Slack or plainly inept?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Garbz, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok over the past year or so I have noticed a very sad trend. People don't research, they don't try to figure things out, and they don't READ THE ****** MANUAL.

    I point the finger at the culprits being mainly young (my age, 23 and younger) who have grown up with computers and spent their lives at school being spoon fed information. For instance it is one thing to ask about HDR on the forum when a quick google search of even this forum search would give you more than you wanted to know to begin with, but it's quite another to post a question like how do you prevent the flash from firing, or who do I set my white balance. That little book that came with you camera, I don't want to hear you complain about it being over 100 pages, READ IT, and if you don't want to read it, at least look through the INDEX if the solution is in there.

    I mean is that so difficult? It sounds obvious, but it's everywhere not even limited to photography. I saw this even at uni today. I study engineering so we're kind of expected to go out and do a bit of research. 2 hours before our exam on transmission lines someone asked me how to solve one of the tute questions. I nearly lost it. 1) it was answered in the tute, 2) the solutions are up on the course website (person in question had his laptop next to him), and 3) that question was the first example in the set chapter in the prescribed textbook.

    Am I the only one who gets really ticked off about this?
     
  2. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Why let it bother you? Either help the person or don't. Everyone learns at a different pace. Keep it positive.

    Love & Bass
     
  3. Jon, The Elder

    Jon, The Elder TPF Noob!

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    Garbz.....you are absolutely correct. There is at least one and a half generations of people who have been exposed to audio and visual info as a steady diet. The just want to have the precise info dropped into their head so they can race to the next question.

    The creative process starts with independent thinking. That is why there are so many inane questions about "is this picture good"? floating around.
    As a student, you know that 'thinking' is hard work. Very few really like hard work. As a result, this spills over into their personal lives and we have a 'monkey-see-monkey-do' mentality starting to surface.

    The problem is they don't WANT to learn, they just want quick answers with no effort on their part.
     
  4. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    this is not just a generation of people...I know many my age who will actually venture to learn. It's just that you don't notice the ones who search. People who search usually don't create a thread saying "I searched the forum and got my answer!"
     
  5. Richard

    Richard TPF Noob!

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    Good point sideburns. On the other side of the coin I can say I have asked questions I know the answer is in the manual, but I might be at work and know that I most likely will forget my question by the time I get home. So it seems easier to just post the question and hope someone like craig mentioned, answers it for me.

    I understand though that the general questions like "What camera should I buy?" is frustrating because it is not a simple question.

    I really think sideburns makes a good point, there could be a large amount of people that could be doing their research we just can't see it. I know I have done plenty of my own research on photography, still sometimes you just want to ask a question instead of spending time surfing for the answer.
     
  6. JHF Photography

    JHF Photography TPF Noob!

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    Garbz and Jon, I have to agree with you. It's becoming more common these days, and not just in regards to photography. I work in an office, and I have had people phone me and ask for the number for our competion...
     
  7. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I totally agree with Garbz about his general statement (except I don't think it is particularly generational).

    I have a totally different outlook (and am much more likely to answer) a poster who says "I have read through my manual twice, looked at the diagrams and examples and I just can't understand what it is saying"... because the person has made a serious effort to solve it themselves.

    I think a lot of "techie" photographers (not referring to anybody in particular here, certainly not anybody who has posted on this thread so far... this is a generalized statement) forget that photography attracts a lot of people who are very artistic but not very tech oriented. Artsy people often do not "get" technical stuff intrinsically. However, they can generally READ a manual, and should do that first thing.

    I am a fairly tech savvy person (I am a network system administrator by day) and I absolutely, positively read my camera manuals from cover to cover, usually four or five times... so much so that they are dog eared. Still, things stump me.

    It took me forever to figure out how to change the focus areas on my D80's, simply because it doesn't explicitly say how to do it in the manual. I ended up googling it, and couldn't find it. I ended up calling Nikon, and it turned out to be simple... I was just being as dense as an anvil.

    I am not saying that we shouldn't help newbies... but... my level of help is (and has been) directly related to the amount of homework that newbie has done. When somebody says they have spent the last 3 days reading all about the 4 cameras they are considering buying, then ask specific questions or opinions from people who use those cameras, I am all over that... and try to help as much as I can (which, when it comes to Canons, is not much since I don't use Canon DSLR's on a regular basis and have shot less than 1K pictures with an XTi). Nikon D80's & D40's I know because I own them.

    In my business, we have an expression: RTFM

    It stands for "Read The Freaking Manual".... well, it ALMOST stands for that if you know what I mean (UNIX geeks can substitute MAN page for manual). I will call tech support for some vendor and start the conversation "First, I did RTFM... I couldn't find out how to blah blah blah blah"
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I try, but i'm not getting frustrated at the pace people are learning at. I'm frustrated at the fact that they don't learn at all. They consume. They memorise an answer to a question. What will be most frustrating is that in 10 years when I head up a team of engineers or work in business depending on which way I want to go I'll most likely end up with these people working with me. Heck they already are.

    Yes the thing that frustrates me is not the people who put even a little bit of effort in to their search for knowledge, but those who put none, nada, zero. I have nothing against questions like ... I hope this is right but I think it was Iron Dreamer's recent one about tonemapping and how it relates to HDR, and if it can be done without HDR. That's a complex question which I don't think I have seen on this board. But the question that pops up a lot is "What is HDR?" Searching HDR on this board maxes out the search function. 200 results, and just on this board. Even easier jump into google and type "define:HDR":

    "High Dynamic Range. This is a lighting procedure designed to emulate the way that light levels in the real world vary over an enormous range. This is mostly achieved by the use of floating point textures and render targets (as well as using the appropriate lighting algorithm); integer formats do not offer the anywhere near the same range of values. Although visually better, the use of floating point formats can result in a large performance impact on some graphics adapters."

    The answers pops up. What's worrying is when people who genuinely get used to the spoon feeding they get on a daily basis will react in unpredictable ways when faced with a real life problem. The growing trend to me is more than an annoyance but rather something I see that causes problems in society on the whole if even university students have a "what to think" not a "how to think" attitude.
     
  9. JHF Photography

    JHF Photography TPF Noob!

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    Sabbath, I think you've made some really good points. I also don't think it's confined to any one generation, although I have noticed it is a little more common with younger people (I'm 26, so I guess to some I am one of those "younger" people)

    I agree that we sometimes forget that not everybody is tech savvy (as someone who is, I'm guilty of forgetting that). I think the frustrating thing is the number of people who just don't even try! Like you, I (and probably everyone else who has posted here) find it much more appealing to respond to a thread where the person has clearly done their research.

    It's true that newbie's do need help, and I for one am willing to offer it. But I think they would find the responses a little more friendly and helpful if they made it obvious that they did some homework of there own first. I just shake my head when a newbie posts a question like "What settings should i use to take good pictures on my brand new D200" and then get's upset when people are a little less than helpful.
     
  10. Richard

    Richard TPF Noob!

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    Ahh I got you Garbz. I guess I haven't noticed this trend, I just figured some people are just lazy and some are not. I've always been a manual person, I remember how I would want to read a video game manual before I even started to play the game. Then I had friends that would only read it if they got stuck on something.
     
  11. JHF Photography

    JHF Photography TPF Noob!

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    Exactly! You can even see some of those reactions right here on these boards. When somebody responds the spoon feeding request in a witty, or "learning encouraging" manner (such as "try google"), the OP's sometimes react in very bizzare ways, flying right off the handle occasionally.
     
  12. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Having ducked several flying objects, I can agree with this. Honest, straightforward talk is not brutal by definition.
     

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