Friday, May 28, 2010

Adventures in Photography: Photo Clubs

Joining a photography club is a fantastic way to improve your camera skills, while meeting new people and expanding your creative horizons. There are numerous camera clubs throughout New England. Most clubs offer workshops and classes designed to help photographers of all levels.
Participating in club workshops will not only help improve your photography technique, they will likely inspire you to try new things. Many club members take turns leading workshops, offering up their expertise on a variety of subjects.
At a recent workshop of the Plymouth Digital Photographer’s Meetup Club, Eric Swiech, a member of the club, led us to the Mass Maritime Academy for a sunrise shoot. On this particular day, the sun rose through the center of both the Buzzard’s Bay railroad bridge and the Bourne Bridge. Eric had discovered this occurrence by using the website to plot the sunrise.
From the parking lot of the Mass Maritime Academy, we were able to make many fantastic images of the beautiful dawn. My favorite shot came nearly an hour after the sunrise. The fishing boat “McKinley”, traveled south through some early morning fog. With the sun at a low angle, the fog and the water of the canal almost looked as if they were on fire! The fishing boat slowly made its way through the fiery fog, providing numerous opportunities to create an excellent image.
Without the club and Eric’s knowledge, I would never have risen from bed to be at the canal and I would have missed the shot. This is one example of many opportunities that a photography club can provide for novices and pros alike.
Another local group, the North River Arts Society holds many classes and numerous juried competitions throughout the year. Studying the accepted works and the finalists of juried competitions is an outstanding way to learn how to make a great photograph. It may also help inspire you to create your own masterpiece. The North River Arts Society holds its largest competition in May of each year. If you start now, you may have that masterpiece ready for 2011!

This Month’s Tip:
Some of the best light of the day happens before sunrise and after sunset. The skies often contain subtle pastels or brilliant nearly neon hues. Most people won’t get up early enough to take advantage of pre-dawn light. Those same people often head home soon after the sun has dipped below the horizon. Many of my favorite images have been created at the cusp of day. Be sure to take advantage of these exciting pre and post sunlight hours.

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