On the idea of photographic education. Maximum bling?

It's always about the look.  Not about the light.

If my son were to come to me and ask me to teach him photography what would I say?  How would I do that?  There are many people today who would tell an aspiring photographer that he needn't pursue a traditional education at a college or university.  They would state (and believe) that everything you need to learn to be successful is on the web or can be learned at a series of daylong or weekend long workshops.

But would that be enough to make one a good photographer or even a successful photographer?

I guess the first thing we should do if we pursue this topic is to make a demarcation between good and successful.  Most would point to financial success as a critical marker.  And in that regard mastering the bare mechanics of a plastic art and wrapping a cocoon of business strategy around it might be enough to engender what the typical man in the street would call success.  If you can make a process routine, predictable and appealing you may well be able to somewhat mass produce the process and sell the same basic steps over and over again.  The process of learning from lighting diagrams, charts and "behind the scenes" shot is, to good photography, what "paint by numbers" is to real painting.

As the field of photography broadened over the last decade it attracted more and more people who, by dint of their demographic, didn't have the luxury of learning in any other way than by putting their feet on the "dance diagram on the floor" and trying to follow the numbered steps.  And I understand that for many this was the available path.  A photographer educated in this way is looking for rules and steps that make the photographic product easier and repeatable.