Just about everyone has a digital camera these days. Unless it is a simple point-and-shoot, the camera is likely covered in buttons, wheels and displays all designed to help the photographer take great pictures. Learning to use this type of digital camera can be a daunting task.
While there are many books, online photography schools and YouTube videos to help, nothing beats an experienced photographerís guidance while learning a new camera feature, attempting a compositional technique or exploring exposure options. This type of personal help often exists within the congenial atmosphere of a local photography club. One such club exists in Gander, Newfoundland. Formed in 2006, the Gander Photography Group has grown from three to 60 active members from Gander and surrounding communities.
The Gander Photography Group is typical of most amateur photo clubs. Our membership ranges in age from young adults to retirees and includes beginner, intermediate and advanced photographers, all self-taught and professed amateurs. We meet biweekly from September to June. Each meeting includes a presentation, usually by one of the groupís more experienced photographers. Topics typically include photography basics, types of photography (portrait, landscape, abstract, wildlife and macro), camera settings, exposure, composition, lighting, framing, photographic techniques, imaging software, as well as camera equipment and accessories such as extra lenses, tripods, filters and flashes. The meetings usually conclude with a show-and-tell featuring images recently uploaded to the groupís Flickr photo site. This session provides an opportunity for members to share photographs, exchange ideas and answer questions about the techniques, equipment and camera settings used. This sharing helps to improve membersí photographic skills and to fulfill the groupís primary goals; to spread the enjoyment of photography and to help its members become better photographers!
The Gander Photography Group recently held its third Annual Photography Exhibit at the J.R. Smallwood Arts and Culture Centre in Gander. Twenty-five members displayed more than 150 photographs across all types of photography. An official opening of the exhibition provided an opportunity for family and friends to view the photographs and share in the social side common to most photo clubs. The exhibitionís guest book lists residents, tourists and school children as visitors, and judging by their comments, the month-long event was an outstanding success.
If you live in an area without a photography club, find a few camera-happy friends and start one. If you need help, contact us and we will gladly share what we did to make our group a success. After all, photography is meant to be shared.
Click here to see a sample of photography by the Gander Photography Group. To view more, see the May 2012 issue of Downhome, or click here.