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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk
Thread started 19 Aug 2011 (Friday) 03:56
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An old blokes perspective.

 
neil_r
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Aug 19, 2011 03:56 |  #1

First off I am not a grumpy old git (I am old, I can be grumpy and I can be a git, but seldom all three at the same time)

I have been making a reasonable living with a camera for over 30 years but am still happy to be an early adopter of new technology, and since starting to move over to digital when Canon launched the D60 (that is D60 not 60D) I have stayed relatively consistent with their developments (see gear list).

I have been reasonably active on POTN for many years, and it has been great to see how much it has grown, in my early days here there were many people simply trying to work things out as many were in the same place as me in that they were transferring years of knowledge from the film world into the digital age.

Over the last few days I have had a bit more time to venture into parts of the forum that I have not been into for a very long time and I am really surprised by some of the things I have seen.


  1. There are people giving advice that is simply wrong.

  2. There are people offering opinions and then defending them as if they were set in stone and handed down to Moses on the mountain.

  3. And despite some of the best moderators on the WWW there is often an undercurrent of rudeness and intolerance that is unpleasant but may just be a sign of the times.


The world has definitely changed, the pace of change has accelerated unbelievably, I used the same pair of manual Pentax cameras for over 15 years and my Bronca kit was over 25 years old when it went into the draw for the last time. I honestly think that in this age of instant gratification and low cost, people are missing out on the opportunity to actually learn.

When I started out professional photographic gear was in the second mortgage range and every time I activated the shutter it cost me money. I had to learn everything I needed to know or go bankrupt. I would go to a wedding with 6 roles of 15 exposure 120 film and without the benefit of the LCD screen have to leave knowing that I had got what was needed, and there simply was not the opportunity save in PP.

I am not saying that that was better; it is just the way it was. Today the learning curve is less steep and the consequences of error less damaging and therefore I think people do not fully understand the principles and science that help them deliver the results they are getting. Which to me is sad.

I was joking with another old git a few nights ago and we thought that Canon, Nikon and all the other manufactures should put a CC reader in their cameras and charge 50p (or 50 cents) for every shutter click for the first year of usage, it may push people to a more academic approach to their photography.

This is not a rant, it is simply a post from an old git with too much time on his hands.

Neil - © NHR Photography
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dynamitetony
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Aug 19, 2011 04:04 |  #2

I think this is just a sign of the times.

Technology has changed many things "that you used to be different"

and the online world just duplicates real life.. Some good, some bad, some ugly

and some old grumpy gits :)


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monk3y
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Aug 19, 2011 04:18 |  #3

neil_r wrote in post #12961766external link

  1. There are people giving advice that is simply wrong.

  2. There are people offering opinions and then defending them as if they were set in stone and handed down to Moses on the mountain.

  3. And despite some of the best moderators on the WWW there is often an undercurrent of rudeness and intolerance that is unpleasant but may just be a sign of the times.

Interesting :D

I am still relatively young and relatively new to the forum too ;) and my post count probably says a lot about the crap I have been posting in this forum :lol:. But like you I rarely venture into other parts of the forum or if I do I usually just watch others post and argue about their opinions.

I have 3 threads here that I consider home and I spam on those threads a lot but rarely would you see me give advice outside of those threads... and I agree with all your observations above.

With that said, I hope you continue to enjoy Photography in this modern day and age knowing that you put a lot more effort in learning your craft than a lot of us. Also, please just ignore those people that falls into your 2nd and 3rd observation, then POTN would be a lot more fun :D


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SOK
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Aug 19, 2011 06:33 |  #4

Whilst I can empathise in a general sense I have no real feeling one way or another...

However, this is certainly true and certainly unfortunate;

neil_r wrote in post #12961766external link
Over the last few days I have had a bit more time to venture into parts of the forum that I have not been into for a very long time and I am really surprised by some of the things I have seen.

