When I explain to people that I am part of the Arcanum, they are often aghast or a little confused about the name (or both) – like something out of Harry Potter. This feeling doesn’t go when they Google Arcanum to discover the full title:

The Arcanum

MAGICAL ACADEMY OF
ARTISTIC MASTERY

I tell them it is about life-long learning, about discovering more about yourself and why you take the photographs you do.

“But don’t you know how to take pictures?”

Yes I do I have been doing it for 30 years, but that’s not really the point. You can always advance, always improve, always find that new look or interesting way of seeing.

“So its like a camera club..?”

No. Not like a camera club. The name gives it away – Camera clubs are about Cameras not about Artistry. There are similarities and differences. We both show work but in a camera club the work is judged by an “expert” brought in from outside the club. In Arcanum, you get criticism but only from other cohort members – whose work you get to critique (constructively) – you tap into the experience of many photographers and come out of that experience much wiser. Camera clubs are very much about the technical, in focus, well lit, well exposed. Arcanum is more emotional, colour, lines, composition and showing what you want to be seen. I did think about joining a camera club once, I suggested that I would put this image forward as an example of my work – I was told not to bother as “his ears are not in focus and the judge would mark you down”, so the camera club is not for me.

So my new cohort is the Cohort of Landscape Mastery and is run by the great Ron Clifford and twenty or so highly accomplished photographers from around the world – but mainly in the US and Canada. I keep improving and some great techniques are rubbing off on me, so keep following my work and watch things evolve.

If you want to find out more about The Arcanum watch a video!

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