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Author Topic: Learning  (Read 5034 times)
stamper
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« on: January 09, 2011, 05:06:39 AM »
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Last week I got chatting to a freelance photographer who told me he had benefited from a degree course in digital photography. He explained the benefits of the course in glowing terms and suggested it would help me in my endeavours because I had stated that I had stagnated in my efforts. I was almost convinced till he stated that in his opinion that Photoshop had no place in Photography and cited the usual things about trying to process bad images, taking elements out of an image and replacing them and other anti Photoshop statements. He was entitled to his opinion I told him but he then said that most of the tutors in the college believed the same. This put me off thinking about going on a course. The question is how can tutors who are philosophically opposed to Photoshop teach a course on digital photography with an open mind and educate people? I would have thought that this attitude would be more prevalent amongst film photography photographers. BTW this is in a Scottish college with a good reputation. Any thoughts? Sad
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aaronchan
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2011, 06:30:55 AM »
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I would recommend School of Visual Arts (SVA), they are currently providing a Master program called Digital Photography, co-chaired by Tom P. Ashe and Katrin Eismann.
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Bryan Conner
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2011, 06:43:56 AM »
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I would guess that the instructors that have the opinion that Photoshop has no place in Digital Photography are old school film shooters.  This train of thought is that you should get it right in the camera.  It is not a bad philosophy.  This is akin to shooting slide film.  But, I look at Photoshop as a tool to enhance what you already have.  It is our digital darkroom and our digital files are our negatives.  I would not take a course in digital photography from someone who frowned upon image processors in general.  I think that it is a handicap to not use one when needed.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2011, 09:07:53 AM »
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Last week I got chatting to a freelance photographer who told me he had benefited from a degree course in digital photography. He explained the benefits of the course in glowing terms and suggested it would help me in my endeavours because I had stated that I had stagnated in my efforts. I was almost convinced till he stated that in his opinion that Photoshop had no place in Photography and cited the usual things about trying to process bad images, taking elements out of an image and replacing them and other anti Photoshop statements. He was entitled to his opinion I told him but he then said that most of the tutors in the college believed the same. This put me off thinking about going on a course. The question is how can tutors who are philosophically opposed to Photoshop teach a course on digital photography with an open mind and educate people? I would have thought that this attitude would be more prevalent amongst film photography photographers. BTW this is in a Scottish college with a good reputation. Any thoughts? Sad

Your instincts are right on track. They're talking a heap of rubbish. The world has long bypassed these discredited ideas. The people professing this nonsense obviously don't have a clue about the basic foundations of digital photography. Start with the raw image - it's the best source of any digital photographic workflow. The image MUST be processed at least in a raw converter and then perhaps some in a program such as Photoshop, but with all the capabilities of raw converters nowadays the line between raw conversion and further post-capture processing has disappeared. This isn't a matter of opinion, it's technical fact. But moving well beyond that elementary consideration, is the whole artistic side of making photographs - what are the limits? Artists aren't allowed to use tools to enhance their creativity? Stay far, far away from such colleges as you mention - their reputation is ill-deserved if that's the underlying substance. I assume you are writing from the UK. There are surely excellent courses in photography and digital technique offered elsewhere there.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2011, 01:55:12 PM »
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... He explained the benefits of the course in glowing terms...

I am curious as to what exactly are those benefits for him (or would be for you)? If someone is just now switching to digital, than yes, there certainly could be some benefits in taking a course. But how exactly do you expect to benefit from it? Which part of digital you feel you need to go deeper into? Better post-processing skills come to mind, e.g., an advanced Photoshop course, but that would be exactly the opposite of what that school seems to advocate. As for you feeling "stagnating in your efforts", is it artistic or (digital) technique-related?
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Slobodan

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ronkruger
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2011, 02:22:47 PM »
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I come from the film/slide era, hand-held meters and manual. Although I contend the best way to learn photography is to shoot everything (including focus) on manual until you gain a deeper understanding of how everything actually works, I also believe that PP skills are nearly as important as photographic skills in the digital age.
The attitude you mention sounds like antiquated pomposity. In a practical sense, it is, well, impractical.
Those who can, make a living at it. Those who can't--teach.
Find a pro who needs an apprentice.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2011, 04:11:31 PM »
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his opinion that Photoshop had no place in Photography
Maybe it's important to point out that he is absolutely correct that in some fields of photography "Photoshop" does have no place.
In the specific specialisations of news. documentary and a lot of sport, any sort of manipulation is regarded as unacceptable and unethical. Maybe the course he was referring to was specifically aimed at those disciplines ?

