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Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Do’s and Don’ts

The Do’s and Don’ts of Graduate Studies: Maxims from the Chair from the book The Education of a Photographer by Charles H Traub, Chair at School of Visual Arts’ MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department in New York.

The Do’s

Do something old in a new way
Do something new in an old way
Do something new in a new way, Whatever works . . . works
Do it sharp, if you can’t, call it art
Do it in the computer—if it can be done there
Do fifty of them—you will definitely get a show
Do it big, if you cant do it big, do it red
If all else fails turn it upside down, if it looks good it might work
Do Bend your knees
If you don’t know what to do, look up or down—but continue looking
Do celebrities—if you do a lot of them, you’ll get a book
Connect with others—network
Edit it yourself
Design it yourself
Publish it yourself
Edit, When in doubt shoot more
Edit again
Read Darwin, Marx, Joyce, Freud, Einstein, Benjamin, McLuhan, and Barth
See Citizen Kane ten times
Look at everything—stare
Construct your images from the edge inward
If it’s the “real world,” do it in color
If it can be done digitally—do it
Be self centered, self involved, and generally entitled and always pushing—and damned to hell for doing it
Break all rules, except the chairman’s

The Don’ts

Don’t do it about yourself—or your friend—or your family
Don’t dare photograph yourself nude
Don’t look at old family albums
Don’t hand color it
Don’t write on it
Don’t use alternative process—if it ain’t straight do it in the computer
Don’t gild the lily—AKA less is more
Don’t go to video when you don’t know what else to do
Don’t photograph indigent people, particularly in foreign lands
Don’t whine, just produce