Photography- who knew?

Back just a few years ago, I decided to trade in my old Olympus film camera and jettison into the digital age.  I went to my local Henry’s and promptly picked out a reasonably priced Canon Camera package.
So now,  I’m loaded up and ready to capture all the wonderful things I see.  One of the first things I saw, was Tom Clarke who was at the Mill Pond in Milton photographing ducks.  I introduced myself to Tom ( it was more of lens envy, really) and Tom introduced me to the HHCC.  Having met Tom that day and accepting his offer to join the HHCC was one of the more recent turning points in my life and one of the best decisions I’ve made!  Tom has become my best friend and mentor.  A big,  and unexpected benefit for me being a member of this camera club, is it has opened my eyes and helped me learn so many things in life that I had no clue about before.  I have learned so much un-related to photography but because OF Photography…If that makes any sense!  When you own a camera and join the club, learning new things about the world we live, as you photograph is the ancillary benefit.  I never realized or expected this and it has been wonderful.  Go out on a shoot with our members. They have so much subject matter experience that they passionately share with those who will listen!  I would say our club has at least one subject matter expert in every genre of photography!
When I first went out to capture bird photos with Tom Clarke, he would tell me the types of birds, their feeding habits and the fact that people shouldn’t feed bread to birds….EVER because it expands in their bodies and could kill them!  For years as both a kid and adult, I would feed old bread to the birds, geese, ducks in the pond..shame on me!
How about a club shoot to the McLean’s Auto Wreckers in Acton? This is a popular place for many photo clubs to play in. Many of our members have stunning photos of this auto grave yard. Not only did I see a pile of very old, classic cars but also learned  all about the history of the person that has owned the lot. I learned that there are classics in that place that no one else has around! If you haven’t been there, will leave you gob-struck.
Like fast?  We have Bill Petro, who photographs motorcycles for a living and is world renowned. Sit with Bill and he will teach you things about light and help you understand the simple things.  He does this because he is passionate about photography!
I could go on and on about the other talented members of our club but this article would turn into a book!
It’s a photo club with passionate people that love to capture beauty in every way shape and form. It’s a photo club that has everything, from soup to nuts (read that as you will) in terms of experience. It also has members that are so willing to help each other and enjoy sharing their talents to the rest of us.
So I encourage you to come out to the club shoots or get to know the fabulous members that will not only teach you about how to get a good photo, but also things in life you never imagined ….Who knew!

Chris Gillespiechris 2

Stepping out of your comfort zone

A group of willing photographers met on Friday evening for the 2nd instalment of Alan’s street photography sessions.

Alan like Freeman Patterson combines a deep love of photography with an open and engaging teaching style.  We left Friday evening armed with new knowledge to apply to our Saturday morning shoot at the Georgetown Farmer’s Market.
A beautiful Saturday morning armed with the least amount of camera gear, our group set out to apply what we had learned.  I will admit I was not sure of what to expect but as the day unfolded I was pleasantly surprised.

Not a type of photography I have done before.  Street photographs are mirror images of society, displaying “unmanipulated” scenes, with usually unaware subjects.  Uncomfortable at first getting really close to people to take their picture to at the end of the shoot gaining the confidence to follow (ok maybe run after) people to get the shot I was looking for.

One of our challenges given to us, by Alan, was to get two people to say no to having their picture taken.  Within the first couple of hours I had my two people.
One was an older gentlemen standing outside a woman’s clothing store in amongst an outside clothing display and the other was a firefighter that had already had his picture taken by a photographer from our group.

In either case I could have taken their pictures as there is no law prohibiting me from doing so.  As my comfort and confidence level grew I stopped asking for permission and just took the shot.  The candid photos by far are the best.
Sweet Moment

Alex Webb a well known street photographer quotes  “I only know how to approach a place by walking.  For what does a street photographer do but walk and watch and wait and talk and then watch and wait some more trying to remain confident that the unexpected, the unknown or the secret heat of the known awaits just around the corner.”

Thank you to all that I had the pleasure of spending the time with and most of all to Alan for creating a workshop that I learned so much from.
Alan your passion, wisdom, sense of humour and most of all your easy going nature made for an awesome day and a learning experience like no other I have had and it was FREE!  I have also found a bakery that I love called Heather’s.  Try it if you haven’t already.

In closing I would like to share another of Alex Webb’s quotes.  “Photograph because you love doing it, because you absolutely have to do it, because the chief reward is going to be the process of doing it.  Other rewards – recognition, financial remuneration – come to so few and are so fleeting….Take photography on as a passion, not a career.”

While I cannot speak for everyone in our group I know that I take photographs for this exact reason.