Yes but one can learn from looking at the works of more current artists/photographers than the earliest ones, or the ones us old guys learnt from. If you are studying a science you learn the science and not as much the history of that discipline. You learn where it is at currently much more than where it was 80 or 100 years ago. I can tell you very little of the early geographers compared to the ones working from after WWII for example. I found the members of my photography club not aware of even Henry Fox Talbot however they do spend a lot of time looking at photographs and other art that is much more contemporary so saying that because they do not know the pionners or the giants they are working in a vacuum is incorrect. They might be influenced by someone who was influenced by someone who studied the masters but they are not working in total ignorance. I started a monthly "Know the Masters" segment in the club. History is important and interesting however it is not vital to being a photographer. That is the point I think, does everyone have to know the entire history of photography to be a good photographer? I think not.
Originally Posted by horacekenneth
The comments made by many are 'they cannot be great if they do not know Adams et al' however how many of us who do know them are great? I have to admit that I was not taught photo history when I was taught photography and my friend who is on APUG is always informing me of photographers I should have know about but that does not make his images greater than mine, if they are (and Ted I said IF) it is more due to him working his craft and vision more than I do. The young and the new comers are learning from the new or more contempary artists and fifty years from now those contempory artists are going to be the masters and the young will be learning from the contemporary leaders.