selt taught vs educated phtographers
  • vlt87kal
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    selt taught vs educated phtographers

    by vlt87kal » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:32 pm

    just wondering what your thoughts r on both of these subjects..... i personally am self taught as i work ALOT when im not working im out n about with my gf but brought a camera one day now glued to here and youtube trying to find better easier ways to do shots and so on......... i personally think self taught is better as the photos are my genuine and have personality, styles........ your thoughtts?
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    by magnum » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:46 pm

    I'm in the same boat but now seriously trying to develop skills and learn technique. Great to have mentors and/or be a member of a camera club to learn form others. Anyway to shorten the learning curve is OK in my books, so I reckon that doing a course or two (if you have the time) wouldn't hurt either. So I guess I don't see it as a black and (or) white issue.

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    by remotebandit » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:54 pm

    This is such a great topic .

    I'm not taught either way yet though :p

    I for one really love playing with the camera , its a passion , sometimes I even het 1 good shot out of 100 lol

    I do believe a decent course you could not compare to self taught , its one thing to play with setting but to be in a class and learning how and why things do what they do is the key .

    Although so goes the other way , you can do as much schooling as you like but if your not a creative person its all useless

    I personally would never want to take it on as a business but would still love to do the schooling
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    by Dalzine » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:05 pm

    It doesn't matter how you get from point A to point B, just so long as you get there.

    Some people learn better in a structured teaching environment, others prefer a more informal method. But no one way is inherently better than the other and I certainly don't think that self taught makes the result more genuine.

    Learning by watching videos or reading websites or books still causes the photographer to "mimic" what others have done before them, the real test is to be able to take all that knowledge and build on it, to form your own style and to be as good as you can be.

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    by trac44 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:27 pm

    One great way to learn is to work with, or under the direction of, professional photographers.
    I'm fortunate enough to be in that position occasionally, but in a very limited field of photography.
    I learn something every time I'm out with them, simply through observation and the occasional question.

    Other than that, I concur with Dale.
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    by mowog » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:35 pm

    It is an interesting topic...

    None of us would let a self taught Doctor do surgery on us would we? I know that is an extreme example but formal education in any field is important.

    I am a keen amateur photographer I have been doing it now for over 30 years. I do photography because I enjoy it... Would I enjoy it as much if its work? I don't think I would.

    The occasional sale of my web site is good for the ego.
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    by magnum » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:01 pm

    mowog wrote:It is an interesting topic...

    None of us would let a self taught Doctor do surgery on us would we? I know that is an extreme example but formal education in any field is important.

    I am a keen amateur photographer I have been doing it now for over 30 years. I do photography because I enjoy it... Would I enjoy it as much if its work? I don't think I would.

    The occasional sale of my web site is good for the ego.


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    by W G » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:29 pm

    I suspect that it is drawing a pretty long bow to compare photography, a mimetic art, with surgery.

    Most of the great photographs you have admired from the history of photography were probably taken by what you seem to term as 'self-taught' photographers.

    Essentially, I am a self-taught photographer and yet I have worked at the pinnacle of the my chosen discipline both here and in the UK. I have also frequently lectured at Technical Colleges and Universities on the subject of photography.

    Understand that I am not opposed to education, in fact I applaud it, but the reality is that formal education in the real world is not a pre-requisite.

    On the subject of photographic education, just what style of education would you prescribe? A Technical College course concerning itself with the processes of the medium, or an Art School course which largely ignores the technicalities and dedicates itself to the aesthetics and powers of the content itself.

    Both are available in abundance but seldom are they merged into a single facility.

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    by Dug » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:30 pm

    The first question I would ask is the definition of self taught and educated ?

    I was very well educated in the basic theories of photography chemistry physics optics that was the basis I built a career on.

    I then went on from there to develop my own personal style and way of communicating with photos, this I am still learning every day.



    When you say
    i personally am self taught as i work ALOT when im not working im out n about with my gf but brought a camera one day now glued to here and youtube trying to find better easier ways to do shots and so on
    You admit you are not "Self taught" but that you are learning from others the same as taking advice and looking at photos here.

    I don;t think any of us are entirely "Self taught"
    And I think we all teach ourselves our own style.

    I find it enormously helpful to have a sound background knowledge of photography, while this is now probably less important in a digital age I still like being able to refer back if I do need to.

