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Meta Learning

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Tutorial Immersion

I know I’m not the only doing this:

When I want to learn something new and somewhat complicated, I head onto Youtube and I binge-watch hours worth of expert content on the subject. That might sound reasonable, but the learning isn’t exactly active.

What I mean is this: It’s not like I’m watching these expert tutorials intently, taking detailed notes, or pausing to reflect and practice. Instead I consume these tutorials much like I would consume a documentary.

I’ve also noticed that much of the content is way above my level. I might be interested in learning a bit more about dark matter, but soon I’ll be watching hours worth of professors going over mathematical proof of the existence of dark matter.

As I was binge-watching Youtube tutorials on how to photograph watches before going to sleep yesterday, I started to question my behaviour.

I’m interested in both watches and photography, but most of the tutorials was going over techniques used by commercial product photographers. It could take a team of three four hours to photograph a single watch, simply because they were constantly shifting light sources around to shoot different exposures on different part of the watch.

Not to mention that they were using equipment for thousands and thousands of dollars.

And then, they spend hours in Photoshop to make advanced image composites. When you see the final image of the watch, you actually might be looking at a blend of 25-30 different shots.

Before falling asleep, I questioned whether this binge-watching behaviour was doing me any favours.

Today, I pulled out a watch and my DSLR at lunch, I did shoot a better watch shot than I had managed to do before. Not because I had absorbed new techniques specifically, but I mimicked the thinking of a professional product photographer.

I imagined that I was a world-renowned product photographer who challenged himself to shoot a beautiful product shot using only everyday items. Don’t get me wrong; I had no idea about what I was doing and I don’t presume to know how professional product photographers actually think.

When learning about a new topic, maybe it’s a good idea to immerse yourself with the subject matter – even if much of it goes over your head at the beginning? Nitty-gritty, precision-type learning, well, it can come a little bit later.

| Meta Learning | Doctor Spin
Jerry Silfwerhttps://doctorspin.org/
Jerry Silfwer, aka Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Communication Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.