I don't want to come off as a snob but I totally need to vent. If there's already a thread like this, point me to it. Otherwise, perhaps forum members can add their own tales of woe below and make me feel less alone.
I just got back from Antarctica on a Nat Geo Expedition Cruise. I got a lot of very useful advice from the Photo Team. They really helped me improve my craft. We were shooting in challenging conditions and changing weather and these people really know their stuff . They were great. I also collaborated with other enthusiasts and there were a half a dozen amateurs on the trip who really helped me. (I hope I helped them too.)
That said, other travelers were more than “helpful” with their own advice, even though it appears they picked up their very first camera on the way to the aeroport. In the span of three weeks, I was told:
--I should have spent more money because my D800E didn't even have a lens built into it
--My camera was “shit” because it didn't have weather modes (sun, snowflake...). One nice lady found it curious I didn't have snow-mode; a guy overhearing came over and pronounced that it was obviously “shit” and they had wonderful “aim-and-create” cameras in the onboard gift shop.
--There's no point shooting bursts because almost all the pictures will look the same. (Guy beside me, Canon user with a 500mm or 600mm who like me was trying to catch penguins in the act of porpoising, burst out laughing.)
--My camera couldn't compete with an iPad because the iPad has cameras for front and back.
--My 14-24mm was “the wrong shape for this picture”.
Well, I took almost all of this in polite relative silence, after all I was going to be sharing a ship with these people for a couple weeks. I finally lost it on one woman. I sat in on a couple of the photo lectures (very much beginner stuff but I got a couple specific questions answered so it was worth it). The one thing the instructors really tried to drive home was aperture/DOF in composition. This is useful for beginners: software can fix a lot of stuff in post but if you don't have what you want in focus, well...
So one lady was standing beside me, muttering loudly that she couldn't remember is she wanted a big f-number or a small f-number. I politely said that she should remember the useful rule of thumb the pro tog taught at the lecture: the f-number corresponds roughly to the number of elements in focus in the frame: if you want 8 things in focus, use f/8. If you want 2 things in focus, use f/2. [Aside: what a cool teaching tool.] At which point the woman said “That lady is an idiot. Very few pictures have 8 or 11 things in them. I can't believe they had her speak to us.”
I lost my cool, and told the woman how ignorant she was. I know I shouldn't have, but the pro tog had been working like a dog for three weeks to try to impart some basic wisdom, and... *sigh*