There are community darkrooms that offer classes as well. I know of the Dallas Darkroom, because the founder of Denver Darkroom helped them with starting their darkroom. They can be found at http://dallasdarkroom.com/index.htm.
If you are thinking of just taking a class next semester, I would recommend working on shooting. If you can scan photos, you can post them here for comment. (You will have to subscribe to do that, but at $12 per year it is extremely affordable.) Also, just shooting and reading about composition will make a real difference when you start to do your classes. I teach introductory photo classes and find that just having taken a bunch of rolls of film before the class starts puts the student at a huge advantage when taking the class. The darkroom stuff will come easily and a class is a great place to learn it, since you have that option.
Compared to most of the members here at APUG, I am a relative newcomer to photography. I've been developing and printing myself for only about two years, but before I got into that aspect of it, I shot a lot of film. I didn't really have any knowledge of composition rules or depth of field or anything like that, but when I took my first introductory class at a local community college everything came together for me. I also volunteered to be a darkroom lab assistant so that I could spend more time in the darkroom. I spent more than twice as much time in the darkroom as most of my other classmates and it showed in my prints so that just goes to show that the more you put into it, the better you will become.
I only found APUG about 1-2 months ago. Since that time I have learned so much by reading old threads. At first I had no intention whatsoever of subscribing, but after a week or so I saw how valuable this site really is to me, the knowledge I've gained is worth far more than the $12/year. I, too, didn't understand a lot of what was being discussed for a while (never heard of AZO before) and there are still some things I'm not familiar with, but I am still learning.
Well, I didn't realize I was going to be so long winded.
Searching my way to perplexion
I'm a burgeoning grad student at UNT, though not in the arts.
Originally Posted by mjames
Are you an art student? If not then I would pass on the photo class as they will require you take drawing 1 & 2 and design 1 & 2 before taking B&W Photography. I don't mind helping out if you have any questions. Also, you are looking at close to $400 for the class BEFORE buying any supplies so unless you are an art major where you will get credit towards your degree (other than just an elective) I highly suggest passing on the class as that would buy A LOT of film. If you are an arts major and will get credit towards graduating then go for it!
Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!
TAKE THE CLASS! When I played golf, there were so many players who, when they read some cockeyed golfing magazine article, rushed out and purchased the latest equipment or tried the latest fad swing. I bet they spent ten times more than a group of lessons would have cost. If you put your money on education, you will keep the benefit forever. And you will meet the nicest people and make new contacts.
I love the smell of fixer in the morning. It smells like...creativity!
Truly, dr bob.
I would agree with gnashings (I almost always do) Buy an old, but decent SLR like a Pentax K1000 or an old rangefinder, in both cases with a good 50mm lens, get the manual off the web, buy it some film, point it at stuff and press the button (a lot) and see what happens. Read books and magazines by all means for technical advise and to see what other people do. Maybe join a camera club and you should find yourself in a position to get more out of you class when you do get to do it.
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I've been taking photographs for a long time. I sometimes take a good photograph (emphasis on take & sometimes) and never took a class. Lately I've been reading as much as I can.
I'm realizing that along the way I learned some less than desirable traits (relying to heavily on my camera's programming) and also didn't learn other more desirable ones (bracketing). These have, many times, seemed to keep me disappointed when many of my photos come back from the lab. The learning/relearning process has been a slow one. This has brought me to the conclusion that I need to take a class so that I can start from A, move on to B and so on, following a set progression. I'm hoping that it will get me away from plodding along aimlessly and get me on a course to actually making good photographs.
Does this bit of rambling make any sense?...Take the course...
This is almost entirely off topic, but this post made me think of an experience I had recently. I went to an autowreckers to pick up a part (my other disease - cars...). Upon entering the yard, I saw a Subaru WRX (for those of you not into cars, a very fast rally car for the road) and young guy (maybe 18-19) looking at it solemnly. I found out that he was the owner fo the car, and have no idea how he came out of it alive - its was a pretzel! I could see the size of the pole he hit by the way the car was wrapped around where the pole embedded itselfin it. It was a total write off...
Originally Posted by dr bob
Then I looked at the car - between wheels and tires and drilled brakes and carbon fiber parts and air intakes and exhausts - this car had probably 50% of its original price hanging off of it in modifications.
Here is the point: a few track days with a good instructor would not have cost 1/10th of all that kit - and I am willing to bet, would do a better job keeping the car out of the scenery...
No amount of equipment can outweigh good know-how and the benefit of the experience of others.
I am officially the "APUG King of 'Longwindedness'"