Stinkin advisement

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Nikon Fan, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. Nikon Fan

    Nikon Fan TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    Messages:
    3,524
    Likes Received:
    49
    Just a little venting here, and also a few questions to ponder. Sorry it's long I'm pretty ticked off right now. So if you want to skip to the bottom and answer the questions that would be just grand ;)

    So I just came back from having advisement. Up until now I've had an advisor for my communications major, but now I'm finished with that so they moved me off to the art department. My new advisor is a complete moron, not meaning any disrepect but he's awful. A teacher at our college that has been there forever is retiring and he was the professor for all the photography classes. Our school is having trouble finding a new photography teacher (partially b/c they have to teach lots of other stuff as well with crappy pay). Anyway my new advisor who teaches all the graphic design stuff tried to tell me that I couldn't take a photography class b/c he wasn't sure about the new teacher. I told him I had to have it to graduate next year so he put me in it anyway. Then he proceeds to tell me that I should just change my major to graphic design...he said I would do more photography in that anyway (yah right, he himself says he knows squatt about photography).

    Now this is where I get really mad, and the question comes in:
    He told me that the new teacher may get rid of the color darkroom, and I said good b/c I think we should learn things digitially anyway. Currently there is only one class for digital and the rest is darkroom. Secondly our equipment in the color darkroom is breaking and according to the teacher there is no one to fix it. So I go on to tell the teacher I think that we should do more digital stuff and that's when he went ape on me. I said when I go out to get a job doing photography next year, maybe doing some kind of photojournalism do you honestly think they're going to have me shoot film, bring it back, and develop it in a colored darkroom??? I said you know they are going to have me use photoshop to edit my photos and shoot digital b/c people just don't do that anymore for the most part. He really let me have it after that one saying I didn't know what I was talking about and that I had a narrow minded viewpoint. I understand that it is good to learn the basic darkroom b/c that will help with digital, and that it's good to learn on a film camera before digital as well IMO. But to me it seems that taking 1 class to learn both is sufficient and that we should be able to take classes that will actually help us with our future plans.

    So the question for you all is this. Do you think at the university level students should be required to learn both black and white and colored darkrooms before being able to do digital?

    Second, do you think that photography students should be required to take painting, sculpture, life drawing and classes such as this?

    Third and last question, In your experience do you think that it is necessary to learn the colored darkroom process????
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Is it absolutely necessary? In general I'd say not at all. But I do believe that BW and color darkroom, along with painting, sculpture, drawing, and other art classes will make you a better photographer.
     
  3. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    7,006
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Kankakee, IL
    No.


    Yes. But this might be the area where one class to cover all of them would make sense.


    No. I've been at this for a long time. I do it for a living. Outside of doing a few quick rolls of E-6, I've never done any of my own color darkroom work. I looked into years ago, and realized that aside from having a second job, I didn't have the volume to make it ecomically possible and I was't ready to take on outside work to do it. In my opinion, it's a whole other job. Of couse, you would benifit from having a working understanding of the process.


    My two cents.... advisors give advice. You have to make the decissions. You're the one that has to live with the conciquences.

    Good luck! You can always find a sympathetic ear here.
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Also, I should add, I've taken all the classes you've mentioned, and they are easy and fun. Show up, do the assignments, you'll learn plenty, and get some easy As.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I agree with Matt, traditional methods and art classes will help make you a better photographer but they aren't really necessary. I do agree with you that learning digital will make you more prepared for the real world.

    If you really want to show up this guy, call up a bunch of possible employers and ask them if they use digital or if they would like to hire people with digital training. I'm guessing that quite a few of them would be digital. Show that to him...keeping in mind that he could probably make your life at school pretty hard so be nice.

    I ran into something similar when I was in school. I'm a drafter/designer and we learned manual drafting and computer drafting. The problem was that all the course work was to be done with manual drafting and only the CAD courses were to be done on computer. I understand why they used to do it that way, but even back then (about 10 years ago) most of the jobs were for CAD drafters. I think they were still holding on to the old school drafting because many of them were older and they were in contact with the minority of employers who still used manual drafting. The problem was that they were turning out students who could draft on paper really well but only new the basics of CAD drafting. There was a handful of us who revolted and got the instructors to allow a bit more CAD use. I think they may be much more concentrated on CAD now then they were back then...or at least they should be.

    Sorry about that ranting...but the point is that you can make some changes if you get the students together. If you want a more digital ciriculam...then demand it. Aren't you are the ones paying the instructors salaries after all?
     
  6. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The technology is new, and is being pushed into the mainstream by the manufacturers faster than schools can keep up. Most schools don't have enough computers as it is, let alone to open up a state of the art digital lab. I mean, how much would it suck to take Digital Photography 101 with equipment/software from three years ago. Let me me tell you. It really sucks. I took Digital Photography 101 in 2000, and it's the only photo/art class I've ever dropped out of. The teacher barely knew more than some of the students. Some of the students didn't know how to operate a computer. The technology we had was behind the times (and this school had some moola!). Sure I know, way back in 2000 is like stone age days, but even today it only takes about a year and a half for gear to become outdated. I think schools have real problems keeping up with digital photography advances, and until it somehow levels out (get so good it can't get any better, I guess), that's going to be an on going problem. Film is easy for them; they've had the knowledge and technology for decades.

