The wonderful thing about the internet is the vast amount of information there is for learning. Many of those sources are available for FREE! From blogs to videos and online schools. The best thing is that many of these are maintained by working professionals with incredible reputations.
David Hobby has one of the best rated photography blogs; Strobist. He went from a staff photographer at a struggling newspaper to an international sensation teaching novices how to light using inexpensive speed-lights. Photo suppliers have even name products after him.
Joe McNally, Bryan Peterson, Chase Jarvis, Rick Sammon and hundreds more maintain their reputation through hard work. They have successfully branded themselves to the point that their names alone are synonymous with quality, accessible education. All that takes an enormous amount of work. And that in itself is the point of this post.
What separate these pros from so many countless "accomplished" photographers is not in their skill. Browse through 500px.com, Zenfolio, Flickr and other online photo hubs and you'll see the works of many really great photographers. No, it is not skill alone. These guys are where they are because they push the envelope. They do what others don't feel like doing. They get up early to get that perfect shot and stay up late writing, editing and filming. Of course many of these have built up a business and have assistants, but that just reenforces my point. They do what needs to be done.
Food for thought...
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