Being in an Online Photography Group

Local photography clubs, I just don’t get them. Let me explain what I mean…

I joined the Blackwood Camera Club about 4 years ago. At the time I joined, so did a few other young men. The general population of the club is over 50yo, and some appear to be over 70yo. This was not a problem from an educational point of view, but it made discussion of anything else limiting.

Grandpa, will you and I ever see eye-to-eye on art where the model was partially or completely devoid of material-covering her skin? No. Neither of us were prudes, but we have our standards, each based on the lifestyle choices we have either made or been born.

Enough said. I left after about a year.

Then I visited the Adelaide Camera Club. Again with age difference, but somehow I couldn’t fit into the crowd.
The Adelaide City club is amazing, the population ranges in age, and the quality of artwork is awesome! Yet my first night was a success but only up to a certain point.

What I’d like is a club where I pay weekly dues to listen and learn from those who have succeeded in the industry, training in specific areas around and related to photography (ie, Better Portrait work, How to use Photoshop), and photo-walks to interesting locations around Adelaide.

But I have trouble with any club that sits down to run competitions that compare and critique each others style, then sits for tea and biscuits.

My #SALA Stall - Back Corner Panorama

See, I enjoy spending time taking photographs. I am even happy to go out shooting with other people. I love being able to chinwag with people with a similar interest, and in this case people with a strong interest to know their cameras. Discussing the reasoning of having 12600 ISO on a camera, the use of both vertical and horizontal stabilisation on the Canon L-series telephoto lens.

But many clubs seem to limit this to a few times a year!

I also find that local clubs focus more on the competition and comparison of artwork. Both the clubs mentioned had amazing setups for artists to present their work: Printing and basic mounting of artwork, then display it on comp’ night, get appraisal from other members, then critiqued by amazing guests. Some would rip your work to pieces metaphorically, others would discuss what they could plainly see in the shot. Personally, a yawn-fest.

So I won’t be joining a club any time soon. But I will join an online club … and they do exist!

This article was never meant to be about advertising any particular club, but to research some components, I realised that I am in a club — and it’s where you’d least expect: Facebook!

Here are all the online clubs in which I participate, revel and get more photography education than I could ever get in a local club:

So many! There are more sites that promote photography, but their real bread-n-butter is writing articles that promotes traffic to their site, thus encouraging advert clicks, thus making them money to continue their ‘web log‘. Great for them, but their community is a mixture of trolls and troll-haters intermixed with a few valid comments.

So, my eagerness to learn and participate in the photography industry is fuelled by being part of groups where we talk to each other, get involved, learn and become better photographers.

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