Ever felt like giving free advice while encountering other hobbyists (strangers)?


Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
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#1
Hi seniors, sempais, friends and fellow clubsnappers,

I am wondering if any of you have felt compelled to give free advice or share photography tips with other hobbyists while out on shooting trips.

Now just to put things in perspective I am not an accomplished photographer. but I can't tahan when people are not aware of how the light falls and get poor results and keep frowning at their camera. Do any of you sometimes do feel like putting people out of their "misery"?

eg. Yesterday, I was at Marina Barrage in the afternoon. I saw a guy with a very very nice gear : what seems to be a 5D (not sure which version) - with no built in flash - and a L lens (seemed to be 70-200 F4 L ). He was with his girlfriend who looks photogenic enough, and carrying a bunch of plastic flowers (i know the flowers is irrelevant). ok to the relevant part: he was shooting his gf with the sun behind her (4pm blazing summer sun no clouds) and no flashgun and no onboard flash (because DSLR don't have).

I think if I shot like that with the most expensive camera in the world, the gf would still look underexposed? (not sure if 5D have a mode "backlighted" mode like some PnS have?). In any case this seemed to be the cause of his dissatisfied pictures because he kept shaking his head... then proceeding to repeat the same shooting angle with his gf backlit by the sun. :sweat:

I watched for a while and felt like telling him he would do better with some fill flash, or to change the angle.

What would you do?

I decided to respect him and mind my own biz. :bsmilie:

I really felt like telling him, but too paiseh. Not nice for me to suggest to him in front of his gf wait he lose face?
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
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#2
Simple question "Camera problems?" will do :) From there you can take it on and see how the conversation goes.
 

yrh0413

New Member
Oct 21, 2004
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#3
I won't even be bothered as I have seen enough youngsters with cameras better than mine on the streets :bsmilie: It only shows they could afford it, nothing to do with their photography knowledge and skills.

For the scenario described I will smile and walk away happily shooting my other half with my less-decent camera, at least I know my shots are better than his. The guy can learn the hard way, or trial and error, or whatever it takes to get his shot.

Or maybe he wants to shoot silhouette of his gf? Imagine you "kay poh" advice him, then he look at you, look at your gears and ask you "who are you to teach me?" :bsmilie:
 

Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
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#4
Or maybe he wants to shoot silhouette of his gf? Imagine you "kay poh" advice him, then he look at you, look at your gears and ask you "who are you to teach me?" :bsmilie:
true, that. we can't second-guess his intention, too.

also my gear is 3-digit canon-gear... (both model number and price ) :p
 

Blur Shadow

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2005
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#5
I'm a nonchalant guy. If people ask me for help, I shall definitely help. But if they don't, I just leave them to their devices.
 

Aug 6, 2004
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Sg
#6
>Not nice for me to suggest to him in front of his gf wait he lose face?

Yes, you'll be a busybody 'in this situation'. :)
Well you dont know, maybe he has a great pic/getting the effect he wants, and is unsatisfied with how the flowers are held?:)
Dont assume..

On another note, lets not assume young giggling girls with expensive cam/lens dont know how to shoot hor?..lol
 

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Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#7
I'm like that too... But I'll usually observe first. 90% of the time though it's tourists trying to take a picture of MBS at night with the flash on... Then I just usually tell them "For shots like this you gotta turn the flash off and hold veeeeeery still"
 

Baracus

New Member
Mar 24, 2008
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#8
During one of the cosplay events in Suntec, a kind photographer who was looking over my shoulder during a photoshoot told me,
"Use a larger aperture to get nice bokeh"

I thanked him and replied,
"I want to kill the ambient because the background is messy" ;)
 

esoeij

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2009
1,992
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#9
I usually refrain from giving unsolicited opinions to strangers. Unless of course they are about to step into a manhole or something like that. :p
 

rhino123

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Staff member
Sep 1, 2006
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#10
I would never feel compelled to give advise, but will not hesitate to help when being asked to... anyway I am not that good a photographer to be going around addressing other people's 'mistake'... because I also know how frustrating it is when stranger came out of nowhere and tell you things like - the way you hold your lens is wrong, etc etc.
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#11
I would never feel compelled to give advise, but will not hesitate to help when being asked to... anyway I am not that good a photographer to be going around addressing other people's 'mistake'... because I also know how frustrating it is when stranger came out of nowhere and tell you things like - the way you hold your lens is wrong, etc etc.
Best one I ever got was: "Dude, where did you buy the Carl Zeiss sticker for that lens?" :p
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
19,105
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#12
I'm like that too... But I'll usually observe first. 90% of the time though it's tourists trying to take a picture of MBS at night with the flash on... Then I just usually tell them "For shots like this you gotta turn the flash off and hold veeeeeery still"

Ironically though, now that I remember, I had almost the same experience but in reverse once... I was at lower seletar reservoir taking a nice long exposure prior to sunrise, and this dude with a 5D and a backpack full of lenses comes hiking to my spot and goes "You must use flash you know! Still dark!"
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#13
I find most of the time advice are not welcome, so I try to MYOB.
But there was once, I was shooting at Hilex bridge, a photographer try to deploy his tripob, instead of losen and extend the legs, he took the tripod legs apart, well, I help him to assemble it back. And this is the only time that people ever thank me for offering my hands.
 

