Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
You've got to know the rules and conventions before you can break them successfully - otherwise you're just floundering around.
Yeah, but in the case of photography I think those rules and conventions have more to do with composition, line and light, and the like, as opposed to technique per se. The fine-art photography tradition certainly isn't the only place to get those things---the same principles apply in painting, of course, but also in photography that's well outside the fine-art mainstream. I think Weegee, for instance, is likely better known among the photo-student demographic than his Place In History(TM) might suggest, and you can learn a whole lot about composition from his work even though it clearly was never born for the gallery wall.

Sure, students of anything are going to need to learn about their predecessors, but I'm pretty sure it's true in all times and all fields that they (1) think their instructors are hidebound fuddy-duddies for their obsession with the past, and (2) gradually grow into hidebound fuddy-duddies of their own in the natural course of events.

If students raised in the online-social-media dialectic are less responsive than their predecessors to the f/64-fine-art stream of history, maybe that doesn't represent philistinism so much as a movement that has run its course and been assimilated into the Establishment...and who ever approached their education by saying "I want to grow up and be part of the Establishment!"?