Formal Education?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by neea, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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    Hey all,

    Just wondering how many of you have had formal training in photography.

    For those who haven't, how did you learn? Did someone take you under their wing? Did you read books and teach yourself?

    Also, how long have you been taking pictures?

    I'll start.
    No formal training. Self taught through books, magazines, webpages, anything I can read from anywhere. And learning from you guys of course :hug::.
    Looking back I've been interested in photography for a very long time.
    I got my Canon Rebel for Christmas....4 years ago or so. Every year I get a little more serious about it.
     
  2. Efergoh

    Efergoh TPF Noob!

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    Formal.

    Was never really interested in photography until last year when I suggested to an exgirlfriend (who was not an ex at the time) that we take a photography class together, as she was into photography, but was at that point, self taught with no formal education.

    I fell in love with the fine art side of things, and stuck with it. I've learned a lot, and have a lot yet to learn. There is so much to it, I'm glad I took the classes rather than tried to teach myself. My ex is better off having taken the classes as well. She had only scratched the surface of what was possible before taking classes.
     
  3. GoM

    GoM TPF Noob!

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    So far, all me wandering and observing, no books or formal education yet.

    Going to be taking some courses at a local college though....I need the practice/experience/knowledge of everything besides 'street', as well as the theory behind it if I can manage that, etc
     
  4. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    I've been interested in it for a long time (15 years?). I bought my first camera (Canon S30) in 2002 and took photos wherever I could to practice. I got more serious August 2005 when I bought my Digital Rebel.

    I have no formal education in it, just practice and advice from folks. I plan on taking or auditing an undergrad or grad class in it in Fall '08 when I'm just doing thesis work so I can concentrate more on it than I could now.

    Astrophotography is a different story. Been interested in it about as long as every-day photography. I have had less practice, but more training in it, though that's because I was observing at Kitt Peak one night when one of the people who does the Hubble Heritage pictures was there and she spent 3 hours with me one night teaching me many of her tricks.
     
  5. Majik Imaje

    Majik Imaje TPF Noob!

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    :lol: that I became obsessed with learnng photography. Oct. 69. So you could say I have been at this for a while quite a while. I have no formal training, no classes, no one taught me, I have made every concievable mistake and then some. this is how I learned. I became quite good in this new field, nothing was going to stop me. I read everything I could get my hands on.

    I always worked huge construction projects as an electrican and make good paychecks which allowed me to purchase the best equipment.
    I move around too much and such I have built 16 color darkrooms, and I have learned a lot. More than most!

    I have taught at college, at schools, in Color Labs, I have taught pro's the finer point of color printing, and I have even taught Kodak! a thing or two.

    I have worked one on one with some of the most famous top artists in the world, only because of what I was able to achieve in the darkroom.

    Practice.. .. makes .. .. "better" I believe that. I live that! this is how I have learned so much about photography.

    I consider myself very advanced in this field even though I don't shoot with the passion that I used to. Last time I shot 100's of rolls was in 1990.

    I make a fantastik income from photos I shot in 1982. I had to melt snow to develop 60 rolls of color film.

    My sons are picking up where I left off. @ age 60 blind and disabled I seldom shoot film but I create new works of Art in 3D Studio Max, again, completly self taught in one tough program to try and learn by yourself.

    Practice practice practice.. learn from your mistakes and learn from your achievements. I have been published in many different books, magazines, newpapers, and my photos are sold in over 50 countries around the world.

    I became very successful in photography only because I HAD TO LEARN this! and learn it well. I was OBSESSED and I had to read, sleep, eat, and dream.. .. "photography"! -=click=- ! the exicetment of taking the photos was not near as exciting as printing them in color.

    My photos have won many awards in Boston and in Alaska! I spend a lot of time on this site and I am willing and able to help anyone learn and help them understand tough things that are essential to learn.

    I do things different from most photographers.. for one.. I don't believe in using a light meter at all. And I have taught all my students.. throw it away.! LEARN HOW to read that light. it is easy to do.. it just takes practice and a few rolls of film !

    give me a shout or e-mail me anytime.. use KODAK for a subject line as I get too much junk mail! -=click=- !

    [​IMG]
     
  6. brighteyesphotos

    brighteyesphotos TPF Noob!

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    Combination.

    I'm the ex Efergoh mentioned. I had taken one of those distance learning classes on photography. It only covered the basics and no hands-on. Other than that, it was through my own passion, reading, practice, etc that I learned. After that first class, I realized that there was more to learn and a formal education would teach me more in a shorter time than self-teaching would. I am glad he suggested taking a class together. I am learning what I am good at and what I can improve on. Portraits and weddings are still my passion but I am finding other ways and mediums to express myself. I am still self-taught as well. I split my time between my classes for my business management degree and classes for my photography degree.

