Photography Classes

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Kileki, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. Kileki

    Kileki TPF Noob!

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    So I've been in photography for a couple of months and I've been reading nonstop, looking for any site that has any information, and I have learned A LOT. So my friend recently asked me if I wanted to go to a photography class, and I know that the class has a lot to offer but I checked online and the class was around $90 at the community college. Is it really worth it, or is it better/more fun to learn on your own? And it really is only a concern because money is tight in the household as my dad is now unemployed and there isnt money to be given out. But if I really want to I can find the money, so...is it worth it, in my situation?
     
  2. dwol

    dwol TPF Noob!

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    Depends, you will probably learn more if someone is teaching you, however it is probably more fun going out on your own and taking photos, though it might take you longer to figure out certain things. I'm going to do a photography course next year to improve my knowledge of photography. If your short on cash, go to the library and hire out books and learn that way.
     
  3. Kileki

    Kileki TPF Noob!

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    wow, I didnt even think about the library lol. Totally passed my mind. I was trying to figure out how to pay for some of the books I wanted to buy. Thanks for the advice man. :)
     
  4. dwol

    dwol TPF Noob!

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    hehe, your welcome, happy to help :)
     
  5. bwlergh

    bwlergh TPF Noob!

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    Do a course, if your teacher is great, you will always learn something new.

    I personally think that books in themselves are insufficient and lack depth that you'd get from one on one interaction with a teacher in a practical subject.

    If they are charging you $90 per class, they better be fantastic. I paid $350 for a 12 week course.
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree - one can learn a lot from books, but photography it an art and thus a big part is taking the theory into practice in the field. Teaching can provide a good ground starting point as well for many areas and that is important as its very easy to end up with a lot of understanding of methods but not the best understanding of when or how to use and combine those methods.

    Further self teaching will generaly limit your skills and reading to key areas of your interest, whilst a school environement will force you to shoot in other situations and with different subjects. This will give you a wider range of skills and understandings.

    If you have the option I say go for it - your know the basic lines already so teaching can build opon them.
     
  7. Craddie

    Craddie TPF Noob!

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  8. LarissaPhotography

    LarissaPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Eventually you can also continue your training at photo conventions like ones held by the PPA. They have small lessons crammed into a short amount of time, but it's really great information.
     
  9. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    If the instructor/photographer is really good and isn't full of him/herself then you can gain quite a lot from a photography course. Critiques of your pictures done by a knowledgeable photographer is priceless...sometimes the critique can be quite harsh/honest but as a beginner you need to just shake it off and really pay attention to what is being said. It's not a personal attack against you, it's a honest assessment of your picture and you'll benefit if you take their comments and suggestions to heart. And with someone to guide you your shooting skills will improve much faster than if you tried to learn on your own.
    If the cost of tuition isn't going to break the bank, I'd say it is definitely worth it...as long as the instructor/photographer is a good one and isn't a jerk.

    I had a chance to take a one day workshop that had 2 instructors/photographers and I'm really glad I took it. They tried to cram a little too much into the workshop (their first one and they knew the format wasn't quite working) but both were very knowledgeable and extremely helpful and fun. Their critiques were very honest and to the point...must of us hobbyists were stung by their first round of critiques but it did open our eyes to the fact that we weren't as good as we thought we were and that we could really push our shooting skills much more and shoot some really great photos in time. What I enjoyed most was seeing their photos and how they went about setting the shots up. As professional free lance photographers they really do think differently from your average hobby shooter. I plan to take their followup workshop once a date can be set.
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Something that Samanax just said remined me of something - epecially today we only see the final works of people and often only on the internet and we rarely see the 100% image as it comes of the camera - in other words we don't see the negatives that often with digital.
    In a school (or even local clubs or workshops) you get a chance to see what the real out of camera results of others are. This is very important as it starts to give you real world ideas of how a camera and kit can perform when in the right hands and what to expect. Editing photos for the internet one is often only seeing a photo at 1/3rd the size it was on camera and that combined with good editing can really change the end look of a photo.
     
  11. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Check websites like flickr.com / meetup.com / strobist.com and craigslist to see if there are any photography meetup groups in your area. You will be able to shoot, learn and socialize with like minded people. There may be a small fee for each meetup.
     
  12. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    it is important that i first make it known i teach photography. Photography of all shorts, from digital to traditional darkroom and alternative processes; so of course i have a strong interest in recommending a class.

    One thing that hasn't been mentioned is also being with a group of like minded people , with a stucture that hopefully is meant to advance the skills of the group not stroke the ego of the instuctor, can be a very powerful experience.
    Students learn from each other, get new and fresh ideas from the whole class not just the teacher.

    Weekly reviews of everyone's work can be just as helpful as hearing about one's own work.

    Self assigning is very hard and i have found when people pay to take a class they tend to show up prepared.

    Also, having someone to answer specific questions face to face can speed up the learning process.

    Perhaps it would be helpful to get some information about the instructor, their background, feedback from previous students, etc. Unfortunately, there are some people teaching that shouldn't be and it isn't always easy to determine that before taking a course. However, if the previous students have given postive feedback about their experiences and feel that the sessions have really helped them then that could be a guide line for deciding about taking a particular class.

    good luck, keep shooting, reading and asking questions.

    have fun.
     

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