Aggie, unfortunately I see your point. But I don't agree with you. By answering beginners' questions instead of directing them to search engines or books and booksellers or suggesting experiments that will get the answers, we encourage them to continue begging for help. Spoon-feeding them instead of showing them how to feed themselves does them no favors. Part of being a capable photographer is solving photographic problems oneself ... I sometimes come away from photo.net with the strong sensation of having just seen a nest full of unfledged little birds, mouths up and wide open, all begging to be filled with partially digested bugs and worms.

One of the weaknesses of the BB as a form of communication is that many of the posts on them are simply garbage. I'll grant that you can tell shoe polish from excrement so aren't at risk from garbage posts, but many of us are. I'm not advocating any form of censorship except self-, just pointing out the obvious. Its obvious to me that discussions of closeup photography are filled with bad responses.

People, including poor students, who can afford photographic equipment can afford books on photography too. And people, including poor students and residents of the back side of beyond, who can beg for help online can buy online.

Cheers,

Dan

p.s., I expect we'll agree to continue to disagree.