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April 19, 2004
Load fire take aim

Deptoftrafficecameras.jpgI can stick up pictures here (and here), but do not have such privileges at White Rose. Probably just as well. So this picture with its obvious civil liberties vibes goes here, and then I go there and link back to it. It's from b3ta.com, but stuff there tends to disappear rapidly (or such is my fear), so I need to nail it down somewhere else.

The reason this is educational is that I am now feeling the need to learn more about how to do things like attach bubbles of text to people in pictures, to attach captions to pictures, and generally to manipulate graphics as the graphics here have been manipulated, all of which takes a bit of sussing out. I know that once I have learned such things, I will realise that they are all ridiculously easy. Everything to do with computers is ridiculously easy. The difficult bit is finding out which ridiculously easy things you need to learn.

So despite the ridiculous ease of it, and as with so many learning processes, I feel that for things like this I now need some personal face-to-face guidance not to say tuition. Relax, I'm not going to ask you people. I already know who to ring and who to ask.

I think the general pattern here is approximately as follows.

First, you acquire the desire to do something. And then and this is the important bit you start doing it. Not load aim. Load fire. You learn the abject minimum you need to get going. You then either get fed up and forget about it, or you master your abject minimum and start thinking: You know, I'd actually quite like to really know how to do this. Load fire take aim. Fire a few times. Then you see the point of aiming, and you decide you need to learn about it.

Take digital photography. Until digital cameras came along, I couldn't be doing with photography. I had a camera, but it was too much bother and I gave up. The fit with my life wasn't there, enough. Too much bother, too little pay-off. But now I have a digital camera and the fit is very good, what with blogging. So I got started, and learned the bare minimum to get regular results. But now, I am starting to think: Maybe I should really find out about this photography stuff. Maybe I should take a course, or something. And maybe I will at that. The point is, I now have a pile of questions which I know I would like to answer, about how lenses work, how to control light, and what the hell all the settings on my camera mean. Having done lots of firing, I am now in the right frame of mind slightly informed, respectful of the experts because aware of some of the problems they can solve but which I can't to start taking serious aim at this thing, and at the things I am photoing. At present, as I never tire of telling my readers and lookersat my Culture Blog, I just click away and pick the best ones. I pick from what I happen to have got. My aim would be to learn how to get what I want, which is a very different matter. In my opinion this is the key conceptual distinction between an amateur photographer and a pro.

But with graphic design I don't yet feel the need for any systematic or prolonged study, yet. What I need is the bare minimum to start getting results. For that, a little personal guidance is in order a little teaching. But a great big course would be superfluous.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 02:37 PM
Category: Learning by doing

Is this the sort of thing you're talking about?

Comment by: Andy Wood on April 20, 2004 09:37 AM

bool isABitRich(char* szQuote)
return strcmp(szQuote, "Everything to do with computers is ridiculously easy.") == 0;

Comment by: Mark Holland on April 21, 2004 12:04 PM
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