Somewhat Shattered

My photo professor had a guest lecturer in today.  His name is Justin and he is a graduate student at Yale University studying photography.  He’s a really great guy, awesome photographer and just super nice.

He told us about his journey from a trade school graduate hopping from job to job and with no desire to be college graduate much less a graduate student to a teaching assistant at Yale.  It was sort of a pictorial display of time but non-documentary.

Justin uses a 4×5 film camera for most of his shots, well he did originally.  Now he uses a Hasselblad type medium format film camera.  These 4×5 cameras allow for tilt/rise/fall/slide etc etc.  If you don’t know what these things are, you’re probably normal.  But for us photo geeks, it means capturing pictures with great, GREAT accessibility… Not the word I’m looking for.

Think of it this way.  When you take a picture of a building, looking up, it gets smaller at the top.  By tilting/shifting/raising the lens you can keep the building perfectly square.  It’s what Ansel Adams used.  It’s what architectural and fashion photographers use quite often, if not exclusively.  They are the old looking, accordian style cameras you probably thought were pieces of crap.  Not so!  I really want one and am trying to figure out how I can find the money for the camera and the film and the lenses… All in time.

After the great lecture, I got to talking to Justin (weird to type that name and not be in third person) and my professor as well as another professor about going to graduate school for a masters in fine art.

All three of these guys studied at Yale University.  It is arguably the best MFA program in the country, as far as photography goes.  And the price isn’t too terrible at around $25,000 a year.

My professor seems to think I could get in to Yale, Stanford or UCSF with my current portfolio as well as some new and better things.  Wow, I sure didn’t think so.  I still have a long way to go, both in time to apply and time to take more and better pics but still…  Stanford and UCSF, according to the two professors, are or can be free.  No tuition for MFA students.  Weird right?  Apparently a little known true story, or widely known and not talked about haha.

So.  I get excited at this prospect.  While I’d kill to go to Yale where my idols teach, Sally Mann, Gregory Crewdson… etc etc.  UCSF and Stanford are in the very area that Ryan and I want to move.  And possibly free.  Awesome right?

I call my parents to share this news and get their opinions.

They don’t seem too excited, positive or supportive of the idea.  My dad says, “Well it’s something to think about”.  I guess I was expecting, “Wow Justin, what an awesome opportunitiy, tell us more!”

Not so.  So now I’m bummed.  It seems only my friends are optimistic about my photography.  I don’t get much encouragement anymore from family and even Ryan doesn’t seem very excited about this passion of mine.  I understand people can’t be 100% into everything I am in, but this is just about my greatest creative love.

Hmph.  I’m pretty down about the whole thing now.  A few hours ago I was all-a-glow and now I’m in the dumps.

I’ll leave you with a few old pictures I took but never put on the internets.  They were all taken before I ever had a photography class, not sure the importance of that but… whatev.

Yeah.  Feel free to comment on what you think I should do.  I’m torn now.  Graduate and get to work taking over my grandmother’s advertising company, go to graduate school, work for a photo studio or start my own studio and teach photography on the side.

Hmph.