Last night (Nov-02) I had the dubious honour of being on a panel of experts in the Dublin Camera Club.
Before I continue with what went on let me tell you a story .....
I used to be an Engineer. One day in our Engineering Department, our esteemed leader (The Captain) came out of his window office in the corner and asked "Who knows about the Infralyzer 400? Who's the expert? I have a Service Engineer in Italy who needs help."
There was silence. We looked at him and at each other. Nothing.
"Has anyone got any details on the system?" he asked desperately.
"I have a brochure somewhere on my desk" said Bill.
"Bring it with you into my office and talk to this guy."
"But I'm not an expert" protested Bill.
"You've got a brochure. You know more than the other guys!"
Now I don't regard myself as an expert in photography. I am constantly made aware of my shortcomings in artistic ability and knowledge but, apparently, I have more knowledge than some people even if that is only knowing where prints for competitions are kept.
So last night was interesting. The first question was, to my mind, quite a technical question asking why it was that Nikon and Canon dominated the market with their DSLRs which are quite bulky and heavy in comparison with the 'four thirds' format which are much lighter and still produce great results.
The range of questions after that varied from printing and printers (both machines and businesses) to studio setups to finding out what competitions were going on outside the club. It was a good night. There was a lot of interaction between the 'experts' and the club members and between the club members themselves. Personally, I would like to see more of these in the future albeit with a little more structure and formality. Some answers were long and tended to go off on reminiscences and tangents rather than be moderated. There were also some secondary discusssions that went on as though nobody else was present!
I was told in advance of some of the questions I would be asked but strangely wasn't asked most of them! More room for improvement.
I wonder if any other clubs do this ......