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Free tutorials on T?Intewebs

dudler

Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Free tutorials on T’Intewebs

6 Jan 2022 4:27AM   Views : 377 Unique : 221

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Some people say they’re the best thing ever: but I find that I need a large pinch of salt and a great deal of patience to watch most of them. For instance, in a video about being entrusted with a model’s first ever shoot, I don’t want to hear about the photographer’s tethering software. That’s off topic, and off-putting.

One of my friends recommended a specific tutorial, and I had a look. I won’t name the friend (or the tutor) because I found the whole thing unwieldy and uninformative. What I’d call the ‘learning density’ was low, because there were few specific points that the novice could pick up on. There was a guided tour of a model session in a studio, but that isn’t novel for me, and many other people offer similar things, done better.

If the tutor had showed up at one of my workshops, I’d have been offering advice. Quite a lot of it. And while that is arrogant of me (he’s obviously earning more per day than I have got in my life from pictures), he provided a very poor model for novice photographers. This leads me to wonder about why anyone posts on YouTube (and yes, I’ve thought about doing it myself…)

Essentially, I came up with two reasons: ego and money. So you’re selling a product, or hoping to attract sufficient viewers that advertisers will pay you to let them share your webspace; or else you want to get your own name out there and show how clever you are. Guilty as charged, m’lud.

I know that I know a couple of things that deserve to be more widely understood, such as why my Alpha 7 (or, to be fair, almost any mirrorless system camera) is better than absolutely any DSLR, for doing the things I do. And I have an innate belief that I know a lot more besides, but that’s far more questionable! But the technical barriers between me and posting on YouTube are similar to those involved in doing my own tax return (though I need to address that this month, so maybe YouTube will follow…)

I’ve written about paid tutorials on the web before, and they were a mixed bunch. One was very good, very long, and requires multiple viewings – at nearly £100 and over five hours long, Thomas Holm had a lot to teach me, but would be accessible to almost anyone aspiring to studio work. Another tutorial, which was far cheaper (and came with a work book which strikes me as better than the video) offered me far less of value, and would – I’m pretty sure – be the same for others. ‘Best value’ is sometimes that which comes with a higher price tag.

Why is the Thomas Holm tutorial so good? Partly, it engages with exactly the sort of work that interests me, but there’s more to it than that. Holm demonstrates a casual and professional approach to both technicalities and his model – they have clearly worked together before, and are entirely at ease with each other. Holm isn’t hung up on the complexities of broadcasting – for the most part, they simply work right, so he’s clearly on top of them in the same way he’s quietly competent with camera and lights.

Most of all, perhaps, it’s that significant parts of the running time are devoted to explanation of what works, and why. That’s pure gold in teaching terms, and is missing from many of the other resources I’ve seen. And another factor is his model, Lilith Etch (you can see how physically perfect she is in some of Barrie Spence’s nudes of her on this site. Their working relationship is playful at the same time as being obviously both serious and highly productive of outstanding work.

It’s too late to ask Santa for the video as a Christmas present, so if you’re serious about shooting nudes, you probably need to put a Thomas Holm tutorial on your birthday list…

Comments


dudler Plus
19 1.9k 1947 England
6 Jan 2022 4:29AM
Illustration: a screen grab from the Holm/Lilith Etch tutorial, and illustrates an important point - stopping for refreshments during any photographic session is really important! I hope TH will forgive a technical copyright breach...
JackAllTog Plus
13 6.4k 58 United Kingdom
6 Jan 2022 9:22AM
Agreed, Tutorials can be a real mixed bag, and also quite selective in their appeal to each of us.

I'd bet that most of the ones we loved a few years ago are now near useless to us as we have learnt the parts of interest to us and moved on. Its all about who they are pitched at and how we relate to the presenter. For me I love Gavin Hoey's Youtube Adorama presentations - just about the right length for me, and relatively simple techniques to potentially get amazing results. He was also accessible once directly answering a question on how his setup environment worked.
I also like Ivan Weiss for portraits.

