Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

Learning the Game Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

28 May 2021

This month we've been wrestling with a new application that addresses a need we have for handling very long documents. It's been around a long time and it's rather complex so we've had to get off the mat more than a few times.

Before we purchased a license, we gave the demo a whirl. And before very long with the demo, we dipped into the extensive video introduction. The application is different enough from anything else we've used that spending some time getting the lay of the land helped a good bit.

But it's a deep program and we rarely made the right move in setting things up the way we wanted. We needed help.

To the company's credit, it provides a long list of videos covering the major aspects of the software in easily digestible segments. None of them are either too long or too short. And they are well written.

This little adventure got us thinking about how we acquire expertise.

Oh, and unlike the YouTubism of influencers, you don't have to watch someone make typos to demonstrate something. The videos fade out as the typing starts and fade in when it should be done or just pastes the text in. Smart.

And, of course, there's documentation. A hefty 17.3-MB PDF produced with the same software so you can download the working file to see how it was done. That's doubly helpful. Tell and show, so to speak.

Beyond that there's a forum where at least three members of the staff pitch in to illuminate vexing issues. It's reassuring the solutions are usually pretty simple. But they are never obvious.

This little adventure got us thinking about how we acquire expertise.

Because in hunting down Keyboard Maestro macros written for this application, one helpful fellow recommended a $10 online course.

We took a look because we're curious by nature but we had to take a deep breath and ask why, with the videos, double PDF and forum help anyone would need a class in the thing too.

It occurred to us that, as can happen with book buying, the purchase substitutes for the work. Buying a book can be tantamount to having read it. And no, that doesn't happen when you borrow a library book because there's no acquisition involved.

That same dynamic is at work in learning a new application or, as you might have guessed, some technical craft like photography. You buy the gear, you pay for a course, you've got it.

Uh no.

And we all know better. We hear no arguments otherwise.

But it's nice to remind ourselves that before we shell out the bucks, we ought to Read the Free Manual, as the saying goes.

BackBack to Photo Corners