Just the words "Conceptual Photography" makes me want to vomit.

It was back in the late '70 when I finished my first University degree, a multi major one. Graphic Design, Photography, Printing and Publishing. I applied and was accepted to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA which was the best Art school in the World at the time. I had two degrees when I went there and was a combat veteran of the Vietnam war. What I experienced was "Conceptual Photography". Don't buy any equipment until you have a specific use for it. Don't buy any film until you know what you will shoot with it. Don't go out and shoot until you have a complete idea of what you will be imaging. Don't print until the negative has been inspected and checked off by a lab assistant. Don't wash the print until it has been checked off. Don't just take your print out of the wash, you must take all of the ones there at the same time, you name it you claim it. If someone beats you to it and your print is damaged, too bad start over and next time be there to take the print out first. Don't mount it until the print is approved to be mounted. Take it to class, on time or it's trash. The instructor then flips the board to see if the print pops off. If it does, your screwed. If it doesn't you may get a chance to be graded. This is not a joke either. Check the tuition and take a visit and you will see.

Then I when to Brooks Institute of Photography, what a fresh breath of air. It was great to be in the darkroom making a few mistakes and having some fun trying new things. Going out and just shooting without restraints. One assignment was to take an assigned block in town and go there and photograph what happened in a week. Then make a series of those images.

You have to have a great deal of Art History, History, Photo History, Real life - go to the galleries and see real photographs, along with travel and human interaction. This creates the drive to learn darkroom techniques.

My experience and my opinions.