It's not often we can say that a graduate of our New York Institute of Photography founded a successful world religion, frequented the best-seller booklists, was a distinguished explorer, and became an accomplished photographer. All this, and more, can be said about NYIP graduate L. Ron Hubbard. Bridge Publications has just released The L. Ron Hubbard Series, and we were fortunate to receive a copy of this impressive set of volumes. Of particular interest to us was the volume entitled Photographer: Writing with Light (click on the title to watch an overview video and see some of his stunning photographic works).
Mr. Hubbard began his study in our correspondence course in late 1961, and many of the learning techniques became part of his Study Technology for teaching Scientology to thousands of people in classrooms around the world.
L. Ron Hubbard's interest in photography began at an early age, starting with his childhood Kodak Brownie Jr. Once the country's youngest Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, he became a candidate for the Photography merit badge in the early 1920s. But it was a rocky road. Here's his account.
Down to the National Museum I went to see the examiner of the merit badge. He sat at a big desk in a room that was cluttered with human skulls and proceeded to inform me that I knew nothing about photography. I agreed with him perfectly and came again another day to find the same verdict. A month and ten visits later he signed my card just to be rid of me, telling me that I'd never know anything about photography due to my exceptional stupidity. This is rather abated by the fact that I just sold six pictures to the National Geographic magazine.
Here are some of our favorite L. Ron Hubbard quotes on photography.
I've had to learn photography four times completely from scratch.
I use the living daylights out of filters.
You can't pass up a shot just because you haven't got a special lens. You try to get the shot with the lens you have got. You will often find yourself on location without that special piece of equipment that has never been built and you will have to make up for it with your own ingenuity.
An amateur, for some reason, tries to get the most possible into one frame. He also does not see the world, from a photographic viewpoint, with a frame around it. He does not fill the frame. And he does not delete unwanted things.
Make the picture talk.
Preconceive the picture you are going to shoot.
We're the New York Institute of Photography, a distance education school teaching photography since 1910 - over 100 years of knowledge and experience. Listen to the following podcast to learn more about who we are and what we do.
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With the movie "The Master" coming out at this time, we thought it would be interesting to bring up Hubbard and note his fascination with photography. L. Ron Hubbard took our distance education program and thought very highly of our teaching methods and commented on them in his writing and lectures. NYIP never looks into the religious beliefs of students. We offer our courses, without discrimination, to people in all countries, and can well imagine that our students represent every belief system on the planet. From the early days of the Institute, we have enrolled people of all religions and all ethnic groups. Hubbard took photographs for tourist bureaus, magazines, and there's a synagogue in America that still uses his photographs in their official brochure.
I note a comment or two that question whether the person who wrote this post, Jay Johnson, has some affiliation with Scientology. He does not, nor does NYIP. Over the years we have taken pride in offering reasonably priced photographic education to people from all walks of life. Photography has often been called "the universal language," and at a time when a small number of individuals around the globe are lashing out at people with different beliefs, a universal language that can promote understanding has never been more necessary.