Photography Classes On Line or in a classroom w/ a professional ?"

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by JanB56, Oct 6, 2015.

?

which would you choose ?

  1. Local college w/ professional teaching , affordable

    100.0%
  2. Internet college of photography , more costly

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Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. JanB56

    JanB56 TPF Noob!

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    I am searching for the best way to learn what I need to learn about photography. I've reviewed the New York Institute of Photography, they offer quite a few programs, it would be 'on -line' ranging from 500.00 to 1000.00 depending on how extensive I want to get into it right now, or I can sign up & take classes @ my college here locally for 129.00 for 5 classes, they start w/ beginners to intermediate, & so on. the one thing I do like about this one, is the class is taught by a professional photographer, & I think it would help me being hands on w/ my camera. Can I get some others tell me how you took your classes, I realize that some are just a natural @ photography, but I am not & I want to learn as much as possible. I've been doing a lot of online studying with Internet searching & reading articles to help me out as much as possible, but I feel like it's not enough. I know a lot of what I learn will come w/' experience , getting out there & shooting , making lots of mistakes & learning from my mistakes. Does anyone have an opinion on this subject ?


     
  2. RG16

    RG16 TPF Noob!

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    Scott Kelby, he has great books, an awesome YouTube channel, and a virtual school at Kelbyone.com I believe, $20 a month for unlimited access to hundreds if not thousands of videos to learn everything from camera basics to advanced photoshop

    Sent from my SM-T310 using Tapatalk
     
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  3. rlemert

    rlemert No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Disclaimer: I have not had any formal photography training of any kind, so I can't vouch for or against any specific program.

    With that said, I do think that photography is a skill that's best learned actively - i.e. by getting out there and doing it, and with as much immediate feedback as you can get. It's also something that, once you've got the technical basics out of the way (things like the exposure triangle, how to take advantage of or create your own lighting, etc.) requires you to develop your own understanding of what makes a photograph "great". Thus, for the majority of people I think the 'local' option will be a much more efficient use of your resources.

    I do, however, also see a place for the 'pricier' option - for people interested in becoming a professional in certain areas where the institute has a particular expertise. Fashion photography, for instance, has certain conventions and expectations that people in the field are expected to understand. Even here, though, I would consider the institute to be a 'post-graduate' experience after getting the basics at the 'local college'.

    Extending this thought further, the institute is more likely to be able to provide you with valid contacts within the interest to help you 'get your foot in the door' upon completion of your studies.
     
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  4. Peeb

    Peeb Semi-automatic Mediocrity Generator Supporting Member

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    Which local professor?
    Which 'internet college'?

    It seriously depends on the quality of the instruction as much as the format.

    An amazing internet course might blow the doors off a cruddy un-charismatic local teacher.
    A dynamic funny engaging local teacher might blow the doors off a boring internet course.

    Short answer: it depends.
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I like on-line stuff as it has the benefit of being able to review over and over, but, IMO, the best way to learn is by joining a photography club. Most clubs of any size have a good number of retired pros and/or very skilled amateurs who are always more than willing to share their knowledge with others.
     
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  6. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It sounds like your local college offers adult continuing ed. classes in addition to their coursework for college credit to earn degrees (at least at that price I'd think that's what it is). But I'd expect that would be worth considering and should be good, look at their info. on instructors and the coursework, etc.

    NYIP is not actually a university; they are accredited for distance learning. They issue certificates for completing coursework. It seems expensive for what it is, which is usually considered personal enrichment, but it is a lot of clock hours compared to adult continuing ed. classes that usually run 6-8 weeks for maybe 3 hours one night a week.

    Maybe try one class locally and see how you like it. I think there could be an advantage to learning photography hands on. I've taken classes and workshops in person and online, either can be good it just depends on what it is.
     
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  7. JanB56

    JanB56 TPF Noob!

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    that is one reason 'why' I love this site so much, people are so willing to help, I've asked several questions on here & was more than satisfied w/ the answers I received. just like this one. Thanks so much
     
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  8. JanB56

    JanB56 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks so much, I will check him out. before I jump out there & do anything.
     
  9. soufiej

    soufiej No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I often recommend student photographers look into a class at a local community college so I tend to stick with that suggestion here. The only caveat being, know what you are getting into.

