Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: « 1 2 3 [4]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: On Critique  (Read 8644 times)
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #60 on: July 28, 2012, 12:36:43 PM »
ReplyReply

opgr

Not contradictory at all; you were trying to draw a parallel between the learning of language and the learning of photography where no such parallel exists. I simply made the point that whereas you can teach grammar you can't teach anyone to write and that, in that negative sense there is indeed a common element between the two disciplines: in neither can you teach the spiritual but only the mechanics. Perhaps that's where you see a parallel - in the shared impossibility of buying the artistic ability?

Whatever you mean by the study of language, what I mean is the study of how usefully to use it as communication, nothing more and nothing less; in other words, how to form sentences and transmit, accurately and unambiguously, meaning and intent.

How did I learn language? At home from family and then, later, in my pre-teens onwards by being an avid reader. In other words, the learning process was pretty much the same as with my later learning of photography: I was interested and the rest, in my case, just followed. Many others at the same school(s) were also interested and passed their English exams with flying colours, but not a lot managed to do anything with it after that. Their skills with structure and all the rest were developed, but that's as far as anything seemed to stretch. And sadly, the same pattern was repeated by pretty much everybody else with whom I had to sit in a photographic night school class: it's simply not the way, and for many, there just isn't a way, which is part of the huge problem for those who dream that there is, only to find defeat and disappointment within their chosen path. I wonder if 'teachers' and photo-gurus ever step up to the plate and take responsibility for ruined lives, handing back the fees for their courses and peddled dreams.

Look, I'm perfectly happy for you to believe in such teachers as the way to your personal nirvana - I really hope you find it - I simply don't believe that all things are teachable, and in that list I place the 'art' of photography. A photographic technician is another matter; perhaps that's what you've been thinking about instead. After all, the modern world is full of pixel-peepers who make the same confusion.

Be happy - I've nothing more to add.

Rob C


P.S.

Rob C  “ Nobody can teach anyone else how to see or think for themselves.”
 
opgr  “Care to elaborate? Seems a blow in the face of every decent parent and teacher in the world.”

Just remembered the barb: nope, simply the way you choose to represent the statement which you’ve taken right out of context, said context being the possibility or otherwise of anyone teaching another how to be an artist, and especially from the basis of photographic critique, the least valuable method of them all, IMO.

It has nothing to do with regular teaching, with parental duties nor even of their success. My wife stopped her job the moment she discovered she was expecting and she didn’t give it another whirl until both children were both well into their schooling. Both children received the same devoted help at home with their education; one turned out to be very academic, nose always in a book, the other couldn’t have cared less about school or working therein. As with art, it’s inborn or it’s not there and you can no more force it than buy it.

Now I really am finished with this circular thread.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 04:10:34 PM by Rob C » Logged

kencameron
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 669



WWW
« Reply #61 on: July 28, 2012, 08:02:35 PM »
ReplyReply

in neither can you teach the spiritual but only the mechanics.

There is something to this, but it can't be taken too far. The counter-example that comes to mind is classical music, where many of the very greatest performers have also taught. At the top level - the master class level - what they are teaching is is certainly not the mechanics - they wouldn't waste their time on students who haven't completely mastered the mechanics. What then are they teaching? Essentially, I think they are helping technically very capable students to find their own voice. Of course, there is a sense in which that can't be taught - ie, the teacher doesn't know in advance what the student's own voice sounds like and so can't demonstrate it - the students have to find it for themselves. What the teacher does know is what it is like to find one's own voice, because he or she has done it. And the teacher may also recognize when the student has found it or is close to it and be able to provide crucial encouragement.

I don't see why photography would in principle be any different. Of course, the actual availability of this kind of teaching is another matter. Rob's experience of teaching in photography has left him with a low opinion of its usefulness at the highest level. That is fair enough but not, I would argue, a sufficient basis for generalization about what is and isn't possible. Speaking personally, I have never done any courses in photography (and no doubt it shows). But I have had teachers (of meditation and language) who went beyond the mechanics and taught me about the importance of what can't be taught.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 08:39:27 PM by kencameron » Logged

WalterEG
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1157


« Reply #62 on: July 29, 2012, 08:08:44 PM »
ReplyReply

I've not been too anxious to join this discussion but I just experienced an example of what critique often does in another thread here.

Now, of course, opinions are like bums ..... we all have one.  But what is the actual revelation expressed in an opinion?  All too often the opinion says more about the critic than it does about the 'work' being critiqued.  Particularly in a world where, sometimes, the blind are leading the visually impaired.

Logged
amolitor
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 815


WWW
« Reply #63 on: February 17, 2013, 07:12:10 PM »
ReplyReply

Bumping this thread as a great example of a) the complete lack of conformity on these here forums, and b) to resurrect a really good discussion of what critique can be, should be, cannot be, and so on.

No consensus was ever achieved, of course, but the level of discourse was pretty awesome. I take a little pride in having started it, although my contributions were certainly minor ultimately.
Logged

- Andrew

My awesome blog about photography: http://photothunk.blogspot.com
Eric Myrvaagnes
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8214



WWW
« Reply #64 on: February 17, 2013, 08:08:11 PM »
ReplyReply

Bumping this thread as a great example of a) the complete lack of conformity on these here forums, and b) to resurrect a really good discussion of what critique can be, should be, cannot be, and so on.

No consensus was ever achieved, of course, but the level of discourse was pretty awesome. I take a little pride in having started it, although my contributions were certainly minor ultimately.

Thanks for the bump. This discussion was indeed much more interesting and valuable than most of the recent "discussions" on similar topics.
Logged

-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
Pages: « 1 2 3 [4]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad