Friday, March 27, 2009

Soap Box Friday: To Much To Learn - I Don't Want To Learn Anything Else!

Good Afternoon Everybody,
We wrapped the whirlwind Photoshop World today. LaDawn and I were in the Tech Expo till 2 p.m. We are demo-ing some of the software magic bullets that bring a lot of efficiency to our studio operation. I plan to do a series on this as the tour progresses so stay tuned.

I also gave my first PeachPit program in the Tech Expo yesterday. Now you have to understand, my presentations are typically not from behind a computer. I think a lot of people were wondering, "What in the world was going on over at Peachpit?" - I had grabbed a microphone, jumped down in front of the audience and started to talk about lighting and composition - no mousing around here. Anyway, I think the audience enjoyed the presentation. My thanks to everyone for sticking around.

We had a great time in Boston this week but are looking forward to getting back home and hitting the trail with my Digital WakeUp Call - A New Dawn on Monday. Look out Jacksonville - here we come.

And speaking of Photoshop World one last time, I've got some thoughts about then whole educational experience. Please read on...

To Much To Learn - I Don't Want To Learn Anything Else!
I heard this remark from a photographer just last week. We were discussing all the new things happening in our digital world including cameras, software, digital products, in fact all things digital. He made the remark near the end of our discussion, "There is to much to learn - I don't want to learn anything else!" - I've been thinking about his comment all week.

Hit the "Read More..." link for my thoughts on the topic.

Is there too much to learn? It's my opinion that in this day and age, if we take that attitude, the competition will go whizzing right past us. There are a lot of people that really enjoy all the new digital technologies/latest greatest happenings out there. I have to admit, I'm one of them. I love checking out the new stuff really trying to see how it may save me time. Hey, none of us have enough time anymore, so anything that saves time is a really good thing.

But what's important here is that we MUST take the time to try the new things that may be beneficial to our business. If we become an "Old Dog" who can't be shown any new tricks then we will fade into the sunset with all the other "Old Dogs".

We need to think of these times as exciting times not trying times. Sure there may be some additional effort to get the new technologies under our belt, but we have to know that it is worth it - that our efforts will reap the rewards for our businesses.

As far as learning the new technologies, that's the easy part. Today the Internet provides VAST resources for training and knowledge - it's just waiting to be plucked from the vast regions of the Internet and put into our brains -so much of it is there for the taking for free. And, heck, for a few dollars a month, you can head to one of my favorite sites - Kelby Training - and learn just about anything you want to learn about photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. Heck, you can even enjoy a "cold one" while you watch! That's better than my old school days ;~)

Most of the software manufacturers have available lots of tutorials showing how to use their products right on line. Take NIK for instance - everything you ever wanted to know about NIK software is right at your fingertips! That's my point - sure you might need to learn something new, but the resources to learn are readily available, and we need to take the responsibility and to make the effort.

So many times I see someone purchase software at a show and then come back to the booth the next day for a little hand holding even when there was available an hour of tutorials sold with the software! A little extra help is fine, but the answers were already at the person's fingertips if they would have only put forth a little effort.

Maybe it's just because our lives are so fast moving these days that people are looking for the quickest shortcuts to get up and running - most of the shortcuts are right in the box - we just have to make the effort to look. It's interesting to me that we have time for Facebook and so many other Internet diversions. Let's spend our time where it counts - learning what's out there that can save us time.

Folks, if we don't want this fast moving digital world pass us by, we have to make that effort and accept that responsibility to embrace the technologies that can save us time and free us up for enjoying a little more free time for ourselves, our family, our community.....

If we choose the alternative; if we choose to stop learning, then we choosing to let our businesses begin atrophying and dying. That's not and alternative for me. So set aside a little time each day to learn something new. Those hours a day will turn into a new found proficiency at what you study. A friend of mine told me he wakes up an hour a day to study something new - in this case it was Photoshop - he is now an expert on the program. Again, it comes down to each of us accepting the responsibility for our business's future - or let the others pass us by.

End of rant #17

Hey gang, I'm out of here today. Hope to see you on the road next week in Jacksonville. Have a great weekend! -David


  1. I don't know if it is so much the learning, as who doesn't love to learn a new technique, a new piece of equipment who will let you capture what your eye wants, or the same in Post Production. I think its more the cost of it all. Seems you can't go for a few months without having to shell out 100, 200, 500, etc on the latest and greatest. Especially in the tough current times, to do that to compete is draining, and if there isn't a clear ROI wow. Love to learn Hate to spend:-)

  2. Learning is great, but I feel sometimes its hard to know what to learn. There are only so many hours in the day, and so much new technology out there. Also, any time I spend reading this blog or any of the others I subscribe to takes away from that learning time. However, if I don' t read the blogs I am on my own to find new products/techniques. Also, quite often before I can master something and really make it my own something new comes along and I am off on a tangent. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don't. I will admit it's always exciting, but it can get frustrating as well.

  3. I saw a sign over a classroom black board that read, "When your through learning, you're through." In order to gain those goals we have set in the future, we need to do something every day to take a step toward that goal. We're either moving forward of going backward, never standing still. So even though we will never learn all there is to know in the industry or use all the new widgets that come along, we still need to do what we reasonably can to be better today then we were yesterday but not as good as we will be tomorrow. So I try to feed my learning habit because while I may not find it today I know there are gold nuggets out there to take me to that next level. But I will never find them or reach my goals if I choose to be through learning.

  4. While I learned a lot of technical stuff at Photoshop World, the best stuff I learned wasn't the technical stuff. It was seeing the process real photographers - by that I mean people doing this as a business, who have done it for a long time - went through to get the shot. It was some of the little bits of wisdom that were sprinkled through the talks, and the inspiration. My brain sometimes got to a point where it couldn't comprehend what was being done technically (Margulis), but it was great to see the results, be present in the learning moment (Versace), and know what is possible when I get to another "plateau."(Zizer :-) And I did learn a few technical things which I'm hoping will get me there. I think Richard's response, above, is spot on.

  5. Oops. Sorry, misspelled your name in the comment, above. Doh!

  6. I did not attend Photoshop World, however I have attended more seminars than I can count. They have, if I'm remembering correctly, been about camers, lighting, film in those days, now software and how to use it, digital, use of strobes, and now floresent lights, all the fun things. Very useful information. However I have not seen much on the very boring subject of selling, marketing, etc. Without that knowlage all the rest is a waste, unless it's just a hobby, or selling just comes easy to you. I know I said "boring" and I guess that's what most would think some education in that area would be. Do we need to learn this from other sources, or can we learn it from the more successful photographers out there?

  7. Remember Every day is a school day!
    When you stop learning, . . Thats when they through the dirt on top!