View Poll Results: What types of answer do you expect?

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  • Tell me exactly how to do it

    3 11.54%
  • Explain to me about reasons behind those settings needed

    23 88.46%
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Thread: What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

  1. #1

    Default What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

    Let's say we become acquinted recently and you (the newbie) asks;

    "How do I get this person to be in focus, and the background out of focus?"

    Do you want/expect me to;

    1. say "Get out your telephoto lens, set your f/stop to f/2.8, focus on the person's eyes, and fire away."

    Or

    2. expect me to give you a explanation about aperture, exposure, and depth of field.


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    The reason I ask because there seems to be a wide range of expectations when someone new comes into CS and needs help. Naturally, one would post questions. But what are you actually expecting? A simple "do this" or an "explanation how and why you need to do this?"
    Last edited by Caspere; 18th January 2007 at 03:49 PM.
    CS says, "We can't help you ignore yourself."

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

    i think teach him directly what to do to get that result and also explain to him the technical explanation behind.

    if just tell him what to do without explaining the reason behind, he may not learn and just memorise the steps only.

  3. #3
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

    you take many years to learn the basic, hands on practices, plus experiments, etc.

    than someone come and ask you a question, want you to sum everything up in 3 or 4 lines, so he/she can just follow the steps, and produce the results exactly like what you did.

    so, someone please teach me how to reply these type of questions.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  4. #4

    Default Re: What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

    referring the person to a URL which explains most of the stuff would be most helpful, no pt retyping EVERYTHING if it was already available online...

    A prev thread explaining the concepts could also be pasted into the current thread

  5. #5

    Default Re: What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

    I think the newbies here falls into these 2 cataegories or more.

    Those that want to know exactly and quickly to get what they "think" they want. Kinda like at McDlds.

    The 2nd group, seems to want to learn, and don't mind spending time/effort listening/reading what you may have to say/write.

    I somehow understand those CS members (who really have the knowledge) actually spent a lot of time (serious amount of time and effort) learning by trial and error, or in school, or from apprenticing or working with mentors, feels when people just want the answers, and couldn't be bothered about "working" to get those answer themselves. Kinda like copying friend's homework in school.

    I am personally not so sure if either is RIGHT or WRONG.

    There will always be people who share, people who leech, and people who bitch, just like the real world we live in. I personally do not feel offended if a newbie just want the answer now, and not have to understand why.
    CS says, "We can't help you ignore yourself."

  6. #6

    Default Re: What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

    Looking at the postcounts of the members replying, I also notice that no newbies answered or posted in this thread yet.

    Is it because you really are thinking about it, or simply do not care.
    CS says, "We can't help you ignore yourself."

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

    My answer will depends on my level of knowledge of the subject matter. I think giving an example of the equipments or settings together with a brief explaination of the reason behind will be more helpful.

    By launching straight into a full fledge explaination of all the theory will only make some people confuse. But telling someone to do this or use that without explaining will be like blind leading the blind. So if I'm a noob, I'll prefer someone give some examples of the equipment or setting I could use plus some reasoning behind their uses. Then I would be able to try the examples and perhaps understand the reasoning behind it.
    Canon 650D|Panasonic LX3 / LX5
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  8. #8

    Default Re: What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caspere View Post
    Let's say we become acquinted recently and you (the newbie) asks;

    "How do I get this person to be in focus, and the background out of focus?"

    Do you want/expect me to;

    1. say "Get out your telephoto lens, set your f/stop to f/2.8, focus on the person's eyes, and fire away."

    Or

    2. expect me to give you a explanation about aperture, exposure, and depth of field.

    The reason I ask because there seems to be a wide range of expectations when someone new comes into CS and needs help. Naturally, one would post questions. But what are you actually expecting? A simple "do this" or an "explanation how and why you need to do this?"
    I think when asking questions, it would be best to also give a brief introduction on your background experience so people here can respond appropriately. Otherwise, many times people end up replying thing that the asker already knows. And if possible don't post in newbies if you're already quite experienced.

    And also for people who reply with an answer, if not sure, sometimes it's better not to reply because it might confuse rather than help. Sometimes I was also wondering if related queries can be compounded in the same thread. Sometimes it may be related but may be of a higher level and any replies to that might also give the real newbie more confusion.

