01 May 2021

Moving from Left Brain to Right Brain Education...

When I was a young student I made a promise, if ever given the opportunity, I will educate / train others for the rest of my life.” ― Vernon Chalmers

Vernon Chalmers Labour Relations Training SAS Simonsberg Simon's Town Photo Credit: SA Navy
Labour Relations Training SAS Simonsberg Simon's Town, Cape Town Photo Credit: SA Navy

Image 1: South African Navy
 Students and me (I’m back row on the left) from my first ever self-designed training course (on Labour Relations) - as a young training officer / labour relations consultant (responsible for Military Leadership / Military Management / Labour Relations Strategy and Consulting) for the SA Navy at the Military Training School, SAS Simonsberg, Simon’s Town and the SA Naval Staff College (for Naval Officer Training) in Muizenberg during the early 1990’s.

Moving from left brain to right brain education / training…
In-between Image 1 and Image 2 was quite a journey. During these years I had the privilege of lecturing (and designing many training courses) at various business schools, universities and private training institutions in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban in subjects such as Strategic Management, Financial Management, Human Resource Management, Training Management, Marketing Management, Industrial Psychology, Corporate Communications, Economics, Accountancy, Project Management, Information Systems Integration, E-Commerce Strategy, Internet Marketing and Social Media Strategy & Marketing.

I never had a favourite or preferred subject. The privilege to contribute to so many careers and lives came with an enormous sense of responsibility and motivation during the entire left brain lecturing / facilitation period. I have very fond memories of lecturing at the SA Navy's Military Training School / Naval Staff College. I enjoyed the discipline, military organisational structure and the close-knit social environment. One thing I did not really enjoy after leaving the SA Navy was the endless driving between university campuses during the week and many Saturday mornings, but always with the same objectives of being prepared and never to be a minute late (albeit with the same privilege and motivation).

Since 2010 I started with a complete paradigm shift, transitioning from the above to photography. I transformed my photography hobby into an educational, training and support system by first educating myself with a thorough academic understanding of the art and science of photography, followed by application through the research, design, development and facilitation of various Canon EOS Camera & Photography Workshops and currently, one-on-one Training Programmes (Birds in Flight / Landscape / Macro / Speedlite Flash / Lightroom Post-Processing) at my training studio apartment (opposite Woodbridge Island).

My friend and former business partner, Joseph Inns, played an extraordinary role in assisting me with my transition into photography. He's knowledge, experience and personal qualities guided me in more ways he would ever know. Joseph unfortunately passed away in 2021. I dearly miss my friend, but will never forget the impact he has made on my career and life. Grieving the loss of my friend, Joseph Inns

Delegates during a Vernon Chalmers Landscape Practical Session on Milnerton Beach
Delegates during a Landscape Practical Session Milnerton Beach, Cape Town : Photo Credit: Steve Williams

Image 2: Vernon Chalmers Photography Students during a recent Landscape / Seascape Photography Workshop at Milnerton Beach. Theory (settings / composition) was presented at Intaka Island and practical sessions for Canon and Nikon photographers were facilitated around Woodbridge Island and Milnerton Beach.  About everything during the years stayed the same (although I have completely changed subjects). I have the same intensity and interest in the development and training of people. 

Photography is probably more creative than any of the left brain subjects I facilitated, but the personal responsibility, research, preparation, support and ultimately the privilege is the same (for me).

Hybrid Mode: CFD Trading on the JSE
What I did retain form my more analytical 'left brain days' is my Contract for Difference (CFD) trading on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). This is an effective way of keeping my mind sharp and it provides for my only 'set' daily schedule - the JSE is open Monday to Friday between 09:00 - 17:00. I live every week day with these 'office hours' in the back of my mind. Even if I don't trade and walk around Woodbridge Island or Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden doing my photography, I'm always aware of the JSE trading schedule. I trade only for myself therefore the research, decision-making and management of my own portfolio is a challenging 'strategy, application and risk management exercise' for stimulating the left brain. 



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