Maybe the problem here is that "photoshopping" is now regarded as an adjective to describe image manipulation in general.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2011, 04:21:16 PM »
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Maybe it's important to point out that he is absolutely correct that in some fields of photography "Photoshop" does have no place.
In the specific specialisations of news. documentary and a lot of sport, any sort of manipulation is regarded as unacceptable and unethical. Maybe the course he was referring to was specifically aimed at those disciplines ?

Maybe the problem here is that "photoshopping" is now regarded as an adjective to describe image manipulation in general.

I have news for you - just in case you didn't know it already - your image is manipulated from the moment you click the shutter release if you are not shooting raw, and from the moment you open it in your raw converter if you are shooting raw. No news organization would accept a raw image the way it appears, for example, if opened in Camera Raw or Lightroom with all settings zero, tone curve linear and WB "As Shot". Every image is manipulated and that was true in the film era also. The issue for certain kinds of specialized photography is HOW it is manipulated, not whether it is manipulated.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 04:36:35 PM by Mark D Segal » Logged

Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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tom b
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2011, 04:29:22 PM »
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Beat me to it.

Not allowed to use Photoshop to crop (sorry Russ), resize, spot and export for the web.

I'd be up for abuse at work if I put a 12 MB image in a web page.

Cheers
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2011, 12:36:45 AM »
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I have news for you
Did you read my last sentence and understand it's implication ?

Not everyone shoots RAW. In the disciplines I gave the examples of, it's far more common to shoot JPG.
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Schewe
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2011, 12:43:16 AM »
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Not everyone shoots RAW. In the disciplines I gave the examples of, it's far more common to shoot JPG.

I guess you didn't fully grok Mark's response. If you shoot in JPEG, the image has already been highly manipulated by the time it's been written to media. The only difference is that it's been manipulated by Nikon or Canon engineers not the photographers who shot the image. JPEG is not the "truth"...never has been (and never will be).
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2011, 12:53:56 AM »
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I guess you didn't fully grok Mark's response.
You've missed the point too.

It's not about the pedantry of if "manipulation" has been done to an image,( although there's a good argument that a JPG isn't "manipulated" but ought to be regarded as an original capture), but if the course discussed by the OP's colleague might be one devoted to a discipline of photography where major image manipulation of content is unacceptable.

It's difference between 'Photoshop' being regarded as an adjective rather than a noun, understand?
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stamper
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2011, 04:00:14 AM »
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I am curious as to what exactly are those benefits for him (or would be for you)? If someone is just now switching to digital, than yes, there certainly could be some benefits in taking a course. But how exactly do you expect to benefit from it? Which part of digital you feel you need to go deeper into? Better post-processing skills come to mind, e.g., an advanced Photoshop course, but that would be exactly the opposite of what that school seems to advocate. As for you feeling "stagnating in your efforts", is it artistic or (digital) technique-related?

Unquote

I was told that projects would be set that I had to achieve. Dissecting images visually and giving your opinion and other things that would make me think more. All good but it was important to get everything ( well known advice ) "right" in camera and not depend on Photoshop. Good advice I thought but Photoshop in which I am fairly knowledgeable has it's good points because as others have pointed out the image has to be processed. You don't blame the tool but the operator for misuse? You can - imo - do all the "right" things and still use Photoshop. Honestly it has disturbed me for days that a well known college that teaches a course to degree standard ( HNC - higher national certificate in Britain - and above ) dismisses it. What kind of work flow does it have and what is their printing module?  Sad
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stamper
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2011, 04:05:09 AM »
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It's not about the pedantry of if "manipulation" has been done to an image,( although there's a good argument that a JPG isn't "manipulated"