Mar 19, 2011
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Lavender
#14
I'm like that too... But I'll usually observe first. 90% of the time though it's tourists trying to take a picture of MBS at night with the flash on... Then I just usually tell them "For shots like this you gotta turn the flash off and hold veeeeeery still"
NDP always have so many flash firing, non stop. Should announce thru the PA system :bsmilie:
 

Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#15
Well you dont know, maybe he has a great pic/getting the effect he wants, and is unsatisfied with how the flowers are held?:)
Dont assume..
On another note, lets not assume young giggling girls with expensive cam/lens dont know how to shoot hor?..lol
Exactly. As long as we don't know the intention we should not just say "Bad light, cannot work. Big gear and no clue."
 

Sep 23, 2005
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#16
How do you know that he was not shooting purposely-flare-intended for his shots?
 

edutilos-

Senior Member
Dec 28, 2010
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#17
eg. Yesterday, I was at Marina Barrage in the afternoon. I saw a guy with a very very nice gear : what seems to be a 5D (not sure which version) - with no built in flash - and a L lens (seemed to be 70-200 F4 L ). He was with his girlfriend who looks photogenic enough, and carrying a bunch of plastic flowers (i know the flowers is irrelevant). ok to the relevant part: he was shooting his gf with the sun behind her (4pm blazing summer sun no clouds) and no flashgun and no onboard flash (because DSLR don't have).

I think if I shot like that with the most expensive camera in the world, the gf would still look underexposed? (not sure if 5D have a mode "backlighted" mode like some PnS have?). In any case this seemed to be the cause of his dissatisfied pictures because he kept shaking his head... then proceeding to repeat the same shooting angle with his gf backlit by the sun. :sweat:

I watched for a while and felt like telling him he would do better with some fill flash, or to change the angle.

What would you do?

I decided to respect him and mind my own biz. :bsmilie:

I really felt like telling him, but too paiseh. Not nice for me to suggest to him in front of his gf wait he lose face?
Do you know that sometimes people shoot against the sun to get a blown out BG effect, that can work quite well given the right circumstances?

How would you know what he wants? :)

In any case, the classic example here is that of people flashing Shenton Way from Esplanade Waterfront area... How do you put it - if they do not wish to find out, and it doesn't cause them any actual harm (other than a lot of potential puzzlement), or anyone else any harm... Offering your two cents five cents can be taken wrongly at times. So if there is no solicitation for advice, why would you want to walk up to a complete stranger and give him advice on the assumption that you know better and he doesn't know what he wants?
 

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kei1309

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
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#18
well... neither do i offer advice unless the person's about to smash the camera to the ground :bsmilie:

i would advise him first.

failing which, when he refuses the advice, i'll tell him that his/her camera sucks and offer to buy it for $50

:bsmilie:
 

Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
2,557
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#19
Do you know that sometimes people shoot against the sun to get a blown out BG effect, that can work quite well given the right circumstances?

How would you know what he wants? :)

In any case, the classic example here is that of people flashing Shenton Way from Esplanade Waterfront area... How do you put it - if they do not wish to find out, and it doesn't cause them any actual harm (other than a lot of potential puzzlement), or anyone else any harm... Offering your two cents five cents can be taken wrongly at times. So if there is no solicitation for advice, why would you want to walk up to a complete stranger and give him advice on the assumption that you know better and he doesn't know what he wants?
that's why i kept quiet. very hot day also, who knows how people will behave after being cooked in the sun ?
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
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#20
I decided to respect him and mind my own biz. :bsmilie:
I really felt like telling him, but too paiseh. Not nice for me to suggest to him in front of his gf wait he lose face?
I would not. If he did not approach to ask you about his dilemma if any, in such a situation your assistance might actually be misconstrued as intrusive. But that is just me. I suppose if you are willing to take the initiating step, you'd be prepared for whatever that might happen next.

But Rashkae 's earlier suggestion on "testing water" is a good thought

Having said that I am more than willing to help strangers who approach me for small chats and questions on how to shoot. There was once in HK, I helped another fellow tourist shoot a night scene as he was asking for pointers to retake a similar shot that I did.

Ryan
 

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