Quote Originally Posted by blansky
To use an anology.
If you don't speak English, you couldn't be Shakespeare. You must first learn the language, the rules of the language, the nuances of the language then you can begin to speak it. You may only progress to be able to say a limerick or two or you may go all the way to being Shakespeare.
I understand your reasoning here ... I would suggest that *very* few learn English, or any other language in their formative years by first learning the "rules", the nuances, the shades of meaning. I do not think that the one or two year old - has in fact, any concept of structure. I've found, In studying other languages, that it is much easier to learn a phrase, as a whole, than to struggle with rules and syntax. True, the study and understanding of the "way it all hangs together" CAN be helpful... but I am forced to wonder if Shakespeare really did have a microscopically clear understanding of English or if he was more focused on the CONTENT -- (everyone may cringe... but add "emotion"). As an aside ... English itself was a relatively "new" language in Shakespeare's time ... and not that far from the first written examples.

I'll try to clarify ... an abbreviated "Lesson Plan" (mine):

1. Take your cameras and DO something with them. What ... is up to you.

2. We will now process the film, and see whether or not you got what you wanted.

3. We will now evaluate the results .. which images did you want that did not "turn out right" ... why they did not... and what we can do to fix them (the last is most important and has the most emphasis).

The first consideration here is the VISION. I do not try to influence the "WHAT to take... ever. My goal is to support and NURTURE each individual vision. That aesthetic sense will change at its own speed and level of refinement. The student will look at things differently ... without any conscious help from me. Their vision is to me, sacred and untouchable.

The technical matters "follow". Suprisingly, the most common error I've found is that the students usually do not set the ISO film speed correctly on their cameras... so there are exposure considerations, grade of paper selection or dichroic filter settings in enlarging ...

That is what I mean by "primary" and "secondary" areas of interest.

Others will argue that there is a "better" way, that first one should (or "must") learn the "mechanics" of the equipment and processes ... only then will they be able to be effective as photographers. Many have learned just that way ... But I would suggest that, as in studying language, it takes far more time and is less efficient -- the instances of successes along the way are far fewer - and it is a lot "tougher on the bodies and minds" of the students.