The thing I hate most of all about being a photographer is the snobbery that you can encounter on photography forums.
I visit a lot of forums and get quite annoyed at the responses from not only professionals but also very experienced amateurs to people who are asking for help but get stupid and sometimes rude reply’s to their questions.
These people are trying to learn our craft and although their questions may sound stupid or inane and can be easily answered if 1. they read their cameras manual or 2. search Google, it doesn’t hurt to guide these people in the right direction with a simple POLITE answer instead of attacking them for asking, if you don’t have anything constructive to say don’t bother saying anything, don’t forget WE ALL had to start somewhere, there aren’t many of us that have been able to pick up a camera for the first time and get exceptional results.
I have taken photographs for many years but when I decided to take photography more seriously I realised I had a lot to learn so I started looking at photography forums and searching Google for answers, this is when I fist noticed that snobbery surrounding photography. I was surprised at how many photographers would run someone down for asking for advice.
A lot of these forums have a “critique” section where you can upload an image to and supposedly get advice on how to get better results and for the most part these are great and can be a valuable resource but you still get the SNOB who will totally smash and ridicule someones work, not giving an ounce of advice to help. This can put people off asking for advice and make their learning experience horrible and possibly put them off forever.
I have experienced such abuse and yes it is abuse. I belonged to one particular forum sometime ago which had a critique section so I thought I would ask for some opinions on my image, it was of a sunset and to be fair most of the members gave me some good advice and some good feedback but there was one member who just opened up a tirade of abuse not only on my image but on me personally saying that he could have and does take better pictures with his iPhone than I take with my dslr and that my equipment was a total waste in my hands. I was gobbed smacked to say the least. I had a good look around the site after that and found that it was common place to abuse people, needless to say I deleted all of my images on the site and closed my account.
Now don’t let this put you off joining forums to help you learn about photography, there are some really good sites out there with some very experienced photographers that are more than willing to help but you just need to do some research to find them, a lot of theses sites will allow you to look around without actually joining, so if you have a question just use Google to ask your question, more often than not someone has already asked the question on a site and the results will come up in your search, this is helpful in the sense that you will be able to gauge whether the site is going to be a good place to sign up for and help you to learn or to steer clear of it.
It doesn’t matter if you are new to photography or if you are an experienced photographer we are ALWAYS learning so if a photographer says he or she knows it all then I’m afraid they are deluded, we never stop learning, so bare this in mind the next time someone asks for help, be polite and helpful not rude and degrading.
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