I’m currently completing the “Seeing through Photographs” course by the Museum of Modern Art. The course is free and it is being presented by a company called Coursera. It is available online but I am using the Coursera app on my iPad.
Now most everyone gets their photography education from photo forums and from YouTube. I have nothing against this method because there is a lot of quality information that is available and the basic nuts and bolts of photography are easily learned in this manner. When I was starting my photography education this was long before the internet so I went to school to learn my craft. I enjoyed getting my education this way and met some great people and had some teachers that were good role models. That is one thing that is missing in getting your information online, the community that evolves that spurs the mind for other ways of creative thinking and problem solving. Posting in a forum is just not the same as sitting in a coffee shop and exchanging ideas. The downside of a formal education these days is the tremendous cost involved with getting a higher education. I’m not sure that school is the right path to take for a photography career anymore.
The aspect that is hard to replicate on your own is connecting photography’s past and present with why photographers do the work that they do. Knowing why you are photographing is just as important as f-stops and shutter speeds. This is why I think so much fine art work done these days is so boring, static, and why so much of it looks the same. In the rush to make loads of money and be Instagram famous people don’t take the time to learn how to think deeper about their art.
This is were “Seeing Thru Photographs” comes into play. This is a good taste of what it is like to be in a MFA of Photography program that teaches an individual to think about how to create art. The program is broken up into 6 modules and has numerous required reading assignments. All the videos and required text are included in the program. There are also lots of extra videos and texts that are suggested for more information on the given subject.
I say give it a try. If you’re a wanna be pro or just enjoy learning so that you can take better photos this course can help everyone. Photography is more that just cameras and lenses.