Forums … enter at your peril

A friendly reminder of the perils of photographic forums and forums in general.

Recently I have been watching and in some cases participating in certain threads of the DPreview astrophotography forum.

In particular I have been watching a certain individual express his outcomes and reasoning behind the results he is seeing when taking nights-capes. In this particular case I am referring to night photography that incorporates the night sky and stars and land based elements as well.

The results can be quite spectacular if everything comes together the way you would like it too. The thread poster has detailed some of his observations in relation to his endeavours. It is apparent that he has a good grasp of the subject matter as witness by links he has posted to his Flickr account. The images are available here Astro-landscapes

In detailing his processes he has fallen foul of what I will euphemistically call the “Empirical Brigade” We are all able to share our views as we wish, and our understanding of what may be happening.

The individuals involved in the conversation range from amateur to professional astrophotographers, with the latter leading the charge in affronting the posters thought processes.

They may well be right to a point, but the lack of consideration shown the Poster even if the Poster is technically wrong is insufficient reason to brow beat and belittle an individual for having a differing viewpoint or understanding of the process. If not being allowed a different perspective I have no doubt the the Earth would indeed be flat and that the Sun revolved around the Earth, after-all thats what the anecdotal evidence would suggest.

Or to put it another way do we really need to know precisely how our washing machine works to be able to program it to achieve a set result. No we do not.

Rightly or wrongly the interpretation shown by the thread poster is his or her interpretation, and while it may be technically or even procedurally incorrect or only partially correct, it does not warrant the type of abuse that is seen here in this forum because a individual expressed a different option.

This needs to serve as a warning to others that taking part in some forums, and I cite Dpreview forums here, has a tendency to be very combative and in some cases downright abusive. So enter at your own risk. I have on a number of occasions experienced this behaviour in the past on forums, so you need to know there are people who only believe their view is the only correct one even when shown they are wrong.

Conversely there is a good deal to be gained by participating, you need however to vet everything you read and take from it what you will.

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