I have recently discovered a trend that I am not happy with and I am curious if you struggle with the same thing.  It is irritating that Camera Groups and Local Camera stores do not strive for something more.  Before I get too far on my rant here is the story.

I recently went into a Camera Store in the Kansas City area (my home area) and noticed they taught classes there.  I asked the store owner if he were interested in new instructors and new courses.  I was alluding to what I could teach.  He was a bit stand offish at first but then I mentioned I have over 125 videos on YouTube and over half a million views… He started to listen.  I then went on to describe what I could teach.  I discussed the potential for an HDR course, maybe an advanced Photoshop course or a few hours on the Digital Zone System.  He said, “While all of that would be nice, that is not intended for our audience here.  They are very basic users that don’t want that kind of course.”

Why would this store want to limit its potential for something more?

I also contacted several Meetup groups.  I even offered to teach a course for nearly FREE and I received the same response!

I am sure there are several limiting factors.  Of which I have been contemplating quite a bit.  Here are some of my thoughts:

  1. Comfort:  Knowledge is very similar to our relationships.  We get very comfortable with what we know and seldom try to elaborate due to the intimidation factors that represent themselves along the way.  Knowledge, in every aspect of our lives, is power.  Certainly even the hobbyist would want to be more powerful in their Photoshop endeavors.  I challenge myself on a daily basis to break my comfort zone with what I know of Photoshop and Photo Post Processing.While some may see it as counterproductive to always be coming up with a new workflow, my work has benefited from it greatly.  All because I broke free from my comfort zone in Photoshop.  The same could happen in these local camera clubs.
  2. Complacency: This form of comfort leads to complacency.  Not laziness, because complacency is simply being so comfortable with yourself you do not see a need to strive for more.  This is the most dangerous for of comfort because it blinds you to your deficiencies.  These local groups could simply be complacent in what they have to offer that trying something new may lead to the fear of failure or lack of participation.
  3. Ignorance: I do not mean this in a bad way, like we normally find the word, I mean it in the most respectful way possible.  Ignorance in the regards that they simply do not know.  Ignorant to what could be offered and the limitless potential of the instructors that would be willing to take the classes they offer to the next level.
  4. Lack of Awareness: With everything in life we should be willing to continuously improve.  If you are not improving you are plateauing, cutting yourself short before reaching your peak.  Many local camera groups in this area do not see the need to continuously improve upon what they offer.  This lack of awareness leads to a high turnover rate and less participation in what is being offered.

This is what I do know.  There are a lot of different levels of knowledge on HDR Insider but they are all so eager to learn!  It is infectious!

Only Limitation

What are your thoughts?  

Do you have the same issues in your local group?

Do you have any suggestions about how to change this mentality?

Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it is less about the art and more about the process. He dives deep into difficult topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside the box thinking.
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