Hey /p/, I'm a beginner in photography and today I was speaking about it with a friend with the same interest, she was talking about the idea of taking a photography class or some shit like that, is that really necessary to became any good with a camera? I just started fucking around with my Nikon on manual and bought some books, is this not enough? What do you think about it?
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Classes give you skills that you can easily get without the class, however, classes keep you working on a regular basis, and focus you towards skills and processes that you might get more slowly without it.
You don't need a class at all, but as a beginner, being given focused projects, interspersed with basic compositional theory and technical information can get you going a lot faster than merely having a camera around while you lay in your living room.
You don't need to, but it can be useful. Classes are usually as useful as you want to make them.
If you have critiques in class, and/or if your teacher offers them, it will be one of the few times people HAVE to look at your stuff.
Conversely you can see the work of people around your skill level, and their process.
You will also most likely have to select VERY few of the pictures you take to show, so you will learn to edit down, too.
But if you are very contrarian to all this stuff, it will be a waste of time.
There was some anon one here a while back who was pissed their teacher wanted to take photos without cropping. If you aren't willing to try to roll with stuff like that, don't bother.
Classes will be as good as your teacher is. Look for your teacher's pics, see if you like it, if you do, do the course. It's easier to learn from someone than all by yourself, but only if you're learning what you want to.
Also it's very feasible to be an autodidact in photography. Get the Ralph Lambert Way Beyond Monochrome book to learn technique; Time-Life Art of Photography to learn from Ernst Haas what makes a good pic. There's also other books on photography by Time-Life, some very good such as Documentary photography and Color photography book. I teach workshops on photography technique and I advise against most modern photography guides, since it's all on teaching camera and software controls, and very little on evaluating pics other than most basic rules (such as rule of thirds etc). Have fun!
if you've got the time/money
if you're willing to be humble, accept criticism, and work hard
you will get feedback (and probably much better feedback than /p/ will give you), you will learn from someone who (hopefully) knows more than you, and you may end up making some friends.
if you go into it thinking you know better than everyone, you will end up wasting your time and money.
i've heard stories from different people: some people said their classes were very informative while others said it was basically a huge waste of time
if anything, going to class will force you to actually shoot more, but i feel like you can learn about most of the stuff just by going online and reading up basic stuff. you just need to actually go outside and take some photos