Edited: I have gone through these after the fact posts and tamed them down considerably … this because I’ve decided to wind down my involvement with that community completely, which includes my comments on the community and its behavior since leaving. This post is thus severely altered from the original. Because … who really gives a sh*t …
I have been told that there is a feeding frenzy of libelous defamation going on in the Fuji Talk Forum since I left. Those people who really disliked my style.
The disconnects on the forum all pretty much come down to people at different points on the learning curve trying to interact with one another and having difficulty because some people have no idea how low they are on a very long curve …
So here is my take on the photography learning curve ...
Obviously, I consider the curve pretty steep ... this is one reason why manufacturers are forever trying to build a more automatic camera. But the camera cannot judge the way a human can, so the best photographers will *always* be people who have climbed this curve.
As to the shape of the curve ... the first few things to learn are on a fairly shallow slope ... not bad. Shutter, aperture ... makes some sense. But it quickly becomes complex with white balance, exposure, compensation, modes, etc. Also composition, lighting (including adding light), and processing.
The more control you want, the harder you have to work. Eventually, you reach the hump, after which things get a lot easier. Your solid fundamentals allow you to absorb new information very, very quickly. Professionals are on a rather shallow slope where there isn't much left to know and they understand it the second they see it.
So let's explore the five points I've plotted. Obviously, these are an extreme generalization, but if you bear with me, I think you will understand how this works.
Noobs: These are people who have a camera and know literally nothing about how it works. Everyone is a noob at first. Everyone!
He who shall not be named: One fellow who has taken over the Fuji Talk Forum through sheer volume and the tendency to make stuff up with abandon is still not on the steep part of the curve. Never will be according to history.
Wannabes: These are people who think they are professionals but have not learned enough to justify that title. A lot of beginning wedding photographers fit here ... they bought a great camera and read a couple books but have not experimented or practiced enough to be comfortable. They make a total hash of a few weddings and I'd bet many disappear after that. Those who continue to climb the curve, eventually get really good.
Me: I forgot to include myself in the first iteration of this article. I think I am nearing the hump. I have a good understanding of a lot of the fundamentals but am a mile behind the professionals, who have put all of this into practice many times over.
Professionals: These guys know how to shoot anything that they care about, using any equipment under any light. They make few mistakes and their work stands up to very close scrutiny. They teach and they lead tours. People pay because they are that good.
So … all of these people interact on the forums on DPReview. And many are where I am … several are professionals (real ones) … this would include Thom Hogan, who regularly posts into the Nikon dSLR forums.
What happens is that people split into two reactions … some go sycophantic, effusively praising people above them (you should witness the embarrassing comments on the FTF once in a while as the noobs go nuts over HWSNBN’s mediocre galleries) … and some attack those above them. These two groups then get into p*ssing contests and divide quite clearly into camps.
That, in a nutshell, is every forum on DPReview. Every day.