Quote Originally Posted by DBP
Can we compromise on 'should'? Some people will never produce good photos no matter how much they know. Others do quite well with a point and shoot, within its limitations.
I absolutely agree with that statement!

On a more philosophical note, I have become a believer over the years, including some spent teaching and quite a few spent in training and mentoring roles, that a mastery of fundamentals will actually increase the interest and sense of accomplishment of the student.
Once they have learned to 'make a joyful noise,' yes. I believe that attempting to impose structure, however well-meant, too early can be a big turn-off to the neophyte.

Imagine this - a newbie hoves into view on APUG and innocently asks what the best way would be to process their own B&W negatives. After the eleventy-dozenth contradictory opinion, they throw their hands up and go back to C-41 chromogenic at the local high street shop. However, if given a basic set of tools, some D-76, fixer, and a scanner, and they discover the joys of fingertips that smell like fixer. Too much, too soon, and you lose them.

In particular for the current generation of youth, who are accustomed to levels of convenience in some tasks that were inconceivable a quarter century ago, being able to point a lens at something and get a reasonable reproduction is something they assume is easy - and it is with any modern automated camera. Back when meters were handheld, doing even that much was a bit of an accomplishment. What gives the sense of achievement that will bring them back is learning how to more, and that requires learning to control the most basic part of the creative process, the image capture itself.
I have no doubt that there are youthful offenders who will prefer to do it themselves, learning it the way grandpappy did, and who will groove on the process, the tools, and the control. Others (and I argue many others) will wonder why their photos, for all their work, don't look as good as the cell-phone snapshots that their buddy Ralph posts on Flickr.

More and more, I find myself in conversations with kids in their teens and early twenties who approach me wanting to learn how to get into photography, and speak disparagingly of the modern wonders they have used. They don't approach me when I use an N50, but let me pull out something medium or large format, or a rangefinder, or even an old SLR, and they will walk over and ask a question.
I don't doubt it. I guess I'm sneakier. If they want to use a point-n-shoot or an auto-everything SLR or a digicam, then come on in! When they bump up against the limitations of their tools, then we'll talk about what else they could do. Inclusive instead of exclusive. Instead of saying "you can't join our club unless you have the preferred tools," I'd say "come on in, we'll worry about the proper tools when and if the time comes that you want to know about them." First show 'em the magic - then show 'em how the trick works.