My Studio Rules - Our Experts Yell At You On Your Computer Until You Burst Into Tears
I have seen the devil.
It was right there on the television the other night - an English bully swearing at little people in a kitchen while they tried to prepare a meal. Presumably the performance was for my amusement - I would as lief have watched someone shoot kittens. I was never so grateful for the off-switch and a new novel to read.
The performance of the chef reminded me of a number of the correspondents who frequent internet forums and chat rooms - the ones that deal with photography particularly. Woe betide the person who logs in and asks a foolish question, for they will be savaged by pseudonyms from all over the world. Mind you, if they ask a sensible question they will also be savaged by the same pseudonyms - the common thread being they have become momentarily available for a beating.
I do not decry the internet for a lot of things - it lets me look at hot rods and pretty girls and comics. It lets me buy overpriced dollhouse accessories on eBay. It tells me what the Met Office thinks might happen in the next few days...and if I am fool enough to dress accordingly I get what I deserve. But I am fairly disquieted when I read or hear its advice to the customers.
That's why we have the heading photograph - in many cases the net talks apples and oranges to the reader but fails to make out which is which - particularly if it is advising about camera types and models. We frequently have customers coming in clutching paper print-outs from a dozen internet sites touting entirely different systems, ideas, and price points, and it takes some straightening-out to get the topic into a manageable form.
Thank goodness we can display the actual goods here in the shop - and let the customer operate the machinery themselves. There is no substitute for it - no spec sheet or forum or mate in the business comes close to actually doing and thinking for yourself. Unfortunately some people still insist on taking the clear evidence that their own hands and eyes have produced...and running off to check it on an a forum from Florida.