Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
DBP, I agree with you that a course isn't needed. But doing the little set of exercises laid out in the booklet that Nikon used to pack with their SLRs is very helpful. They go through the camera's controls -- shutter speed, aperture, focus. Doing them all helps the beginner internalize what to do to get the desired combination of good exposure, sharpness or blur, ...

Wiggy, doing this doesn't take a mechanical camera, it takes a camera that will give its user full control and a meter -- in the camera or not, where it is makes no difference -- that tells the user whether it thinks a shot will be properly exposed and if not, how far off and in which direction. Aleatory focus, composition, and exposure is a crock. And that, Wiggy, is what you come across as advocating.
Dan, I didn't say that - I'm going to guess you know that. Let's use the word 'luck' instead of 'aleatory' shall we? We both know big words, and aleatory means luck. You're talking about 'lucky shots' and you say they are "a crock." Well, that's your opinion. I do not advocate a career that depends upon luck rather than skill - but I do not deny that such photographs can be works of art as well as the pre-planned sort.

You said:

Well, is there a better way of learning the photographic process and how to think like a photographer than using fully a fully manual camera and b/w film? How else can one learn what the camera's controls do?
You then said:

Years ago one of my girlfriends somehow acquired a meterless Nikon F and a normal lens and went out to take creative photographs. I asked her how she planned to get along without an exposure meter. Instead of telling me that with negative films "sunny 16" is good enough, she told me that she'd set the controls creatively. So she did, and she got a lot of unprintable negatives. Since then she's taken the trouble to learn the craft and now she's a pretty good photographer.
Dan, you can't change directions now and claim I've been making statements I haven't made. I was born at night - but not last night. You can win an argument with me by proving your point - but not by claiming I said things I didn't.