Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
I've posted before about a level of "beneficial ignorance". In the old days beginners often took introductory classes and read Kodak publications as well as relatively non-technical books like the Time Life series. They went into the darkroom excited, not scared, and did it. Now, instead, beginners start with overly complicated books and come to forums where they find out about the 1,001 things that might go wrong and the excruciating minutiae that make the difference between good and bad results. Not to mention mountains of plain bad information (in books too). One could easily get the impression analog photography is nearly impossible to do without years of technical study and a truck full of expensive equipment.
I believe that's the wrong way to teach.

If you want to teach photography to anybody, put a camera in his hand and tell him to go shoot pictures.

That's the way my father taught me. He handed me a camera and said, "If you break this, I'll break you!" He kicked me in the ass and told me not to come back until I had shot the entire roll.

That's the way I taught my nephew, except without the threats or the ass kicking.

You know, even when a person wants to learn how to fly an airplane (even if only a Cessna) he gets to take the controls at least part of the time. The instructor handles the takeoff and landing, of course.

The point is, that to learn anything, the student has to be involved. You're right. If you force people to sit in a classroom they aren't going to want to learn. If that's the way people are teaching photography, no wonder the general public think it's hard.

I often tell people, if they want to learn photography, they can learn the basics in an afternoon. I've never had anybody except Daniel take me up on the offer, though.