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At present Im studying a diploma in Photography online in which id like to complete by the end of the year. Im looking at pursuing a degree - Im in Melbourne Australia- was wondering if any one can recommend a great course. there are so many advertised.
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I don't know what the situation is in Australia, or what kind of photography you are aiming for, but speaking from the editorial point of view, diplomas have little relevance on whether or not you are able to carve out a career for yourself.
Editors of newspapers and magazines are not interested in diplomas, only in whether you can take the kind of pictures they can use.
In this field, understanding your market is everything.
The cynical follow-up from Filmforever is that a degree in photography will only be of real assistance if you want to pursue a career as a lecturer in photography.
But, more seriously, have you looked at the Open College of the Arts? I have no personal experience but a few folk on here speak highly of their degree courses.
But, more seriously, have you looked at the Open College of the Arts?
But when you get your degree, what use will it be to you?.....Surely the onset of digital, has made the technical side of things relatively easy, something you could pick up yourself with practice. As for the rest, well you develop a "seeing eye", through constantly being out taking photographs and trying different approaches etc.
Previous to digital, I could understand the need for a certain amount of tuition, as to appropriate film/developer combinations etc., for certain effects. But not now.
It is well known in professional editorial circles, that the current "media studies" university courses that include photography, are barely worth the paper they're written on.
If you took that approach, how could you ever justify taking a degree in fine art or sculpture or any other practical art subject. Surely there is as much artistic interpretation required in photography as in other art forms?
At another level, I am currently enjoying reading a book - "The Complete Guide to Black and White Digital Photography" by Michael Freeman. I have a BSc and PhD in a not totally unrelated branch of science and, believe me, to really understand what Freeman is saying, some pretty advanced scientific knowledge is a bonus.
I am not saying that you need to spend 7 years at university to take good photos, any more than you have to spend years at art school to paint good canvasses. But the advancement of those arts is dependent upon some degree (no pun intended) of academic approach to them.
And also don't underestimate the value of academic study for its own sake. After taking my degrees I went and worked in a completely different field!! But the years of study and research did not do me any harm.
two very valid point of views here and much noted . I am doing the diploma to expand and understand the technical side to photography to take a brilliant shot and enhance it . i do not like to take short cuts and be a sloppy photographer who fixes it on computer. I visually see shots already and always have. but im a blank canvas so to speak not knowing what area i want to pursue. I learnt on film photography and did very well in my high school years but then did not go further with it . I had not picked up a camera for 20 years . I started this course to warm into it so to speak but it is something i really want to pursue . I might just finish this up and get a body of work and see how far i go with confidence in pursuing it further.
yes I have looked into a the college of the arts and that seems like a very good course to do.
thanks for both your comments .....food for thought
I went back to college to do an HND. It gave me access to lots of kit that I wouldn't have got to play with had I not gone. It allowed me to concentrate purely on photography for two years and develop skills and a style that would have taken a lot longer to do had I not been at college. If you have the opportunity and the funds then I can highly reccommend time out to dedicate to your photography whether or not you're looking for a career in the subject.
Quote: Two very valid point of views here and much noted . I am doing the diploma to expand and understand the technical side to photography to take a brilliant shot and enhance it . i do not like to take short cuts and be a sloppy photographer who fixes it on computer
I congratulate you on your desire to reach a standard of excellence, and to this end I'm sure you will find a suitable course fulfilling. I hope you may also venture into film photography at some stage, particularly the various moods of black & white, which you will find an entirely different experience to digital.
A look at Ansel Adam's "Zone System" of exposure re. black & white, is very revealing here.
I'm sure there will be areas where a diploma would be useful, if you intend to pursue things to a more professional future. I can only speak from my own experience in the editorial field, where the suitability of the subject matter to the market is the overriding factor, particularly with newspapers,
where a diploma cannot replace the "instinct" for a news story, nor make up for failing to be in the "right place at the right time".
An education no matter in whichever field will always help polish off your existing or practically learned skill's in those areas so i wouldn't necessarily say its worthless..for example after spending 10-15 years in Business Management, an MBA may not necessarily add value but it certainly rounds of your profile nicely..there is nothing in most of those MBA courses which you cant pick up yourself either on the job or by self application...yet it has its own uses..
totally agree film forever ....i have worked in the media in another area . Im not sure if im moving in that direction, but never say never ! yes i loved film photography . Yes Ive read the zone system as it helped with my last assignment . im a newbie to digital - was blown away with how far photography has come. as I said many years away from it. How naive was I...I thought everyone still worked off film until i started this course ! ha . Long way to go but definitely a challenge to enjoy! thanks for your advice-greatly appreciated !
As you've worked in the media, then you will probably have noticed that the words "quality" and "excellence" no longer have much meaning (particularly in the celebrity obsessed world of newspapers).
If you wish to persue excellence, then you may well find (as I have) that it's a case of "ploughing your own furrow", and hoping that somewhere along the way, someone will notice.
Sorry to seem so cynical Filmforever, but aren't excellence and quality perfectly good aspirations to have, even if only from a perspective of self-satisfaction? Why does it matter whether, or not, someone else ever notices?
The "pursuit of excellence" was never intended as a route to impressing third parties.
Quote: Sorry to seem so cynical Filmforever, but aren't excellence and quality perfectly good aspirations to have, even if only from a perspective of self-satisfaction?.
Yes, absolutely, I was just making the point that, in my experience, such qualities have largely been put on the back burner by a news media hung up on celebrity "culture".
Undoubtedly there will be professional areas where real quality is still appreciated, but the news media is no longer one of them.
Many photographers will always be content with the self-satisfaction gained by achieving a high standard
of work without even enroaching on the professional scene.
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