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Thread: General musing

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    Member Liney's Avatar
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    General musing

    I understand this is the forum for those new to photography, but I was hoping some of the more experienced hands would give their insights and hopefully the less experienced members could learn something.

    I've been spending some spare time perusing the internet, looking for photography-related resources. Now I admit I've had an SLR for 30 years, so I'm pretty familiar with the workings and the "basics" of photography. Some areas I am new at, such as post processing, but in general I can find my way around a camera with some confidence.

    So I find myself looking at some sites that are for "beginners", some that talk about "this is for the more advanced photographer" and some that just profess to explaining things without thinking of the terminology they use or dismissing some steps with single lines that assume you know exactly how to "disassemble the wibble cam from the sprocket shaft" (or similar!)

    So it got me to thinking, we probably all automatically stick ourselves into pigeon holes based on where we think our experience level lies, but it is just a case that "there are things we know and things we don't"? Do you ever discover a very basic tip that you realised you never knew before? Or does someone tell you that "only an expert can do that" and it all appears straight forward to you.

    So do you think you fit somewhere in the learning pecking order, or do you just open your mind to anything?
    Millenium, hand and shrimp!
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Well, for the benefit of all on AP, this site caters for people of all levels of skill and experience. There's no particular structure
    supposed, except a basic distinction of experience level into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. They do not reflect any
    uniformity of experience in each category, so no two people in any one band are necessarily the same.

    The idea of pigeonholing has been with us for about a few centuries, I suppose, so in spite of its shortcomings, it has some use.
    One idea is not to think that you're restricted to just one such pigeonhole. You fit into multiple conceptual ones.

    This advice is valued at a modest 2c.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 12-06-2015 at 9:51pm.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    I think you can be an "expert" in one area of photography but a complete novice in another area. For example , I know the way around a camera and am "advanced level" at general photo taking skills , but rarely use flash or any other artificial lighting , therefore a complete novice in this area. I've never tried any of those night sky milky way shots - complete novice in that area , and so on. I guess that means there is always something new to learn.
    The name is Brad ......

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    Loves The Wildlife. Mary Anne's Avatar
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    I know some about a few genres and wish I knew a lot more I don't do Sports, or Astro as Hubby is passed going out at night me too.
    I don't have time to look at sites about any level just for the sake of reading I am too busy learning how to do other things
    You are never to old to learn, and the day I stop learning will be the day I draw my last breath..
    So NO I do not put myself into one pigeon hole when there are so many of them out there I can fit in.

    I shoot with Canon And Olympus Cameras



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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    There is also the cross-over.

    Give someone a DSLR for the first time and chances are the do not even know what ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture even are, let alone what they do. Train them up on those and nothing else, and they might get some good photos, but without some understanding of composition, light, focusing, then their chances of good photos diminish.

    Take that same person and give them all of the above, and they start to become reasonably proficient at this Art we call photography. So there is something they do not know (there is always something each and every one of us does not know), that does not mean they are not more proficient than the person standing there holding a DSLR for the first time today. Our first person, could become a teacher to the second person.

    Do any of us know it all? I hope not! Cause at that point creativity dies, and it all becomes about the technical of how to!

    But a photographer with great skills and knowledge of landscapes could well be an intermediate level photographer when it comes to portraiture. Why not a beginner? Well cause they still know about exposing well, how to handle the camera, what to focus on etc. No one ever goes back to that day they were first told 'hold this'.

    Also remember that people learn in differing ways. I am a visual learner, show me how to do something and I can learn it. Write it down and it takes me a bit longer to get my head around it. Give me oral instructions and then send me off to replicate it, and if it has more than a few steps I will muck it up for sure. So when someone tells you that a particular thing is hard to learn, they might learn differently to you or me, and just perhaps they do not even realise there are different ways that people learn more effectively. So they had to learn this supposed advanced technique by reading it, but if they had done so by watching it, it might not have seemed so advanced. All to often people do not even know what sort of learner they are. Once you know that, you can seek out a way to learn that fits who you are. I often ask people in my work, how would you like me to teach you this, do you want written notes, watch me or we just talk it through. It is amazing how often I will get an odd look, simply cause no one has ever asked them this before.

