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  1. #41

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    Dear Claire,

    We're into opinions here and I hesitate to argue too much. My own view is that a little initial 'dumbing down' is no bad thing. After all, we do not expect small children to read Proust or to solve quadratic equations: other things come before this.

    You are quite right that the persevering child will persevere and the inattentive child will drift away. I am talking about the middle ground, the waverers, and I stand by my view.

    I do not know your age, but even when I was teaching in schools some 25 years ago there was more pressure for distraction that in my own schooldays, and from what I see things have gone further down the same road; last week we had as a house guest a photography teacher working with 16- to 19-year-olds, and he said nothing that led me to change this suspicion.

    My view is 'catch the waverer'. Yours, to be harsh, could be characterized as 'scare off all but the dedicated'. This is where we differ.

    Cheers,

    Roger

  2. #42

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    I would not wish to scare off anyone from any worthy activity. I would wish to concentrate on those who want to learn. Obviously, one should start from what is most important. Rational people can have widely diverging views on what is most important. For me personally where the tripod is placed would be high on my list..unless not using a tripod would improve the photo.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  3. #43

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    I have been tjinking quite a bit about this topic today. My responses started off trying to answer a question about a young lad who has already shown a serious interest in exploring photography...at least such was my impression.

    To teach photography one would, I believe, need to determine what the student hopes to learn. One could find that out fairly easily by showing them some originals and good samples of various levels of types of photographic work. I believe that one of the most rewarding involvements would be to show those who are interested in how to capture the memories in their lives..children growing, weddings, graduations, vacations, friends and pets for for example. This I believe can be taught and learned in in fairly simple fool proof manner with minimal time and capital investment. But what is the main criteria for doing this? In my mind it is a person that sees value in taking the time and effort to teach or learn these things.. I beleive that a large majority of people will find this meaningful during their life. I also believe it can be done with very satisfactory result with a point and shoot and dx loading film...say 400 speed color negative film.. or its digital equivalent. It could be demosnstrated very simply that a zoom lens may be helpful. These photographs, would with the passage of time, become among the person's most treasured possessions. They would not need to learn a lot. Practice though would be very helpful to them.

    Milt Freeman, the economist, often stated "there is no free lunch". So is someone hungry and will they work for food?
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  4. #44
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    I think that any photographic tools are a gateway to harder drugs, if the monkey bites. I have "helped" more than one person fall from casual digital snapshooter, to LF freak, with full blown G.A.S. and APUGADD.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner
    I think that any photographic tools are a gateway to harder drugs, if the monkey bites. I have "helped" more than one person fall from casual digital snapshooter, to LF freak, with full blown G.A.S. and APUGADD.
    Could you help me do that?
    Marko Kovacevic
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  6. #46

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    Dear Claire,

    Ah, well, there is a fundamental difference between us. I am an unreconstructed Keynesian, which means that I tend to hold up cloves of garlic, crosses, etc., when confronted with Friedmannites (one 'n' or two in this form?).

    A young beginner does not necessarily know what he wants to learn; indeed, many of us of riper years are still not entirely sure. Hence the two grades in the Peter Pan club, open to all those who do not know what they want to do when they grow up. Senior membership is open only to those under 21; junior membership is for those over 21.

    It seems fairly clear to me that a 10-year-old still life photographer is not primarily interested in glorified family snapshots: sorry to be harsh, but unless I misread your second post, this seems to me to be what you are talking about. I freely accept that I may well have misread it: it's around 22:00 here in France, and magret de canard with new potatoes and courgettes with garlic and onion, accompanied by a sparkling Saumur, followed with a cheese course with a red Saumur, and a brandy afterwards, will not exactly sharpen the wits.

    I repeat: I try to bring in the waverer. I see no need to ignore them in favour of "those who want to learn", except to give the latter all the help I can (and they will ask). I have enough help left over, I hope, for those who are not sure what (or if) they want to learn.

    Cheers,

    Roger

  7. #47
    DBP
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    With regard to the discussion between Roger and Claire. I worry that current methods of child raising, at least as I see it in the US, tend to make children overreliant on outside sources for answers. As a child, and I am about a generation younger, I made some of my own toys and was left to my own devices much of the time. As an adult, I am comfortable attacking a new problem with a couple of books and some tools. I worry that a child raised on organized sports and games will lack the ability to improvise. I've seen some signs of this in people I have trained in my field who are ten or more years younger. This concern carries over into my approach to showing people photography (and other things). I believe that there is value and beauty to learning how things fit together that carries over into generating a greater sense of accomplishment and reward in the long run. We may miss some potential photographers that way. But I doubt that they would have been more than snapshooters in the end.

    As a sailor, I have seen more than one child turn away from sailing because it was too slow and too hard. And I know of no way to make it easier.

  8. #48
    DBP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
    it's around 22:00 here in France, and magret de canard with new potatoes and courgettes with garlic and onion, accompanied by a sparkling Saumur, followed with a cheese course with a red Saumur, and a brandy afterwards, will not exactly sharpen the wits
    Wow, is that home cooking? How do you feel about guests?

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by DBP

    As a sailor, I have seen more than one child turn away from sailing because it was too slow and too hard. And I know of no way to make it easier.
    Ah, but with photography, we CAN!

    As for sailing, my father sold his last yacht in his mid-to-late 70s, without ever persuading me that there was any fun in it. He's 79 on the 12th of June.

    Yup, that's home cooking. Next time you're in France give us a call (admittedly we're 200 miles south-south-west of Paris -- about one second into the western hemisphere, south of Loudun).

    As well as photography, Frances and I have done four cookbooks...

    Cheers,

    Roger

  10. #50
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    All of you are forgetting to also teach him to develop! suggestions: tri-x and d76 ilford multigrade papers.
    Marko Kovacevic
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