When people get together, what do they talk about? It is said that men tend to talk about sports and politics. Well, I am not into sports. As for politics, there's only so much you can talk about before it becomes a broken record that spins endlessly on the same gripes. Some talk about money; the share market and investment opportunities. I am not into the share market and I am past the age where I am too keen about risky investments or new business opportunities.
Here is why I enjoy being at the camera club. Although we talk about many things, we have one overriding subject that is everybody's passion. Just mention anything to do with photography and all ears are instantly pricked. We talk about the things we love, places or events. Invariably, that leads to talking about our photography experience and how we captured the beautiful images. Well, to be honest, they are not always stunning images, but they sure mean a lot. We encourage one another and we help one another in whatever areas of need. There is no envy, no bitching, no ulterior motives. Everyone is equal; we are not interested in social status. We don't discuss about other people's wealth or material possession. When we go on outings, we stay at caravan parks or other low cost accommodation. Nobody has to feel left out, whether young or old, male or female, novice or accomplished photographer.
You might imagine that class distinction definitely comes into play as far as camera gear is concerned. Of course there are members who own expensive gear while others are equipped with entry-level equipment. In the more-than two years that I have been with the club, I have learned to be less and less concerned about what camera I have or use. I personally find that it is more gratifying to be able to use what I have and still produce good images, than to be equipped with high quality lenses and not really pushing the boundaries of photography with them. In fact, I am still using my kit lens (read: *inexpensive*), while my very expensive ones (bought when I thought I really needed those to take great images) are still lying fallow.
In the club we see each other without any imaginary age, race, or social status "filters". That is why I think the camera club is a great place to be. If you have a passion for photography, join a club.