    So when you visit these sites for beginners or sites for advanced members, go there, knowing how you learn, and remembering that often people do not even know how they learn. So when you encounter someone telling you it is an advanced technique, remember it might well seem so to them, cause they struggled to learn and understand it, due to the way it was taught to them.

    so to your last question "So do you think you fit somewhere in the learning pecking order, or do you just open your mind to anything?"

    Yes we all fit into the learning pecking order somewhere, including me. But if you open your mind and understand how YOU learn, you can learn anything. But where you fit in the learning pecking order, is only limited by you! When I am learning something new, I often say to myself "there are at least 50 people on Ausphotography who can do this, so there is no reason I can't do it", or 'there are millions of people in the world that understand this, so I can be one of those". Learning is about knowing the best way you learn (visual, written or oral) and then being positive about doing so.

    We are all beginners at one point, and with learning, we become proficient, then expert!
    Last edited by ricktas; 13-06-2015 at 8:57am.
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    Folks

    Thanks for the quick responses, I guess that was exactly the feedback I was trying to get. It would be all too easy for someone new to the forum to read a few posts and be swamped with the sheer volume of information. If a newcomer tried, for example macro photography, and found the results disappointing, they may conclude that they were not cut out for photography when it may just be the case that they have the talent for another genre.

    As so many of you pointed out we can all learn something.

    My thanks for taking the time to respond.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liney View Post
    Folks

    Thanks for the quick responses, I guess that was exactly the feedback I was trying to get. It would be all too easy for someone new to the forum to read a few posts and be swamped with the sheer volume of information. If a newcomer tried, for example macro photography, and found the results disappointing, they may conclude that they were not cut out for photography when it may just be the case that they have the talent for another genre.

    As so many of you pointed out we can all learn something.

    My thanks for taking the time to respond.
    And they'd be right, Liney, because they couldn't hack a particular aspect of photography they conclude they can't hack the whole field.
    Such a person would probably not achieve much in any field.

    You're welcome from me. An interesting topic to raise.

    Am.

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    Am

    In which case I can only hope that a newcomer reads this thread, takes hope from the words of the wise and perseveres, rather than turns their back on photography. I find too often that I meet people who try, fail, then either give up or blame someone else for their own shortcomings. And then there are those gems that try, fail, learn where they went wrong and try again or try another tack.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liney View Post
    Am

    In which case I can only hope that a newcomer reads this thread, takes hope from the words of the wise and perseveres, rather than turns their back on photography. I find too often that I meet people who try, fail, then either give up or blame someone else for their own shortcomings. And then there are those gems that try, fail, learn where they went wrong and try again or try another tack.
    But that is not a photography only trait. People do this in all sorts of pursuits. I even know people with law degrees and education degrees who have never worked a day of their lives in the field of their qualification. Humans move between hobbies, interests and more all the time, failure may not be the cause.

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    Wise words ricktas, but one thing I've always thought about photography is that it lends itself to "what happens if I do this..." experimentation. To get the most out of it as a hobby we should be willing to try, try, and try again

  11. #11
    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liney View Post
    Wise words ricktas, but one thing I've always thought about photography is that it lends itself to "what happens if I do this..." experimentation. To get the most out of it as a hobby we should be willing to try, try, and try again
    Absolutely, and isn't that what learning is all about. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again .........

    The problem most learners have in any field of endeavor is to sort the informed wheat out from the well meaning chaff.
    Cheers
    Kev

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liney View Post
    , but one thing I've always thought about photography is that it lends itself to "what happens if I do this..." experimentation.
    However, many new to photography (that can mean different things) may need to take the time to ask "how can I do this" before they start to get to "what happens if I do this..." May be pointless asking what before how sometimes. If you want to get in focus photos of birds you may like to start with how do I do this before you do the "what happens if I do this...".
    Do beginners loose interest because they haven't learned how?
    And being new to photography (that can mean different things) they may be afraid to ask (makes me look a bit silly not knowing the basics, whatever). So instead of just simply asking on a place like AP they go and search the w.w.w. and end up with what Liney started this thread with and swamped with info they don't know how to process.
    There you go AM, upped your modest 2c to 5c worth. Pity others have offered gold coins.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    So Liney is the only one that is not designated advanced in the skill level thing that has commented here. Would it work if this thread was moved to f/stop to maybe create more discussion? Think the topic deserves more than beginners consideration.

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