It's war in the classroom these days. The kids take their notes on laptops and kindles; they want to bluetooth their homeworks to my blackberry; they already have their own photogalleries online on their own sites in a flash gallery that they coded themselves last night.... that is the modern learning context.
Now, this modern context obviously gives us the opportunity to show the students something really unique: the value of meticulous manual work and hand craft. Nobody on an analogue site would dispute the value of that.
But at the same time: ultimately we train students to survive and (we hope) compete out in the real world, and I guarantee that they will be *screwed* if they aren't conversant in all of the techniques that are available.
So then the question is at what point they will go beyond the manual approach that we all value. Obviously that choice depends very much on the instructor and the pool of students. Like most instructors here (I assume), I teach smallish classes of students with abilities scattered all over the place, from advanced to way behind the curve, from intensely focused to AD/HD... you name it. Hence my really nonclassical choice, the F100 that provides fully manual as well as fully automated options: it allows you to do both and explore the relative strengths and limitations. And it is very easy to go back and forth and say, look, here is a scene where you really get fooled by automation... but then there is another scene where automation really gives you an advantage.
The really nice thing about the F100 is that it offers virtually *all* of the automation and gadgetry of any DSLR out there (which many students already have)... at a really low cost (used) and at the same time it can be treated like any fully manual camera... just that it has batteries, okay, that is a philosophical issue with some instructors
That comparison/contrast between manual and automated is what I think students really need to learn these days.
True, that last sentence...but as to the other one, I would argue that the cases in which automated exposure truly makes for the more technically sound shot are the tiniest sliver of cases. IMO, the presence of auto modes is really only good as a teaching tool for teaching why photographers should generally avoid auto modes for best results. In my experience, auto modes screw you more than they help you, unless you approach them with a manual mindset, using them only to fix a desired shutter speed or aperture in place, and then using EC to retake what is in essence full manual control. The important thing to teach is that auto modes do not really make things any better unless 1) you approach them with a manual mindset, and simply use them as a very slight convenience, or 2) absolute speed is of the essence or you will simply miss the timing of the shot. In that case, an automated-exposure shot at the right time is certainly better than a perfectly exposed shot made at the wrong time.
Originally Posted by keithwms
Last edited by 2F/2F; 07-24-2009 at 09:34 AM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
Yes maybe, but I think the student really needs to learn the value of all options, and get some training in critical thinking so that he/she knows when to use one or the other and whether one approach is limiting a creative vision. (The big surprise to many students is that automation can itself be limiting... but they wouldn't see that at all if they couldn't conveniently compare manual to automated, side by side, in parallel)
As educators our #1 mission, I think, is to remove as many limitations to learning as we can and to give the student the broadest possible range of possibilities. Students will leave the class and joyfully carry on learning... if we did our job right. At least, that is the mantra of the liberal arts college instructor, as I see it.
Last edited by keithwms; 07-24-2009 at 09:47 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I think every kid should learn to drive a manual car. This is the same with photography. If they sign up for a class to teach photography, they should learn to use the tools.
This comes down to what has been a constant tug-of-war in "traditional education" for at least several decades. That is the question of whether a student should be receiving an education or job training.
Originally Posted by Mike1234
There is nothing wrong with either one of those. But neither is a good substitute for the other.
I lean toward education, but them I'm a grumpy old man.
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