  1. There are people giving advice that is simply wrong.
  2. There are people offering opinions and then defending them as if they were set in stone and handed down to Moses on the mountain.
  3. And despite some of the best moderators on the WWW there is often an undercurrent of rudeness and intolerance that is unpleasant but may just be a sign of the times.


Steve
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S.Horton
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Aug 19, 2011 06:55 |  #5

I am pushing 50. Probably a few years behind you, based upon what you were working with.

Times are changing overall. I was a major rebel. Now, I am one of those in a chorus wondering why attitudes have changed so much.

It is now taken for granted that any idea repeated loudly enough and widely enough is true. It is also accepted that expertise is overrated, and anything one cannot understand in 15 seconds or less is only that way because the person trying to communicate e concept is weak or flawed.

I have been spending a lot of tine at a private US top university library. So based upon hundreds of hours there at all times of the day or night, I think the spoiled/ruined are suburban US kids.

Not all of them. Perhaps 60 to 70 percent.

They may turn around when they have to support a family. Maybe.


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tzalman
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Aug 19, 2011 07:06 |  #6

and since starting to move over to digital when Canon launched the 60D (that is 60D not D60)

At risk of being classified among the wrong, I really do think you have that reversed. Or were you a member of the forum for seven years before going digital?


Elie / אלי

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neil_r
THREAD ­ STARTER
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Aug 19, 2011 07:09 |  #7

tzalman wrote in post #12962100external link
At risk of being classified among the wrong, I really do think you have that reversed. Or were you a member of the forum for seven years before going digital?

You are so right :-) I put it down to my age.


Neil - © NHR Photography
Commercial Siteexternal link - Video Siteexternal link - Blog -external linkGear List There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs. ~ Ansel Adams

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jdlincoln
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Aug 19, 2011 08:44 as a reply to post 12962298 |  #8

One of the greatest things about digital photography versus film is the instant feedback that it gives. If you are dedicated to learning, being able to see what went wrong immediately and having a chance to fix it is invaluable. You can learn faster, experiment more, and spend less learning on digital. The key is learning the academics and being able to put that knowledge to work. That takes practice, and modern digital cameras make practicing easier.

Of course, that reflects a certain attitude and approach to the craft. Unfortunately attitude is one of the hardest things to fix.




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neil_r
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Aug 19, 2011 08:56 |  #9

^^ You are so right ......

What I really dispaire about is when someone has had their digital camera (possibly their first camera period) for a few months and then offer advice along the following lines ......

This is a real example.

"I always shoot manual as it gives me total control, you will learn it real quick; basically a faster shutter speed will give you darker images and a slower one brighter"

and not forgetting ....

"I have had my digital camera for several months now and am getting real good, I have a wedding next saturday, any tips?"

Another ting that really surprises me is just how much people are prepared to spend before they do any research.

A recent post asking about Studio lights was along the lines of ....

I have a couple of Elinchrom studio lights with soft-boxes (not a small outlay) I am having trouble balancing my lights My main light is too bright and my fill light is not bright enough, should both lights flash? My fill light is on but the flash from my main light is to bright"

Ok so digital photography will let you get there eventually by trial and error but a rudimentary knowledge of the inverse square law and a decent flash meter really can help.


Neil - © NHR Photography
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Traci_Ann
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Krikkit
Aug 19, 2011 08:57 |  #10

neil_r wrote in post #12961766external link
Over the last few days I have had a bit more time to venture into parts of the forum that I have not been into for a very long time and I am really surprised by some of the things I have seen.


  1. There are people giving advice that is simply wrong.

  2. There are people offering opinions and then defending them as if they were set in stone and handed down to Moses on the mountain.

  3. And despite some of the best moderators on the WWW there is often an undercurrent of rudeness and intolerance that is unpleasant but may just be a sign of the times.

It's always been here (and everywhere else too).


Sevas Tra...

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neil_r
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Aug 19, 2011 09:00 |  #11

Jaymz wrote in post #12962441external link
It's always been here (and everywhere else too).

Possibly but I guess it was not so noticeable in the early days as there were far fewer people and posts, either that or I am using my retrospective rose tinted glasses again ....


