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Old 10-05-2012, 04:28 PM   #1
aimyourarrowshigh
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Photography courses

I started college last month as a photography student and I was wondering what other people's experiences of photography courses (college/university or not) were. Anyone love it, find it useful, help them develop their skills, etc.?
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:02 PM   #2
havoc315
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I took a course in junior high school..... learned to develop film in a dark room....

As a photography college student, do you still have to learn to develop real film?
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:16 PM   #3
photo_chick
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I'm a senior finishing my BFA in photography (someday I really will graduate LOL). I started a loooong time ago, had kids and worked some, then went back to school. I can honestly say I'm a much better photographer now than I was before I went back to school. Yes, I had to take a lot of classes that I thought were useless. But looking back I can see where I've used things in my work from other disciplines. Even from the math, science, history and literature core classes I had to take. And I've found simply learning the history of my craft has greatly impacted what I do. Right now I'm really getting into alternate processes (cyanotype, vandyke brown, gum, wet plate collodion) and it's actually opening up a whole new avenue for me since I'm somewhat of a hands crafty person to start with. And I can see taking those alt processes skills and parlaying them into my professional work as a way to offer unique services like high end platinum or palladium prints (something I'd love to do when I've got the $$ for the supplies). I've also really gotten into large format photography after being forced to use a 4x5 view camera in class.

What I'm saying here with all of this rambling is I went back to school because I wanted to learn more and become a better photographer. And I've gotten a whole lot more out of it than that.


Are you studying in a commercial photography program, a fine art program or a journalism program? Because there are a lot of differences between them and getting into the right program for the type of work you want to do can really impact how much you get out of it.

And my advice, one photo student to another, don't take three darkroom studio classes in teh same semester. LOL You'll never see daylight. Right now I'm really missing the expediency of digital.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:59 PM   #4
aimyourarrowshigh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
I took a course in junior high school..... learned to develop film in a dark room....

As a photography college student, do you still have to learn to develop real film?
Yep. For the project I'm working on now, I spend like 80% of my time in college in the darkroom. I find it quite fun though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by photo_chick View Post
I'm a senior finishing my BFA in photography (someday I really will graduate LOL). I started a loooong time ago, had kids and worked some, then went back to school. I can honestly say I'm a much better photographer now than I was before I went back to school. Yes, I had to take a lot of classes that I thought were useless. But looking back I can see where I've used things in my work from other disciplines. Even from the math, science, history and literature core classes I had to take. And I've found simply learning the history of my craft has greatly impacted what I do. Right now I'm really getting into alternate processes (cyanotype, vandyke brown, gum, wet plate collodion) and it's actually opening up a whole new avenue for me since I'm somewhat of a hands crafty person to start with. And I can see taking those alt processes skills and parlaying them into my professional work as a way to offer unique services like high end platinum or palladium prints (something I'd love to do when I've got the $$ for the supplies). I've also really gotten into large format photography after being forced to use a 4x5 view camera in class.

What I'm saying here with all of this rambling is I went back to school because I wanted to learn more and become a better photographer. And I've gotten a whole lot more out of it than that.


Are you studying in a commercial photography program, a fine art program or a journalism program? Because there are a lot of differences between them and getting into the right program for the type of work you want to do can really impact how much you get out of it.

And my advice, one photo student to another, don't take three darkroom studio classes in teh same semester. LOL You'll never see daylight. Right now I'm really missing the expediency of digital.
It's good to hear that you find it beneficial, I'm hoping it will be for me too.
Thankfully I don't have to do any of that core class stuff, all my classes are 100% photography (times like this I love the UK's higher education system).
I've done some alternative stuff too, it's quite interesting to learn.
It's just 'photography', it covers all aspects initially so I can decide from there what kind of route I want to go down, though I already roughly know.
Ah, I don't get to pick my classes but I would definitely take that advice if I did, I'm in the darkroom so much as it is lol.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:00 AM   #5
pointandshoot
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I found darkroom time valuable. Living with your images for a long period of time will force you to pay more attention when shooting. It is a skill that transfers into digital processing. Group critiques are good. You see others work and perspective.

My daughter is learning oil painting. She can really see light and detail far better that I can and it shows when we shoot together.

Most my training is self taught through books and online with minimal class.

One thought is it takes 10,000 hours to become proficient at something. I think anytime you spend in any art activity will contribute to improving your pictures. The key is dedication over time to improve.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:47 PM   #6
aimyourarrowshigh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pointandshoot View Post
I found darkroom time valuable. Living with your images for a long period of time will force you to pay more attention when shooting. It is a skill that transfers into digital processing. Group critiques are good. You see others work and perspective.

My daughter is learning oil painting. She can really see light and detail far better that I can and it shows when we shoot together.

Most my training is self taught through books and online with minimal class.

One thought is it takes 10,000 hours to become proficient at something. I think anytime you spend in any art activity will contribute to improving your pictures. The key is dedication over time to improve.
Yeah, I agree. I also think it's just fun and good to know - as much as I love (and prefer) digital, I also love film and think it's good to keep alive. I've read that 10,000 hours thing too. I wonder how many hours of photography I've racked up so far lol.
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