    Maybe someone should compile an FAQ for the really newbies and put it as a sticky then the same problems/solutions will not need to be repeated.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

    hi,

    i am a newbie....

    hmm of course if someone can help me solve my problems by teaching me the step-by-step method and explaining the technical terms or logic behind them would be wonderful. of course it depends on individual....some of them might have the knowledge but not the skills...while some have neither both like me....so it will be helpful to learn the tricks and knowledge at the same time.

    of course a url to that topic would be fine but like in a school, if the teacher just throw u the notes and never explain what is going on etc do u think u can get good grades?

    if i have the knowledge and skills i will no doubt answer all the doubts like a mentor to a student to spread the skills/knowledge of digital photography around.

    it will be a selfless deed.

    chee kiang
    canon ixus 850
    canon eros 400d

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

    I think it depends on the question posted. If it is basic like the examle in the first post, you can just tell me too go and read up on DOF bcause I asking such question would probably wont understand any setting numbers you told (like I was about few months ago). A link to a good source of information would be great.

    If the question is really about setting such as "how come the person is not sharp although I have already set like this like that, and the condition is like this like that", exactly what is the good settings would be great.

  11. #11
    Member noob sniper's Avatar
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    Default Re: What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

    Hi guys i myself has just started tis hobby like 2-3 month and still learning from everyone here , for me i dun really want to know wat setting or tis and that to get the pic than without knowing the reason behind it , so wat i did is ask a question than wait for afew input , than try out all the advise that i get from u guys , than from there i learn why must i set tis and that to get the pic i wan .
    Last edited by noob sniper; 19th January 2007 at 08:17 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

    Since some of you are nice enough to join this thread, can I ask if digital makes it easier for you to do photography, rather then film.

    I have a friend commented if it wasn't because of digital, he would not have taken on photography. Cos there too much to learn even before he can see his pictures turn out decent!

    If this the true, then the answers so far in the above poll defies logic...

    or these answers are what you "think" is "politically correct" in this forum or at least for this thread?

    or.. are votes by us the "hardened amateurs who did it the hard way and wants to see this bunch of new people suffer like us" groupies?

    I know of enough nice people who say my stuff are great when they are not, so be honest and spare me the BS. Thank you.
    CS says, "We can't help you ignore yourself."

  13. #13

    Default Re: What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caspere View Post
    ........so be honest and spare me the BS......
    So I will!

    The mechanics of photography has come a long way, and will continue to evolve. When film came about, it was a revolution compared to the glass plates. Technology will get better, and will allow making images easier. Technology will have to be assessed in its own time frame.

    What is happening today with digital is not much different from what Kodak announced many years ago, "you click and I do the rest". (something like that!). Digital just made what Kodak claimed to a more sophisticated level.

    Even before digital, the all-singing-all-dancing cameras, such as the Nikon F5 and Canon 1V, with excellent lenses, made exposure and foccusing so easy. Digital just added the instant gratification factor.

    Today the computer chips and the LCD allowed the masses to make decent images fairly easliy. There is no question about that. Note that I use the words "make decent images".

    Now, what is photography? If you can define photography, then you can answer whether the digital process allows one to make better photography.

    To me, photography is visual communication. This is independent of technology. Meaningful photography can only come is one is a "good person" - "good" not from the moral perspective, but from what makes for one who is interesting, informed, educated, experienced in life, etc. These attributes cannot be derived from more technology.

    The seduction of the digital process leads one to the illusion that one is a photographer, just because the equipment, with the "settings" (How I hate that word!) allows one to make a decently exposed image. Of course, I am talking about photography as visual communication from the heart and soul. I am not talking about making pictures. I am talking about photography.

    I am interested to know a little more about your friend. What kinds of images he make? Does he make photography? Or does he just make photos?

    I am not in favor of making things harder than is necessary. I am lazy by nature, and will find the shortest way to do things. But just open your eyes in this very forum. What lighting did you use? What lens did you use? What settings did you employ? As if with the right equipment, everything will be OK, that one can make photography!