Neil - © NHR Photography
Commercial Siteexternal link - Video Siteexternal link - Blog -external linkGear List There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs. ~ Ansel Adams

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Curtis ­ N
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Aug 19, 2011 09:11 |  #12

neil_r wrote in post #12961766external link

  1. There are people giving advice that is simply wrong.
  2. There are people offering opinions and then defending them as if they were set in stone and handed down to Moses on the mountain.
  3. And despite some of the best moderators on the WWW there is often an undercurrent of rudeness and intolerance that is unpleasant but may just be a sign of the times.

Here's the scary thing, Neil. Back in the day, you had to go to college, or spend big bucks in seminars and classes, or apprentice with a seasoned pro for many years to learn this craft.

I bought my first real camera in 2005, learned almost everything I know about photography in this forum, and in 2008 was dubbed "Master Flasher." All of a sudden I'm seen as some sort of expert and people are sending me PMs asking for advice.

Truth is, I'm still a beginner and don't really know squat.

But on the internet, you can pretend to be an expert. It's a great ego boost, apparently. You can give advice and render opinions even though you don't know squat.

And if you've made a modest living at photography for 30 years but still pretty much suck at it (those people exist in every profession), you can backup your advice and opinions with that experience, even if you really don't have a clue.

In my real job as an elected official, I have to do more than give opinions. I have to earn people's respect. If I don't do that, the folks won't let me keep my job.

On the internet, everyone has a voice, whether they have earned anyone's respect or not. So it's a real magnet for those with a desperate need for attention but have failed to gain an audience for their opinions elsewhere.


"If you're not having fun, your pictures will reflect that." - Joe McNally
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yogestee
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Aug 19, 2011 09:14 as a reply to neil_r's post |  #13

Neil,, I'm not a grumpy old git, but bugger me, I don't suffer fools gladly.

The other day some fool posted I should "re-train" (yep, that's the word he used) because I don't use a technique that's popular with many members here on POTN. The technique I use, I've found successful for me for over six years.

With 28 years of pro photography under my belt, four years of formal training in commercial photography at college level, plus countless workshops, he wants me to re-train?


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TheReal7
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Aug 19, 2011 09:18 |  #14

I am not that old (36) but I have to agree with the OP.

My opinion is that with high quality digital camera gear becoming more and more affordable to the general public more and more of them are getting into photography. What you get is a flood of people with a "high end" camera and now think they are professional. Simply by JUST buying a camera. They have no understanding of composition, light, colour, mood, energy, anything. Then they download some presets for lightroom and start clicking like crazy having no real understanding of what they're doing. Then, they post those images online to thousands of other "photographers" with the same level of unknowledge and get a flood of "great shot" comments. Never ever learning what they did wrong or how they can improve because everyone they "associate" with has nothing to bring to the table. This is also a snowball effect as it spreads. This happens not only in photography. Just look at the music industry and the "artists" of today.

The terms "respect" and "common sense" are a thing of the past too and that is why you get the rudeness from others. Lack of knowledge, lack of common sense and lack of respect. Welcome to the World today.

Another thing I've noticed, and this happened with another website, is once the dilution has started (ie unknowledgeable users giving untruths and misinformation as facts to others) the damage is done. That is when the real knowledgeable people leave the site and go elsewhere looking for more knowledgeable photogs.


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neil_r
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Aug 19, 2011 09:20 |  #15

yogestee wrote in post #12962507external link
Neil,, I'm not a grumpy old git, but bugger me, I don't suffer fools gladly.

The other day some fool posted I should "re-train" (yep, that's the word he used) because I don't use a technique that's popular with many members here on POTN. The technique I use, I've found successful for me for over six years.

With 28 years of pro photography under my belt, four years of formal training in commercial photography at college level, plus countless workshops, he wants me to re-train?

Well Jurgen I was meaning to tell you ....... :-)

(You know he was more than likely 16 years old and still in school don't you? )


Neil - © NHR Photography
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