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yes, I have an MFA... yes, I currently work as a commercial photographer, and yes, I've taught as an adjunct at 3 different colleges.... BUT I hate to say it.... I've known an excessive number of MFA students who don't know what a guide number is, who don't know how to use a speedotron 2401, who couldn't relax a nervous portrait sitter if their lives depended on it and who could probably have great difficulty dealing with dueling publicists who fight against the art director's idea while the time clock is ticking and we all have to finish the shoot and keep people happy..... but of course.... they're fine artists, not commercial producers.... Yes, I also see MFA students with little originality... those who seem to want to copy certain german photographers with big prints and bigger egos, or certain 8x10 photographers with movie studio lighting crews and all day to setup one shot... .i.e. people can be derivative.... Yes, I suppose people should be erudite, worldly, interestingly aware of the art world and all it's accoutrements, that's a good thing, but it's not the only thing.... I'd rather see the work of a great photographer than a greatly knowledgable not-so-great photographer.... yes, it's great, but not the only thing.... I do love to hang out with photographers who can see an image and mention a great photographer's work that it reminds them of, it's flattering to the ego to have one's work compared with HCB or Davidson... I do think we're encountering a generational changing of the guard.... and we have to get used to it... the Gen-Y people may look at us the way the Baby Boomers looked at the WWII generation... time to deal with it and not complain.... Yes, there are "digi-babies" out there, MFA people who've never shot film and who know more about photoshop than anyone should know.... but that's a straw man to shoot down.... I say shut up and check out the work.... yes, when I was assisting, I sometimes knew more obscure photo history than the photographers I assisted, but I learned not to brag about it, as they got the gig, and I was the assistant....
Toggle Commented Jun 2, 2012 on A Milestone, of Sorts at LensWork Daily
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Jun 1, 2012