The photography digital learning curve is now a plateau

Georgia’s #5 Terry Godwin Wide Reciever is tackled by North Carolina’s #90 Naxair Jones defensive tackle after a reception during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff at The Georgia Dome on September 3, 2016. [Nikon D5, Sigma TC-2001 2x, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, ISO 40000, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000]
The photography digital learning curve has started to flatten out these past couple of years.

In 1993 we were shooting film in those days and now we are all digital. While PhotoShop was created in 1990 it wasn’t until 1993 when I would leave Texas with my masters in communication to go to Georgia Tech when I started to use it. It was only a few years before we were just shooting the film and processing it to only be scanned and not making prints. We would shut down our darkroom and outsource the processing of the film.

The digital learning curve we all jumped on involved going to workshops and conferences to learn how to scan, use PhotoShop and by 2002 I took the leap into digital capture with the Nikon D100. By 2008 most of us have mastered most of the technologies of the industry. TTL flash, High Speed Sync, Soundslides and even video were understood and most of us were only behind in mastering the storytelling as a one man band.

Georgia Bulldog’s #2 Defensive Back Maurice Smith breaks up the pass to North Carolina Tarheel’s #3 Ryan Switzer in their win over UNC 33 to 24 during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game at the Georgia Dome on September 3, 2016. [Nikon D5, Sigma TC-2001 2x, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, ISO 36000, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000]
For me I was pretty comfortable with all the technology by 2005. The advances for me were more like when Kodak or Fuji introduced a new film stock. It gave us new capabilities, but there really wasn’t so much of a learning curve, just the ability to capture even more.

Buying new gear today is actually reversing that learning curve. The cameras do so much more than those early models and are getting simpler to use.

If you have questions about a setting to use for a specific situation you can Google that question and good chance find the settings or even a video on how to set the camera.

The downside to the learning curve leveling off is workshops and seminars are shrinking. The reason this is sad is not so much about the learning curve, but the fellowship and time to get to know others in the field.

With the closure of so many camera stores and labs we no longer get together. There is not the ROI that there was before for getting together except for the emotional bonding.

I am working on a meeting for FOCUS to happen this summer in Atlanta to give us the opportunity for some inspiration from a few photographers and most importantly a chance to meet others in the industry, so stay tuned.

Take a moment today and call a photographer friend and catch up. If you live in the same town get together for coffee or lunch. I promise you will be glad you did. It will help you and the other photographer.

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