    Both ways work. A formal education may get your foot in the door for certain things. Experience will take you further than self-taught would.
     
  7. Peacemaker636

    Peacemaker636 TPF Noob!

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    I had this one summer school class that I took, and it wasn't very formal. Other than that, I'm completely self taught, no other classes, and I've never spent a cent for information (ie, a book). Just the internet, and my mistakes!
     
  8. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Degree in Photography, and a Post-Graduate, several professional qualifications from various bodies, 20 years as an Editorial/Advertising photographer working with (or at least getting drunk with) most of the top photographers of the day, over 15 years as a teacher writing College courses and am rumoured to be working on a PhD in Photography.
    I learned more about the practicalities of photography working with some good photographers than I did at College, but the formal qualifications meant I understood the why of things - which is important.
    Formal or informal, how you learn about photography is relatively unimportant. What matters is the person doing the learning.
    You get just as many bad photographers with formal educational backgrounds as you do bad self-taught photographers. The difference is that the crap ones with a qualification have no excuse :lol:
     
  9. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    I don't have any formal training in photography. My stepfather had an interest in photography, and owned a number of cameras and a lot of books. I was interested in science, and photography was very interesting to me because of the principles most of those books explained. The art of it didn't get to me til later.

    It was something I'd always wanted to get involved in, but it wasn't til just a bit over three years ago that I finally bought an SLR camera and started taking pictures. I started with a Canon Rebel GII with the kit zoom lens (bought at Wal Mart), trying to take pictures at a concert the same night I bought the camera. Needless to say, I achieved less than stellar results, particularly considering that I neglected to buy a tripod.

    After that, I started reading everything I could, online and off, and I developed a particular interest in black and white imagery and darkroom work. At the time, I couldn't set up a darkroom, but I got around to that eventually, and that marked the point where I started to produce photographs I really liked--part of which has to do with the fact that I was printing mostly in 8X10, and larger photographs always seem to look better. Somewhere along the line, I learned to analyze photographs and determine what made them work, which was immeasurably helpful with improving my own images. I also started playing around with pinhole cameras, and that led to my interest in paper negative techniques, something I want to experiment with more, but simply haven't had the time to persue.

    I still read online, and I've started building a photographic library, mostly books on practice rather than examples of others' work. The phrase "I read them for the articles" comes to mind :D. It would be nice to take some photography classes, but I'm not able to do that at present due to my job, but I'm planning on getting back into taking pictures more. It's something I enjoy, and I learn something new every time, which I enjoy even more.
     
  10. Orgnoi1

    Orgnoi1 TPF Noob!

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    Both... formal training in B&W Film back in high school... and since then just having a love for the unknown has kept me learning... and learning.... and learning...
     
  11. Majik Imaje

    Majik Imaje TPF Noob!

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    your have such an impecable resume, I truely stand in awe.. of your EDUCATION.. and your accomplishments..very very impressive.

    STANDING, CLAPPING, BOWING IN AWE! I am 100% serious. !

    you have to be with out a doubt the MOST impressive indivudual I have ever met. for sure! Photographicly speaking that is.

    WowoW !! I am totally speechless.! whew!! very very impressive to say the least or the MOST! WOW!

    I am no body, nothing, I have said that many times on this site.

    but everything I have written is the truth, now I know why you wouldn't answer the question of what color the darkrooms were in the college!

    It sure must upset you.. to see a no body like me NO ONE! Make so much money at this field. doing things so tottaly different than from what you were taught and learned.

    I never in my wildest dreams, 37 years ago.. ever thought I would become FILTHY rich.. just by taking some photographs! and then liviing off those same images for over twenty years and the sales are getting bigger and bigger every year! How ironic! I retired over 8 years ago! that was always my goal in photography.. to get OUT OF THE TRADE as an electrican!! I DID SUCCEED.. in what I set out to do! 100%!

    I retired with a handsome pension from the Union & huge sales from my images in 1998, one day.. before my 5Oth birthday.!

    and your still working eh ? tisk tisk! well maybe some day! keep at it!

    I REALLY AM ASTOUNDED AND AMAZED @ your credentials!!

    No wonder you get so mad at me at times.!! wow! AND FOR what it is worth.. (nothing) I have NEVER.. been "drunk" ! not even ONCE!:mrgreen:
     
  12. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No formal training for me. My dad explained to me the controls on his Spotmatic F and I learnt by taking pictures and by reading various books and magazines. Two years ago I took an evening class in B&W printing. I did not learn much that I did not already know from reading books or the internet, but I had access to a dark room and enlarger. I really liked the experience and then decided to buy my own enlarger.
     

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