Photography education anyone?

Via Digg  I came across this nicely written piece called “Photography Students Are Being Taught — But What Are They Really Learning Today?“.  While I’m more of a lazy guy with a camera rather than anything of a photographer, I still can relate to what Mike Sheil writes:

 So there am I looking at work which looked very similar to what I was doing 40 years ago and being told that this is now the real cutting edge of creative photography. It certainly had that rather off-centered, badly composed and poorly lit look that my work had 40 years ago — wide-angle shots of people’s heads, girls with sullen/bored expressions, oddly focused shots and peculiar distressed colours. In all truth, I think my work owed its peculiarities to the fact I did not know what I was doing and anyhow had just started smoking pot, whereas the modern idiom seems to owe an awful lot to a desperate desire to be different — and hence ending up turning out the same mediocre rubbish as everyone else who is also trying to be different.

But what can we do about it?

Amateurs like myself learn most of what they know from numerous tutorials on the web and from looking at a lot of pictures.  And I mean a lot of pictures. (Thank you, Flickr.)  While this certainly helps, it doesn’t offer a base that formal education provides.  And if formal education is getting worse by the year, where is the hope?  Where can one go to learn the “real stuff”?

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