Camera Clubs (a rant)

I will apologise here in advance, this is a rant. If you don’t wish to read it I completely understand; it’s just that I am so angry about something that happened last night I need to vent!

After being asked by several people in my Camera Group to show them how I shoot Astro Photography, I thought it might be fun to set up an excursion or workshop at my favourite spot and show people how we shoot. I have advised it is a very basic, no frills set up. It very quickly booked up, and then over booked……..yikes.

Anyway last night I was trying to obtain some final numbers and someone offered to bring along all his toys and tech for DSS and Star Stacking, as well as special software on how to do stacking. And then offered to teach everyone how to use it; at my workshop! I tried to point out that that is not what this excursion or workshop was about and possibly it may complicate things and confuse people. And then the onslaught began. Apparently I am selfish, stupid and ignorant and a horrible person for squashing his creativity and enthusiasm! I again tried to explain that most people coming don’t know HOW to shoot astro and trying to show different methods at the same workshop would confuse me, let alone anyone else.

The onslaught and vitriol ensued and I gave up, but many other people jumped in and it became quite protracted argument. A few of them coming to my defence (which is nice). I mean if he wants to show people another method and use his toys, perhaps he should run a workshop of his own? Don’t run around telling everyone my way is dumb and stupid and I’m a horrible person and a bad photographer………seriously that is uncalled for.

I was so upset by it all, I have never been trolled before. I know it is a fact of life sometimes online, but this was within my own camera club. Maybe I didn’t explain myself as well as I could; but other people understood what I meant and they also tried, in vain to explain to this guy. Who then accused all of us of School Yard bullying tactics and stifling his creativity. How did it go from a fun night out to this ridiculous battle of which method to shoot Astro is better (his apparently). I have shot different ways and frankly the whole star tracking, star stacking things confuses the living hell out of me and in the end I don’t think they are all that much better off a straight DSLR. Sure combine a DSLR with a telescope and they can be amazing, complex, but amazing. But THAT is NOT what this workshop was designed for, it was just a little taste so people were not so scared to try things out for themselves. If they want to then move on to more complex shoots; good for them.

I’m at the stage I am tempted to cancel the whole thing, I am internally hoping for really bad weather so I can cancel…………does that make me a bad person?

This was followed up after another workshop I attended on Flash and Speedlite Photography, which turned out to be very distressing. The guy didn’t seem to be able to explain anything and then took my camera out of my hands and started playing with my settings and called me an idiot because I shoot in Manual Mode. NOT COOL DUDE! Yes I tend to be a little passive aggressive sometimes, but this guys really got my hackles up. Yes you need to have respect for the people trying to run these workshops, so I didn’t scream in this guys face, but I wanted to. Shoe will be on the other foot, apparently he has signed up for my Astro workshop………….yay! Maybe that’s another reason to cancel. Maybe I can call him an idiot for NOT shooting in Manual Mode! Or take the high road and show him how to patiently explain something properly to someone who does not understand.

I have been with this group for quite some time, and have never seen anything remotely like this, most of the people I have met have been fun, supportive and friendly; a great bunch of people to hang out with. Maybe these are isolated experiences. I hope so.

That’s it….rant over. If you read it all, thanks for listening

-Julz