Unquote

The camera with it's settings using jpeg and with input from the photographer manipulates the image? A film camera and different types of films is manipulation, albeit in a broad sense? There is always some manipulation taking place so the photographer should control it himself.
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2011, 04:16:42 AM »
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The question is how can tutors who are philosophically opposed to Photoshop teach a course on digital photography with an open mind and educate people? I would have thought that this attitude would be more prevalent amongst film photography photographers.
Even if those teachers were film photographers, that would mean they can't teach, or worst didn't understand, basic darkroom techniques : get the maximum of information on the negative and make that information pretty on print is a way of thinking very similar to the one we use now while shooting raw (it's only a tad simpler now : expose to the right first, and then process).
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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sniper
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« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2011, 08:56:23 AM »
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But even with film the images were manipulated, burning and dodging, cropping, toning, different papers or filters for contrast at the printing sage.  photographers have always manipulated their images in one form or another.

Every digital image is manipulated at some stage simply by converting the data from the sensor, the jpeg has the camera presets applied, even the raw file has data added (exif, lens correction etc)  
I can see the point of trying to "get it right in camera" but as many have said here, PP is here to stay, these tutors seem to have their heads buried in the sand.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2011, 09:02:33 AM »
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You've missed the point too.

It's not about the pedantry of if "manipulation" has been done to an image,( although there's a good argument that a JPG isn't "manipulated" but ought to be regarded as an original capture), but if the course discussed by the OP's colleague might be one devoted to a discipline of photography where major image manipulation of content is unacceptable.

It's difference between 'Photoshop' being regarded as an adjective rather than a noun, understand?

This can get into semantic entanglements. ALL images are manipulations - it just depends on HOW and HOW MUCH. The basic problem with a college's professional attitude against using Photoshop as a tool of image enhancement is that they are cutting off an extremely important aspect of making successful digital images, and students should not be misdirected in this way. That said, there is everything to be said for getting as much as possible "right" in the camera before making the exposure - also manipulation of another kind I might add! These are not mutually exclusive concepts - they are reinforcing.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
ronkruger
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« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2011, 11:10:18 AM »
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"PhotoShop" has become a derogatory term of the ignorant masses, based upon cutting and pasting images that weren't a part of the original scene, but I would expect a "professor" to understand this and realize that PP in general is an important and integregal part of all digital photography.
Nearly all my shooting is for magazines and newspapers, where such antics are not only frowned upon, it can end your association. But I use PhotoShop and similar softwares to enhance every photo before sending it out. I consider it unprofessional not to do so. I do, however, avoid layers, blending, HDR etc., because although not unethical, I suspect publications have software programs that flag such things.
At any rate, I would think that any course that didn't include considerable attention to PP techniques to be a disservice to students.
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stamper
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« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2011, 04:05:49 AM »
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Yesterday I checked out a course in the Glasgow metropolitan college on intermediate digital photography. It stated that you need to know Mac to do the course. I know that Mac is popular among Photoshop users but I would have thought that Windows would have been the default computer programme or they would have used both? I am a Windows user so my options are getting lesser and lesser. This post isn't meant to start a computer war. Smiley
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2011, 04:54:26 AM »
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It stated that you need to know Mac to do the course. I know that Mac is popular among Photoshop users but I would have thought that Windows would have been the default computer programme or they would have used both?
If they've invested in Macs that's what you'll need to use. Providing both OS options would add to their costs, so I can see why just using one makes economic sense.
 
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I am a Windows user so my options are getting lesser and lesser.
?? Using Macs is really little different from Windows. You ought to be able to get on with productive work within a few minutes. There are plenty of web sites that will help the transition. You'll just find a few minor annoyances with the way OSX works, but it really doesn't matter much.
Most of the big differences only really become apparent when trying to do system management and configuration changes, something you probably won't need to engage with when you're just working with applications on a provided system.
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