot* more from APUG (thank you, one and all!) photo mags (B&WP UK in particular) and good old trial and error.

  4. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    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
    Hi!

    If you klick on my name and go to "other posts" you will see I answered this post for you. It just doesn't show up here! Glitch... Being a computer engineer, I can tell you now... never trust a computer.

    tim in san jose
    Where ever you are, there you be.

  5. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by k_jupiter
    Hi!

    If you klick on my name and go to "other posts" you will see I answered this post for you. It just doesn't show up here! Glitch... Being a computer engineer, I can tell you now... never trust a computer.

    tim in san jose

    And now it has....

    Too wierd.

    tim having one of those days in san jose
    Where ever you are, there you be.

  6. #56
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    One thing about "photographic schooling" -- it has many facets. I learned B&W darkroom principles at age ten, and was doing my own color work by sixteen -- well before I went to art school. The technical aspects of putting shadows onto celluoid were NOT what the formal "photographic education" was about. YMMV.

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
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  7. #57
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    My father taught me the basics of B&W photography when I was in the 9th grade, his brother started me on color darkroom work the next year. Beyond that, largely self-taught with quite a few seminars and a couple of useless community college courses thrown in the mix. The most valuable part of my education was working as an assistant to a couple of good pros many years ago, and helpful critiques from others whose work I really respect. I started shooting real jobs before I got out of high school, though when I look back on it, many times I was really in over my head - I just didn't know it at the time. I was lucky (read that as REAL lucky) because I never blew an assignment and the freelance work kept coming. I continued to freelance during my extended hitch in the Army and took the Army 84B Still Photographic Specialist correspondence course. THAT course was a trip - imaging a photo course without having to submit prints for judging! It was a requirement to get a secondary MOS (military occupational specialty) of 84B and I needed a SMOS to get promoted to E6 (my primary MOS was 02J, clarinet player).
    Bob Fowler
    fowler@verizon.net
    Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

  8. #58

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    I'm self-taught from around age 14. I took (and passed!) a British 'O' level in photography in the 1970's. That was done on the basis of what I had learnt myself, plus some book study on the history and techniques needed by the syllabus. The danger with being self-taught is that you don't know if you are missing whole segements of the discipline.

    There was a technical photography module as part of my geology studies, which gave me an introduction to large format and colour processing. Again, it served to formalise what I had already learnt. Then practice, practice, practice!

    As for the artistic side - books, magazines (the old Creative Camera, Lenswork, Zoom, etc.), shows, galleries, other artists, discussion if you can find people who are more interested in feelings than technique. Almost any visual art is good to keep me 'fluent'. Naturally, there are days when I wonder if I am not fluent in a language no one else speaks, but that's the way it goes.
    I feel, therefore I photograph.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flotsam
    Alex,
    I was thinking of a lot of pictures taken with wide-angle lenses in cramped quarters.

    Beautiful picture. The drama and symmetry. Breathtaking but as the viewer, I feel like I'm going to get very wet very soon.
    Neal, I didn't mean to imply that I took that shot; although the way I wrote the reply could lead one to that conclusion.

    That was the Boat's official USN photograph, taken by a guy (most likely a Photgrapher's Mate) up in a helicopter with a Hassie.

    We, that is, some of us on the crew, were trained in the use of the cameras that were mounted in the periscopes. Submarines do not carry any photo specialists, such as Photographer's Mate, in their crews. It was a collateral duty, one that is is in addition to the normal duties. However, at one point, I was responsible for all photo equipment, operation of it, and training.

    The only real "fun" I ever had with it was when we got the Canon F-1 system - the one with all the modular bells and whistles. I had to ensure it all worked before it was accepted!
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

  10. #60
    ldh
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    Like I posted in another thread I went to Brooks for less than two years before splitting...Brooks was the wrong place for me...I dont regret it but in retrospect I wished I had studied somewhere that was more Arts oriented....more progressive....and far less financially exploitative. One thing I have to say about Brooks is that very few of the intructors at the time had much real "Photographic" world wisdom to share...in fact most were ex Brookies themselves that in my opinion hadnt accomplished much professionally after they graduated. My one year of study at Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver was far more fruitful, thought provoking and engaging. For me the Brooks curriculum was narrow in scope, perfunctory, and just plain dull...but I'm sure others felt differently and came away with different and more positive experiences than I did.

    I have no doubt I could be doing what I do today in both my professional and personal photographic work without ever having stepped foot on the Brooks campus...but perhaps theres something intangible that I'm missing or not giving credit to. Being a photographer is simply something that I wanted to do from a very early age, I kept at it and one thing just led to another...
    s ledem prosim

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