Minutes for the June Photoclub meeting

Pierre started the meeting by welcoming our two newest members. Maureen Clarke, who has already posted two photos on the website, and Derek Wilkinson.

Anna McColm gave a brief update on the REVolutionSS show , June 22nd - 24th. Please bring your photos to the barn (at the Farmer's Institute) on Friday 22nd, 9am - 11am as the show will be hung on Friday. Please pick them up on Sunday at 2pm. If you can't get there to pick them up get in touch with Anna (annagarika@hotmail.com) and she will hang on to them for you. Participating photographers will get free weekend passes, valued at $20, which can be picked up at the entrance booth. Label information has to be posted on the forum site by midnight, Saturday 16th. One of the Club's sandwich boards will be used for a poster Wendy is making which will be displayed outside the barn directing people to the Photo Show and a display of Electric Vehicle Heritage Posters.

Pierre reminded people of the upcoming show at the library on July 3rd featuring underwater photography of coral reefs. He is one of the Photographers. Entrance is free but donations are gratefully accepted.

Photofest 2019 has been given a $700 grant from the Arts Council. There will be some further fundraising efforts and one of the objectives is to be able to lower the cost of entering the Eclectic Visions and Photosynthesis shows.

Jana wrapped up the Eclectic Visions show by giving the People's Choice Award prize to Kahsia - a $50 certificate donated by Harbour House. Larry Citra came second and Simon Henson came third. All canvases.The Club thanked Jana for all the hard work she puts into the show; She lives and breathes Eclectic Visions for those two weeks. This year all the money balanced and there were no problems. Pierre, Elehna, Jean and Gwen all sold photos from the wall and Avril sold a shrink-wrap.  Avril and Pierre sold the most cards and Pierre was the overall 'winner' as far as making money was concerned. We are all winners though as the show was an awesome display of photography. Fifi thanked all the club members who helped with the food at the reception - a real team effort.

A complaint had been made about lack of access to the show for wheelchairs; Cliff, for example, was not able to attend. There was discussion about renting a ramp for the back entrance or asking Dave Bartle to make one. Nothing was decided at this time. Jana expressed a desire for a banner to hang above the room, to distinguish the Show as a separate exhibit from the rest of Razali's gallery. Something with the SS Photography Club's name on it.

The question about photo sizes came up again. Is it fair that you can only display one piece if it measures 36" wide but you can display 2 if they each measure 24" wide? Jana threw the problem out to the Club membership as she has tried umpteen times to find a fair solution. If someone can come up with a method that works please get in touch with her; She's open to ideas.

Avril is showing photos at Country Grocer for the month of July. Jana is showing at Fernwood Café, starting on Sunday 17th.

Monthly walks: Kahsia suggested going to Burgoyne Bay next Monday (18th) after coffee at Penny's. Those coffee drinkers who can go will meet at Penny's at 11.30am to carpool down there. Those who live in the South and are not coming to Penny's will meet the others at B.Bay at noon. A meeting location was not established so I suggest meeting at the parking lot so one can choose in which direction to walk.

No reports from the Website Reform Committee - it's a work in progress.

Doug mentioned that not everyone was receiving his messages. He is broadcasting to the Club membership list and suggests people check that their current email address is on there. He also suggested checking your spam box.

Posterjack is currently having a 40% discount sale on their canvases. Pertinent because Larry is away.

Next month's challenge is 'Fashionista" on Salt Spring. Capturing people who are making a statement with their choice of clothing - 'expression through clothing'. There was talk of assembling images for a book that G.I.F.T.S could use as a fundraiser. One of Greg Klassen's daughters, Rhiannon, likes to wear purple and is a young Fashionista herself.

The merits of seeing our images on a TV screen or on a big screen using a projector were briefly discussed but nothing was decided. There was a problem with Larry's donated projector which Doug didn't have time to work on so, when that is up and running, he can see if it's an improvement on the projector used tonight and maybe we can vote on it at the next meeting.

Pierre introduced tonight's speaker Ron Watts. Ron is a professional Photographer who has lived off his photography for 20 years. He gets paid to travel to exotic locations and shoot interesting images. Lucky man. He started a company called First Light (Designpics), a Royalty-free and Rights managed stock photography site.