    The modern equipment only allows one to make better photos. They do not allow one to make better photography. For the latter, a lot more than the digital cameras is required.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

    to me
    there will never be anything wrong with helping another

  15. #15

    Default Re: What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by student View Post
    The modern equipment only allows one to make better photos. They do not allow one to make better photography. For the latter, a lot more than the digital cameras is required.
    That's why I still go back to my large format camera once in a while. To me, this is the escapade from the ongoing craze in digital technology. Back to the bare essentials and the basics.

    In fact, nowadays, I find shooting black-and-white films with my Rolleiflex fascinating! It is like going back to childhood again.
    Last edited by photobum; 21st January 2007 at 12:40 AM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

    I dont understand why some ppl are so against questions about settings and equipments. Without a camera you cant take pictures at all, without settings (not even say proper), you cant convey your message through the photos.

    You said "photography is visual communication", yes, and communication is an exchange of information between two persons via some means. If there is no means to do the exchange, there is no communication. If the means is used wrongly, the communication will be miss-intepreted.

    So why so against such technical questions? why cant you see them as learning to have a better means of communication?

  17. #17

    Default Re: What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by tqviet0327 View Post
    I dont understand why some ppl are so against questions about settings and equipments. Without a camera you cant take pictures at all, without settings (not even say proper), you cant convey your message through the photos.

    You said "photography is visual communication", yes, and communication is an exchange of information between two persons via some means. If there is no means to do the exchange, there is no communication. If the means is used wrongly, the communication will be miss-intepreted.

    So why so against such technical questions? why cant you see them as learning to have a better means of communication?
    I believe he is not talking about discussing "setting" as a bad thing per se.
    Last edited by Caspere; 21st January 2007 at 06:57 PM.
    CS says, "We can't help you ignore yourself."

  18. #18

    Default Re: What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

    i'm one of those people who wouldn't have gone into photography if not for digital

    and i think i see what your friend means as well. in the beginning, having a digital camera really speeds up the learning process, and it can shortcut the frustration of shooting a whole roll of film, getting it back from the lab and having no idea what went wrong.

    yes, there will be people who just shoot a lot of digital pictures hoping to get one good one, or using photoshop to try to fix their mistakes. but for those who want to understand how the camera works, digital can be a great tool. you can take an entire series of shots with different settings, to see how they affect your picture. you can try all kinds of new things to see how they work on the spot, then tweak what you're doing to get it right.

    just one example - singapore fireworks festival. i read up on the kind of settings to use when shooting fireworks etc. but nothing like the real experience. i found that my first few shots turned out completely rubbish because i hadn't figured out how to time the exposure to get the nicest bursts etc. but because i could see the results immediately, each shot got better and better. by the end of the night i had 2 decent pictures. and on the second night, i got even better ones. imagine having to do that with film - it would have taken much longer. and it's not about mindlessly taking shots, but about using that instant feedback digital gives to speed up your learning.

    and now that i feel i have a basic grasp of my equipment, i've switched to a film camera to try all the other stuff i missed by starting straight in digital. slides, black and white, even the simple excitement of waiting for my prints to come back from the lab. hopefully by the end of the year i'll be printing my own negs. am i a bad shooter because i was lured into photography by a digital camera? i hope not . like student said (and i hope i don't misunderstand) why make something harder than it needs to be?

    so in response to the TS's question, yes, digital has made it easier for me. but digital isn't the be all or end all of photography now. it just opened the door for people like myself.

    and techinique is just one part of the equation. so what if people learnt it the easy or the hard way? in the end, we still have to learn to see light, to know which moments are *the* moments. and this kind of homework, you can't copy. there's no easy way, only the lifelong way.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: What should my answer be when you ask newbie questions?

    I guess I wouldn't have come to photography now if it were not digital. The reason is very simple: cost. I gain my interest since my compact A70. Since I had it, i love taking pictures, although at that time, i still pay more attention to color and composition and camera settings are really basic. If it were film, buying film rolls and developing them would have been so costly that I wouldnt have bought even the camera and I wouldnt have been able to take so many pictures for my friends and gain interest in photography. I might have gained interest somewhere along the way until now but would only come to photography later, when I go out to work and earn money.

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