on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Photographic Pedagogy

The role of the teacher in photographic art

Guy Tal

Professional photographic artist, author and speaker working primarily in the Western US.


In this rapidly changing world of our there is a real need to free the teaching of photography from the long-standing dogmas which tend to restrict rather than encourage growth. The serious photographer today should constantly be seeking new ways of commenting on a world that is newly understood. Constant creativity and innovation are essential to combat visual mediocrity. The photographic educator should appeal to the students of serious photography to challenge continually both their medium and themselves. ~Jerry Uelsmann

Among the more popular topics of research in recent years, especially among neuroscientists, is the nature of creativity. It may seem obvious that before any study of creativity can take place, scientists need a strict definition for it, in terms conducive to empirical observation and measurement; but defining creativity has become a topic of some contention. Some earlier definitions measure creativity using two criteria—novelty (in some texts referred to as, originality), and usefulness (in some texts referred to as, value, or effectiveness). More recent definitions add a third criterion—surprise (referring to a measure of how unexpected a creative idea is, or how little was known about it in advance).

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