Ron uses a Canon 5D mark 4 full frame camera with 3 lenses: 24 - 105mm, 17 - 35mm and 70 - 200mm. He shoots in RAW and takes along a tripod.

The photos of Venice he showed us were taken from a trip he and his wife, Donna, made that was not work related. He was able to relax more and focus on the kind of photography that he found satisfying.

Venice is one of the most photographed cities in the world and it is a challenge to come up with different and unique takes on it. Ron likes to get up early and experience pre-dawn Venice when it is almost empty of people and sometimes graced with early morning mist coming off the water. Pre-dawn will still have the city's evening lights showing and it can be a magical time. By 7am. the lights go out and by midday 5 cruise-ships have arrived in port.

Ron showed us photos from a few different catagories - straight up city images, a selfie section, a wedding section (Venice is a huge wedding destination) and a pigeon section. His photos are often heavily desaturated which creates a soft, magical atmosphere and he often isolates and pumps up the colour red to emphasize certain aspects of the image. He does this work in Lightroom.

Whenever he is in a public building that is high up he takes the opportunity to look through its windows with a view to capturing bits of Venice he might otherwise not see. Looking down on rooftops, for example, with that all important cat enjoying the warmth of the tiles.

When photographing people he uses the viewfinder on his camera and so doesn't hide the fact. He hasn't had any negative experiences and finds that if you stay still in a place long enough (in a marketplace, for example) you start to become invisible and the people around you relax again and carry on as they were doing before you came. That is when you can get candid and authentic shots. Much like photographing wildlife - if you stay quietly in one spot they start to come out of hiding.

He has no issue photographing people without their permission as they are in a public place and therefore fair game. Photojournalism has functioned in this way since it started. An interesting aspect of this is that if you are standing on public property you can take a picture of someone on their private property and it's OK. You too can be a paparazzi.

Ron mentioned that people who do not live in Venice are buying up buildings and converting them into Air B&B's - which are in high demand. This is forcing many venetians out of their city and thus changing the very nature of the place people are flocking to see and experience. Joni and her parking lot....

Curt, Gwen, Judy, Jean, Larry, Maggie, Margaret, Ross, Pierre and Sam Lightman all shared their own images of Venice which was another delightful show in its own right. Different aspects of this City were highlighted - masks,  crumbling as opposed to sinking and flooding were displayed and HDR and photomontage were used as artistic expression.

Images of Venice are still floating around in my brain and I think the Club should organise a fieldtrip there!

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Comment by Curt Firestone on June 17, 2018 at 8:17am

Excellent minutes.  So very complete.

August minutes

Pierre introduced the new team who will help shape the Club in the future.

Simon Henson

Larry Citra

Maggie Vancik

Roger Brooks

Maureen Milburn

Ellen Vesterdal

Justene Tedder

Plus returning executive members:

Pat Page

Kahsia Hartwell

Wendy Rosier

Anna McColm

This group will infuse some new energy and direction into the Club. Feedback from club members indicates that people would like more interactive educational activities (workshops, classes, small field trips etc.) and maybe a schedule of educational opportunities ahead of time so that people can plan to attend.

The Victoria Camera Club has an external speaker every month and are willing to share their list of speakers so we can participate, at a cost of $5 a person. The club has funds to cover this at the moment. This would require using the  Zoom format (which has worked so well during this Pandemic).

Club meetings will resume in October, giving this new group time to work out their ideas for new directions.

Some people are cautious about in person meetings (because of health issues) and others are ready and able to jump back in. Maybe in person meetings and Zoom meetings can co-exist. Something to talk about.

Maureen has offered to look into a monthly newsletter with, possibly, more coverage than the website offers such as emails, using facebook etc.

Avril would like to see an improved use of the website: more posts, more comments, more helpful critiquing. We might need a refresher course to remind us how to give constructive feedback.

Doug has a show about Covid in September at the library -  in the Community Program Room. He will give a talk on September 7th at Noon. This will be previously unseen material, not the triptychs we have seen on the website.

Photosynthesis has a virtual show coming up, starting on August 31st. Some club members also belong to this photography group.

There is no theme yet for the photography challenge in October but when that is decided it will be communicated to everyone.

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