I'd also agree that often, for some, its just a sales exercise in taking a tiny bit of useful information and spinning a convoluted story about how you might be as good as them if you can pick up the techniques within long and distracting presentations.

Thanks yes Thomas Holm looks very interesting.
dudler Plus
19 1.9k 1947 England
6 Jan 2022 10:46AM
I wonder... Not having used YouTube much, I suspect that there may have been better value in more innocent times, before there was so much emphasis on 'monetising' things...

I shall have a look at Gavin Hoey... I've seen Ivan Weiss in action, live, and was impressed.
6 Jan 2022 4:07PM
In a Photographic sense, not a subject I know anything about, except for a very few camera specific tutorials
to sort out gear questions.
Most of which, I have to say, I failed to follow as the drone of the presenters voice put me to sleep SmileSmileSmileSmile

David

mistere Plus
9 16 6 England
6 Jan 2022 4:38PM
Most people who dive into you tube are looking for a quick fix. An easy or cheap way to achieve something. There are more than enough video's there to confuse anybody.
Everyone and his dog seems to be posting stuff these days, most of it's a repeat of someone else's work, designed to collect views.
Finding something/someone that is useful and educational is not easy. The trick is finding someone who knows how to teach.
Doesn't matter how good a photographer, lighting technician, pastry chef or carpenter they are. They need to be able to teach. To have the ability to explain
and demonstrate the lesson, in a variety of ways for a variety of different learners and learning styles. That isn't easy and it takes more than a good knowledge of the subject
to be able to teach it.
On line or E-learning lacks the interaction between tutor and pupil, the online tutor has no idea what the student is actually learning. They give out the information and
move on to the next bullet point. It's not a good way to learn but it is cheap and the information is out there. You just have to find the needle in the giant haystack..
saltireblue Plus
12 13.1k 83 Norway
6 Jan 2022 7:32PM

Quote:Doesn't matter how good a photographer, lighting technician, pastry chef or carpenter they are. They need to be able to teach. To have the ability to explain
and demonstrate the lesson, in a variety of ways for a variety of different learners and learning styles. That isn't easy and it takes more than a good knowledge of the subject
to be able to teach it.


Nail - head - hit.
dudler Plus
19 1.9k 1947 England
6 Jan 2022 8:40PM
I wish that some of the ones I have seen could identify the nails, so they could do something about hitting the heads...
dark_lord Plus
18 2.9k 824 England
6 Jan 2022 8:54PM

Quote:Finding something/someone that is useful and educational is not easy. The trick is finding someone who knows how to teach.
Doesn't matter how good a photographer, lighting technician, pastry chef or carpenter they are. They need to be able to teach. To have the ability to explain
and demonstrate the lesson, in a variety of ways for a variety of different learners and learning styles. That isn't easy and it takes more than a good knowledge of the subject
to be able to teach it.


Absolutely and having been involved in design and delivery of courses in a business environment since the turn of he century (where you have to have plenty of good, accurate, relevant and useful content) I find I'm analysing the content and delivery of any videos I watch. I'll imclude webinars too, a number of qwhich I've found useful for example on software.

But it's very much a mixed bag. Sometimes the content may be good but it's common know,ledge to me and I may pick up a little intewresting tip. I think that as we become more experienced in ouir techniques that will be the case. There's alwayssom ething we can learn, but it's akin to the law of diminishing returns. At other times a lot is promised but never delivered.
So there's a lot of pot luk involved too, so pity the poor novice.

Quote:E-learning lacks the interaction between tutor and pupil, the online tutor has no idea what the student is actually learning

Agreed on the first point, and as a trainer face to face is best. However, today it's all about 'blended learning' which uses both. The pandemic has shown us that remote learning is another tool to be used. I guess for many it'e a new concept though I've been involved in instructional videos and delivering webinars since the early 2000s and it does involve a lot of work.
Follow up by the trainer, with one or moreof face to face, phone oremail is required, but that takes time and effort and money, something you wion't get if you want a 'quick fix' fromyou tube. Learning allso requires input fom the learner and sadly few are prepared to put that effort in.

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