    A professional photographer can still be a lousy instructor. I've taken lessons from local musicians and many times found myself unsure of what the "lesson" was for the next class and ultimately saying I was just not learning anything because they're coming into class unprepared because this is not what they do to make a living. Their next session or their next tour was far more important than I was as a student. An instructor who sees this as an easy way to make a few bucks probably isn't worth your time or money.

    To be fair, I've also had classes where we spent most of the time talking and I learned a few things I would not have picked up from a by-the-book "teacher". There's just a lot of stuff that never finds its way into an organized book. Do some research into the instructor's teaching style and how many students would take the class again.

    Look at the syllabus for the class to determine whether you're going to cover aspects of photography you already comprehend. Some areas are important to cover more than once and at least get everyone on the same course of understanding and utilizing the concepts. If the course is too basic though, you'll lose interest in most cases.

    That is the single most common impediment I've seen when it comes to learning a skill or craft. Most people who take on line courses where self instruction is at stake don't tend to know enough to know what to learn, when to learn it and how to learn it. So they bounce around from lesson to lesson and subject to subject and never put together a cohesive plan for learning where you set a foundation and then build upwards from there. That's a major portion of what a good class should give you, a plan that forces you to stay on track and pay attention to what you did last week because it feeds into what you're about to do next week. A class in stage acting where you only read about how to build stage settings would be pretty worthless. So too, IMO, would be a photography class where you spent weeks covering a single topic such as "how your lens works".

    A good instructor keeps you on track if you can't make yourself do that on your own. So realize learning is 95% you and only 5% the instructor. If you get bored easily, then you will likely get bored in a class also. If you can't take criticism, especially the sort of dumb criticism of the "I like it because ... " type, then you'll find yourself not caring about the work. If you can find the way to use group criticism as a guide and add to that some personal mentoring from a good instructor, then a class can be very beneficial IMO. If the instructor is not available outside of class, then I feel you will have reduced the advantages of a class.

    Photography though is a lot of inner dialogue stuff. A class of any type can teach rules but it is your interpretation of those rules that go into the mental function which inspires your result. A musician is likely to say this is "playing what you hear in your head". You can't really teach that any more than you can teach the micro-second difference between putting an emphasis on the 2-4 beat of a measure vs playing a toe tapping rhythm line. IMO all that comes from paying attention to what others do that pulls you to their work and then applying what's in your head to what comes out of your fingers.

    Bottom line is, the class is cheap enough and the personal contact can be a good thing. You can find the same type of education elsewhere since 95% of how you learn is based on you. You can walk away from the class without feeling you've wasted much more than the cost of a good polarizing filter.

    If you want contacts, make them yourself. Don't pay someone to give a list of contacts they hand out to everyone who pays their price.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  10. cauzimme

    cauzimme No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You won't learn anything if you don't go out and start shooting...
    Everything start with motivation, dedication. Real life class or courses or workshop are good as they give you the opportunity to be somewhere with other people and exchange with amateur, semi-pro and pro. I consider online classes like books, good to own, good to read. But you need more. Photography is about interaction, with your vision and your subject.
     
  11. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Classes anywhere can sometimes be good, other times not so much - college courses, adult continuing ed., local art center, online. Look up the instructor and their background etc. and the course info. provided; sometimes it still can be hard to know for sure how good the class will be. I've gone to conferences and a session that sounded good sometimes would have me plotting an escape route to the door... lol Other times I learned more in a one day workshop than I have in a weekly class. You take from it what works for you.

    If an instructor has taught there before, I'd at least expect they're pretty good or probably they wouldn't have been asked back.

    I was mostly self taught as a photographer but it's been a sideline at most for me. I've taken workshops, art/photography courses thru a university, and online. It also takes having the passion for it, if you don't love it I don't know if you'd spend hours at it - because it also takes practice, practice, practice.

    Kelby seems to be more about editing than being a photographer; if I feel like I'm better as a photographer than what's being promoted then I wouldn't take the class...
     
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  12. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Like many here I don't view online as a good resource for learning a practical hands on skill.

    Yes it can help, but nothing helps as much as having someone there in the moment to advise. See online can help with the result of your work and can comment on what you comment upon about how you conduct your shoot; but little things that you won't notice won't be picked up on - no one will see it happening. Also note that this is a prime time where people learn bad habits which can be very hard to break later on once you've done it that way for a long while.

    If you're going to pay for it get it in person where someone can teach you directly.
    Online I'd pay to learn things like photoshop work; which is basically all theory based and where there are ways to show your work online even as it happens.
     
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