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  1. #1

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    O.k. Here is the deal.

    I have a B.A. already, but after several years in "the real world", I am sort of thinking now that maybe I should go back to school and get a degree in fine arts with a focus on photography. Mostly because I just figure I'd like it. Regardless of any actual usefulness of course. I mean I don't plan on doing this to actually make any money (that would be silly). It's just something I'm thinking of doing.

    Anywho....the school I would apply to would the University of Arizona. Which apparently has a very good program and is local to me.

    My quandry is, WHICH program do I apply to? Since I already have a B.A., I could apply to the masters program in photography. But I'd need a protfolio, and apparently only 1 in 3 get in. Well, I MIGHT be able to get in, but I'd also have to TEACH, and my darkroom knowledge is minimal.

    The other option is to get ANOTHER B.A., but this time in photography. Maybe then I'd go into the M.A. program (or maybe not). Of course this ADDS two years (if I go for an M.A.) and I already have a B.A. in an unrelated discipline.

    So my question is this -

    What should I do? Go for the B.A. or the M.A.? My concern with the M.A. is that the gaps in my knowledge would make me a poor teacher. Ineffective in fact. But a B.A. seems a bit redundant.

    Any ideas here?

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  2. #2

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    I had the same thought many years ago, after getting my cheistry degree I decided I hated the lab and wanted to do something else. So I asked a friend who had a masters in fine art and he adviced me against it. One I was already very capable, second with a science degree he thought I would be bored with all the courses that had to do with testing, etc....His advice was to continue buying books, practice what I read and save the money for film and paper.
    In that same vein I would advice you the same, use the money to build a kick *** darkroom, buy all the books you can get your hands on, and practice, practice, practice. In the end I think it will be more enjoyable, you do it at your own pace, and you will save a lot of money. If you feel you are missing something, take a workshop instead. The ones by John Sexton I have heard are excellent.

    Also remember you have this and many other forums that can fill in the doubts and questions you might have, heck is almost like a free photo course...no?


    OTOH if you are going back to college to pick up college girls, go for the BA, there is more of them there..

  3. #3

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    If you don't plan on using an M.A. in photography in order to make money, then I would suggest that you apprentice with somebody whose work you admire. I think that you would learn more this way and have more fun.

    There have to be some photographers that you admire in Arizona, landscape capitol of the known universe. You probably would get assistance that would be more direct and personal than you would in a university, and you wouldn't have the hassles of grades or exams.

    If you want another degree, get it in something that you will use to make money. That way you'll have more money for your photography.

  4. #4

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    Robert,

    I can fully understand where you are coming from. There is something energizing about the "educational" atmosphere which is unique unto itsself. Doing an apprenticeship will probably give you more "practical" real-world knowledge, but again, it's not to be compared to the university environment, neither better or worse, just different.

    I would go for the BA. Because of your limited darkroom knowledge, you would be under pressure to both learn the information yourself, and then pass it on to your students. This would most certainly affect your other areas of study, and do an injustice to the students as well. After all, don't we all expect the teachers to be knowledgable in their fields of expertise?

    Go for the BA, have some fun re-capturing your youth, and we all know the co-eds find "oler men" VERY interesting :-)



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  5. #5
    Bruce Osgood's Avatar
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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Robert Kennedy @ Sep 18 2002, 01:19 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
    My quandry is, WHICH program do I apply to? Since I already have a B.A., I could apply to the masters program in photography. But I&#39;d need a protfolio, and apparently only 1 in 3 get in. Well, I MIGHT be able to get in, but I&#39;d also have to TEACH, and my darkroom knowledge is minimal.

    </td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
    I think a very large part of Fine Art Photography is accomplished in the darkroom, an area you feel you have minimal knowledge of. Perhaps a cource in darkroom, ala Sexton, Bernbaum, Bond or any current photographer you consider a "Master" would serve your purposes.

    Nothing wrong with a Masters degree if it makes you a Master Photogrpaher, and I think you&#39;ll find Master Photographers in their darkrooms.

  6. #6

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    Robert, I went through a similar decision when I moved to Tucson in the fall of 1984. The people at the U of A and the old Center for Photography were not very helpful at that time. There was a beginners course at Pima Community College, and an advanced degree course at the university. Neither one met my idea of what I wanted to learn. The result was that I attended workshops, asked questions, and read everything I could get my hands on. Moved to Phoenix in the early 1990&#39;s and met Rod Klukas at Photomark. This is off the wall, but I suggest that you take a ride to Phoenix and talk to him. I don&#39;t know what&#39;s available now (Moved to Texas shortly after moving to Phoenix), but Rod knows everybody in the photography education world. Jay Dussard may still be teaching in Prescott. Mark Klett had a wonderful photo program at Ariz. State. He may still be there. The opportunities in Arizona are un-limited. I would take advantage of them if I was in a position to do so.

  7. #7

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    Some interesting advice here. Actually one reason I want to get into a program IS cost. In-state tuition is dirt cheap at the U of A. And considering my current situation, much cheaper than building my own darkroom which would require me to literally move house (I rent, and EVERY possible place for a make-shift darkroom has a skylight...). If the resources are there, it could be cheaper to go to school.

    And funner.

    My biggest problem is finding ANYONE at the UofA who actually can talk to me about this&#33; Which is very different for me since I went to a private university where they were very good about helping you decide on what program to enter.
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  8. #8
    Sean's Avatar
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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Robert Kennedy @ Sep 18 2002, 01:05 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>Some interesting advice here. Actually one reason I want to get into a program IS cost. In-state tuition is dirt cheap at the U of A. And considering my current situation, much cheaper than building my own darkroom which would require me to literally move house (I rent, and EVERY possible place for a make-shift darkroom has a skylight...). If the resources are there, it could be cheaper to go to school.

    And funner.

    My biggest problem is finding ANYONE at the UofA who actually can talk to me about this&#33; Which is very different for me since I went to a private university where they were very good about helping you decide on what program to enter.</td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
    You might try a staff listing on their website. Locate a few of the instructors and email them for advice. Worth a shot.

  9. #9

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    My biggest problem is finding ANYONE at the UofA who actually can talk to me about this

    If this is how you are being treated when being "recruited" how will you be treated when you are studying there? Lets face it, photography is not a high demand career and for them to be unavailable for consultation sounds careless to me. Maybe their phot program is that great that they can afford to treat prospective students like that, but I would not like to go there&#33;

  10. #10

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    I&#39;m glad you realise that a degree in fine arts - photography would be virtually useless on any practical level unless you want to teach. That may make your decision lots easier.

    Think about this; I recall the best thing about school being the other students and the occasional good teacher, or iow, _not working in a vacuum_. So I&#39;d suggest you carefully consider this angle, especially given that you could most likely learn the technical aspects of photography at a much higher level via books, practice, and perhaps a couple of workshops.

    Come to think of it, that&#39;s perhaps the main thing bothering me that led me to start another thread (enthusiasm). I&#39;m working in too much of a vacuum.

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