I got my first “real” job in the photo industry in 1981 processing E-6 and C-41 film at Ward Photo in Denver.  I worked in the business nearly 18 years until I finally jumped into Corporate America in 1999.  During my years in the industry I learned a lot…I became a much better photographer.  I had the opportunity to share my knowledge by teaching subjects from Basic Photography to Advanced Studio Lighting to Large Format Photography.  I’m very comfortable with my ability as a photographer and also processing digital images.  Granted, there are people out there who have forgotten more about Lightroom, Photoshop, Silver Efex Pro, and just about any software you can name than I will ever know but all in all I feel pretty good about what I know.  So with nearly 4 decades of knowledge and experience under my belt, why do I go to so many seminars and why even consider a workshop?  Settle in..you’re about to find out.

I call it The AHA Moment…it’s that tidbit of information, that little nugget of knowledge that you didn’t have before.  The one or two things from every session that make it worth the fee you paid to attend.  It might be something as simple as a gadget to help you create images more efficiently or maybe a new technique or feature of your software that you didn’t know before.  You may already know 99% of the material presented but it’s that 1% that keeps me coming back.

Over the years I’ve gleaned a lot of nuggets from seminars.  It was a print I saw at a seminar made from a 6.3mp capture that convinced me to sell my large format system and go completely digital.  One time it was a Photoshop technique that allowed me to create the image with this blog. I’ve been to presentations by George Lepp (twice), Rick Sammon (three times), David Stoecklein, Vincent Versace and several others.  And always I’ve come away with a nugget or two.

Today it was R. Mac Holbert and Jean Paul Caponigro dispensing the knowledge and the subject was a color managed workflow.  Today’s AHA moment was a simple diagram of a colorspace I didn’t know before called PhotoPro.  I’ve known about Adobe 1998 colorspace and sRGB colorspace and I’ve heard all the talk about color gamut but never knew how they related to each other till today.  I won’t go into detail about what this info means but it was a definite AHA.

Mostly, though, I enjoyed today because of the company.  I had a chance to see and talk to some old friends from the biz that I hadn’t seen in over 10 years (and I was amazed that they remembered me) and I spent some time with some of my new friends from Rocky Mountain Nature Photographers that I’d previously only said “Hi” to once or twice at the annual RMNP shindig.

Bottom line:  I had some great conversation with new and old friends and to top it all off I got my AHA on.  So get out there, find a seminar or workshop that interests you and go all in.  It’s always been worth it for me and I bet it will be for you too.

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