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  1. #11

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    Hmmm Wellington.

  2. #12

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    That's one of the silliest things I've ever heard of at University level.

  3. #13

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    If the idea of training an architect is started with covering the need for founfation techniques..which I do not know to be true..then this practice seems far from silly to me.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  4. #14

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    Care to expand on that thought, Bill?

    BTW, keep in mind that this is not an MFA in photography or anything like that. This is a general arts degree type of thing intended to prepare students for teaching art in school. They need to know a broad base of skills as it pertains to art.
    Wesmore Digital
    www.wesmoredigital.ca

  5. #15
    MattCarey's Avatar
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    My brother was considering buying an old camera shop a couple of years ago. A big part of the business was selling used Pentax K1000's to the local students in the fall and buying them back in the spring.

    Matt

  6. #16
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    I don't suppose that was Suzy Lake was it? A female prof you say? She was there when I went to U of G in '84. But that was a WHIIIILLLE back...!!

  7. #17

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    No, it was a man's name at UofG but it was a woman that I spoke to at Henry's.
    Wesmore Digital
    www.wesmoredigital.ca

  8. #18
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    This is cool happening in my backyard. When I picked up a Canon AE1 after two years of a Rebel XS, my photography changed immediately. I miss using FD glass but the AE-1 got traded in for a Nikon F with meter head. Now if there are more professors in the system that would be great.

    Bill
    "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
    Ferris Bueller

  9. #19
    Wigwam Jones's Avatar
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    Well, I fail to see why the students should be allowed to buy film commercially. Manual cameras and prime lenses? Is that all? I propose that they should be required to mix their own chemicals, prepare emulsions, and shoot on glass plates of their own manufacture. If they do not do this, I do not understand how they can possibly learn anything about photography.

    If one wishes to require manual cameras, then I suppose it is fine to keep out that percentage of students who wish to learn photography using more modern techniques that depend - yes - on the proper functioning of automated tools that they do not control personally.

    Tell me - if you see a photograph displayed in a museum, and that photograph is a thing of beauty and you enjoy it - in what way does it mattter that the photographer knew or did not know how to set the aperture on his lens? If you do not know what the photographer's level of expertise is with ancient traditions, does it matter? Is there a value to the photograph beyond its value as an objet d'art? Would your enjoyment be made less or would you be rendered incapable of enjoying a photograph made by a person who does not set their own shutter speed?

    I personally enjoy knowing what my camera is doing, whether I choose to employ automation or not when I make a photograph. I feel that knowing what I do, I am able to bring a more formidable set of tools to my work, with each level of control expanding my ability to control what I wish the viewer to perceive. But that is my choice. To demand that others learn what I know before I will recognize them or their efforts would be hubris.

    I do not look at a Paul Strand print and ask myself if he knew the difference between Rodinal or D-76; whether he used a pre-soak; whether he intentionally selected a particular aperture for a desired effect, or whether he was just setting the aperture to make the exposure correct with relation to the shutter speed. I don't need to know what camera he used - how can that possibly make any difference to my enjoyment of the print? If he lived today and made photographs with a cheap point-and-shoot, would his work be any different? Would I enjoy it less?

    We often say that the photographer, and not the tools, matter more. The photograph, and not the method, are what is important. The result, and not the process, that creates an effect in the viewer.

    Then we claim the opposite, by insisting that the only way to learn photography is to understand and take control of things that we learned to understand and take control of.

    If one must learn to use a prime lens, manual focus, manual shutter speed control, and manual aperture setting, then why not also make their own glass plates? In fact, why not require all photography students to make tintypes? Grind their own lenses?

    When offered the chance to teach the next generation about the art of photography - making photographs - we consistantly ignore, ridicule, and heckle their automated and digital efforts because they are ignorant of the manual methods we had to master. We demand that they learn things that are not important to them, or they are not 'real' photographers. We turn their backs on the next generation so fast it is a wonder we don't auger ourselves into the ground.

    When someday, the work of those 'not real' photographers hangs in museums alongside those of Weston and Adams, how now? Grumble in your beer, wrinklies.
    Best,

    Wiggy

    Note to Self: Tse-Tse Fly - No Antidote

  10. #20
    DBP
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    The difference between using manual cameras and starting from scratch to make everything is that learning witha manual camera involves learning to control the variables that directly affect composition, namely plane of focus, perspective, depth of field, and shutter speed. And frankly some things are harder to do with an autofocus camera, unless you turn off all the features (and sometimes even then - the screens are designed for framing, not critical focus). A good example is macrophotography. I usually find that people who learned to drive without power and automatic everything are more aware of how the car behaves under duress, and thus better drivers. I submit the same is true of photographers - those who know how to make the picture the way they want it will do better, even when using something highly automated. I met someone last year who did a lot of macrophotography of flowers. Almost invariably, the plane of focus was the edge of the flower, while some of the body was blurred. She used one of the EOS models, I forget which. She was using the autofocus, which was picking the contrast at the tips of the petals as a focus point, about 1 cm closer than needed given the apparent depth of field. I found myself annoyed by the effect, and thinking how much better the shots could be if she had depth of field preview. I submit that a student is far better off learning with, for example, a old screw mount SLR, than an auto-everything wonder - even an F5. And the student can save hundreds or thousands of dollars in the process. (I wonder when Epson and Cosina are going to partner on a screw-mount, or maybe F-mount, DSLR. It would seem the logical next step if the RD1 sells well.)

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