    I think it was Sir Isaac Newton who said "If I have seen further than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants"

    A good basis in anything helps you to move forward and see further sooner ( IMHO anyway )
    "Photography to the amateur is recreation, to the professional it is work, and hard work too, no matter how pleasurable it may be."

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    by vlt87kal » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:45 am

    by self taught i meen not going into classes or studying it. but good response,
    just a question but how many classes, courses have u all taken?? just out of curiosity??
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    by mowog » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:30 am

    I think there are a few layers to this question.

    If you are starting out today (and by that I mean recent times) then some form of formal education to get into any industry is a must have.

    For those who have been around for a while and have a profile in this industry then life time of experience is of great value and much more so than a few years of study.

    I failed high school I have no formal education however I work in a field now where a degree is considered a key selection criteria. I continue to get work because of my real world experience.
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    by LOZ » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:46 am

    I have seen the works of some people that have spent 4 years at Uni and 4 more studying photography and made a career from it. Also seen some one pick up a camera had a play for a week end and her end results were far more pleasing than the pro. Even the pros asked where she studied
    What Im saying is no matter how technical one is I doubt you can teach or learn the artistic side of photography the same apply s for oil/watercolour painting. One can easily pick a paint the dots painting against a artist painting



    Just go out with one simple prime lens and keep shooting till YOUR happy as you will never please everyone.
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    by Dug » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:30 pm

    vlt87kal wrote:by self taught i meen not going into classes or studying it. but good response,
    just a question but how many classes, courses have u all taken?? just out of curiosity??


    A few

    I left school in 1972 and started working for Kodak that allowed me to study Photography at the Qld College of Art.

    I left that in 1974 to join the RAAF as a photographer. 6 months intensive full time course that was considered the equivalent of the 3 year full time degree course at RMIT.

    After that 7 years full time photography with the RAAF where I really learned my trade.

    Then worked as the photographer / photographic unit for a university till 1999. Lots of good practice and many workshops and conferences.

    Since then coming to grips with digital workshops and occasional conferences.
    "Photography to the amateur is recreation, to the professional it is work, and hard work too, no matter how pleasurable it may be."

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    by Dug » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:40 pm

    LOZ wrote:I have seen the works of some people that have spent 4 years at Uni and 4 more studying photography and made a career from it. Also seen some one pick up a camera had a play for a week end and her end results were far more pleasing than the pro. Even the pros asked where she studied
    What Im saying is no matter how technical one is I doubt you can teach or learn the artistic side of photography the same apply s for oil/watercolour painting. One can easily pick a paint the dots painting against a artist painting

    Just go out with one simple prime lens and keep shooting till YOUR happy as you will never please everyone.



    The thing about being a trained professional is not necessarily about taking the best photos.


    It is about going out and retuning with good usable photos from every assignment under any given conditions. It is about coming up with good usable images regardless of the subject matter or the location.

    Many good amateurs can produce stunning photos of what they want when they want to. They have the luxury of being able to choose subject matter and times.

    So many times profesionals do not have those luxuries, they are working to a deadline and need to deliver on time every time.

    ( digital has made this much easier as you can review your work in the field but I can assure you the pressure is really on when you have a 2 or 3 days to complete a remote location shoot and deliver 300+ rolls of film that are all usable and what the client requires with no second chances. )
    "Photography to the amateur is recreation, to the professional it is work, and hard work too, no matter how pleasurable it may be."

    Edward Weston

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    by ozjeeper » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:15 pm

    WG wrote.....
    "Understand that I am not opposed to education, in fact I applaud it, but the reality is that formal education in the real world is not a pre-requisite."

    Sorry Old Son but the reality is in the real world here and now is quite different. Reading what Dug has just put up enforces that requisite.
    To stand at the roadside and direct traffic to stop or slow down now requires a competency certificate. You cannot self teach this competency - you have to go to school and prove you understand this skill. Extrapolating this idea to photos is drawing a long bow, but it's still is a skill. If this is a "teachable" skill is part of the equation.
    Now I need to introduce your idea of "art and photos" and try to envisage the link between the two. I struggle with this. This is my downfall. Technical v Art. Education cannot deliver this. Maybe the blended delivery of YouTube tutorials and field work can have the desired effect. If you don't have "the eye" - then you have to train for it. This makes the "art" side difficult.

    End of post...... :oops:
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