    I'm an old man, about to turn 37, and I still take art classes and go to photo workshops. No grades even. They're fun, and they really do make my photography better.
     
  7. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    16,728
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Where am I now?
    It all depends upon what you want to go on to do.
    But you must remember that digital photography emulates traditional photography. If you don't understand the basics then you won't understand what some digital processes are trying to do.
    It's like saying we all do word processing on computers now so do we really need to learn to write with a pen.
    You don't need to know traditional processes to be a photographer, but if you want to be a good photographer I would recommend learning it all. It will give you a much greater depth of understanding.
    They taught us colour work on my course and we had to process at least one colour neg and a tranny, as well as print from both. I've never done it since but it allows me to talk the same language as lab technicians and I know what is possible and what isn't.
    And when I'm using digital or PS I can look at what is going on and say 'I see what it's trying to do...'
     
  8. Artemis

    Artemis Just Punked Himself

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    5,313
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    England! w000t!
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Well...i cant really judge, but id say for starters the teacher has a narrow viewpoint...and that yes I think you should do darkroom work...but I think it should defenetly not be the whole course, and that digital is now more important to be good at...however shamefull it is :p
     
  9. havoc

    havoc Jedi something or other

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1,093
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Portland Oregon, USA
    Every class you mentioned is absolutely nessesary for an art major in any discipline. The underlying point of an art degree is really not just to teach you to paint, or to take photos, anyone can grab a book and do that. The real reason behind an Art degree is to develop the "eye" for it. To expand your mind to the limitless possibilities of expression that art gives you. Like many things this takes time, it also takes exploration, that is why you are required to take a diverse set of art classes. Much like a computer science major has to take Math and physics, it is to ensure that they are trained to think critically on many related subjects.
    Should your school have more digital classes, probably. And maybe getting a job in photography is made slightly easier if you know digital. But when it comes down to it, they will base your qualifications on your portfolio, then your schooling, and diversity can go along way there.
    Matt has a point that it is difficult to keep up with technology when taking digital photography into account. Most Universities I have researched teach photoshop and other "digital darkroom" classes within its graphic design curriculum. That gives them the luxury of of teaching subjects that closely relate to photography in another field that "can" justify the expense. Sure it may not relate directly to photography but that is where your diverse training in many mediums comes into play. They help you develop the eye, the real education is up to you.
    As a side note for your comments on your color darkroom. I wish you held traditional photography higher on your list of education. Sure photography is going digital, but the invention of the photograph in its pure form (film) is arguably one of the best inventions of expression ever. It is a highly complex art and is still changing, it needs to be taught over time to fully understand the medium you are choosing to pursue as a career. I always thought (and i am sure i am not alone) that photography is film. And that digital, though convenient, powerful, and beautiful in its own right, is more a tool for a photographer then a complete medium. The definition of photography is changing around us. Every day I am more impressed with digital and the beauty that it can provide, and sometime very soon digital will surpass the abilities of film, but with that i feel some of the magic will be lost.
     
  10. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,204
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    Let me first say that I teach welding and metallurgy at a community college that caters to the auto industry.

    I think every and all classes will only help you in the long run, but lets be honest, if this advisor is also an instructor, he's trying to help his program also.

    As far as the college is concerned, they need a good reason to spend the money to get new technology. Unfortunetly, a few students saying they want digital is not enough. Alot of times, it has to come from the work sector. So getting some possible employers saying they use digital isn't a bad idea.

    Again, learn it all.
     
  11. Nikon Fan

    Nikon Fan TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    Messages:
    3,524
    Likes Received:
    49
    Thanks for all the replies and discussion. This has really helped me to think through some things. I do agree that the darkroom helps in the long run, and I actually really enjoyed it to be honest, but I think one course would have been sufficient.

    Sorry I didn't mention this earlier, but the school has all the equipment it needs to do digital photography. There are about 20 computers in a lab, all macs, with Photoshop, Freehand, Flash, Apple Works, Illlustrator and all sorts of other stuff. The adviser I'm referring to is the graphic design teacher, so he could teach us what he normally does, but simply incorporate photos in the mix.

    I think I've actually learned more from this forum than school though. Granted I learned all the basic stuff in classes, but I get the criticism and comments I need here, and also loads of help! So again thanks for taking the time to reply. It's defintely helped me to to consider more things that earlier this morning when I was raving mad :lol:
     
  12. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,646
    Likes Received:
    6
    From my understanding, the movie schools have the same problems with outdated equipment.

    Except there, a new camera costs 300K
     

Share This Page