I joined Aminus3 in February 2008 in an attempt to improve my photography. I contributed very regularly, and while I did improve, I felt I needed more guidance. So in February 2014 I joined the Tygerberg Photographic Society. It was the best move I could have made from a learning point of view.
The Society meets formally once a month, except in December, to view and judge members' submissions. Each month there is a set subject, where images need to be no older than one year, and an open section, where anything goes. Two submissions are allowed for each section, i.e. a total of four images, print or digital. However, in order to be able to submit the maximum of four images, one of the set subject photos must be a print.
Normally an outside judge would be invited to the meeting and would then judge all the images. Scoring currently is done out of 30, and one needs a score of 24 or more to achieve a "Gold" rating. The judge offers advice as to how the photographs could be improved, and this is absolutely valuable in one's quest for improvement. A record of each member's progress is kept, and so one progresses through the ranks, starting in the 1-star category. Each category has targets that need to be achieved before one can move to the next. These targets are: 1. Total points, 2. Number of "Gold" rated images, and 3. Number of images that have been accepted in National and/or International competitions.
I am currently in the 5-star category, and also hold an LPSSA (Licentiate of the Photographic Society of South Africa), an honour achieved by having a panel of 10 images accepted by the Honours Committee of the PSSA.
I have an informal Blog, dobbino.com, where all the images I have submitted to the TPS can be viewed. There is also a page where one can view the panel of 10 images I submitted for my LPSSA.
The 40D lasted me a long time. Because I was looking for better low-light performance, I eventually upgraded to the full-frame Canon 6D in April 2013. I loved the camera, but eventually got tired of the size and weight of the various lenses, and in June 2017 I traded it in for the Fujifilm X-T2. I now have a varied selection of lenses:
18-135mm f/3.5 (on the camera for 90% of the time)
80mm f/2.8 Macro
I use Photoshop and Lightroom CC for post processing.