Last night I returned to our local camera club for the first time since returning from Montana. I’d put some images on the club website just to share what I was seeing while at school, and entered one of the contests in late summer just to see if I’d improved in the members’ eyes. Mostly I wanted them to realize I am still a member and interested in the club’s activities.
Last night was the showing of images and their scores for November. After a summer of critiques discussing all sorts of technical and creative aspects of our images, it was a sudden shift for me to hear the club members’ comments about various pictures. Granted, most of the people in this club aren’t professional photographers nor do they aspire to be. Like all of us, they want to know if people like their pictures or not. As such, most of the comments were like “nice shot”, “love the color”, and “where did you shoot that?” Part of it is that people in Nebraska are simply nice to each other and part of it is no one has really taken the time to learn how to critique an image the way we were taught.
I guess I mention this to remind us all that the world continued while we were in school and the people we share pictures with are still the same people they were back in the spring, especially with respect to how they see images. To me it’s an opportunity to educate others on how to view images differently and hopefully increase their enjoyment of all images they encounter, and maybe help them improve their pictures to increase their satisfaction with them. After all, many of us went to school motivated by our own dissatisfaction with our pictures. Wouldn’t it be great if we can take what we’ve learned and help people through their own dissatisfaction.
Where you have a local camera club please get involved. Explaining or teaching people what you’ve learned is one of the best ways to reinforce it in your mind. Clubs also give you a base to work from. Our club is a charter member of PSA and I’ve volunteered to be the liaison with that organization so I can learn more about it and network with other photographers across the country. If there isn’t a club where you live, think about starting one. You know there are people with cameras everywhere and it only takes a few enthusiasts to get the energy flowing.
Our club website is http://omahacameraclub.webs.com/ – it’ll give you an idea of how our club is in the community.