A Message From the President

Maureen and I wish everyone in the Owen Sound Camera club a Very Merry Christmas and an excellent New Year.I have met so many people at the Camera Club that have become friends, many have become very close friends like family, and one became my family.

Christmas time is a celebration for family and I wish your time with family is truly a celebration.

People travel at this time of year and I pray you all travel safe.

Next year 2017 is going to be very busy and will be a great year for our club.

So enjoy your holidays, take lots of pictures and we will see you January 3rd, 2017.

Randy O’Hara

President, OSCC


The 2016 OSCC Picnic

On June 12 we had our annual Camera Club Picnic. This has become a new tradition in recent years and is a great way to reflect on the past season. It gives those in attendance (spouses and partners are welcome to the picnic) an opportunity to socialize and “talk shop”, something we don’t get enough time for at the regular meetings.
This year we met at Inglis Falls where Lynn Reket greeted members with the categories for a photographic scavenger hunt. This is always fun. The idea is to go out and capture your interpretation of each category. The categories this year were “Go With the Flow”, “Stoned (Rocks can be included)”, “Structure”, “Bloom Where You Are Planted”, and “A Tree-mendous Shot”. There were a lot of jokes around that second one.

Once the members got their five photos we met at the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority where Randy, the club’s President, had the barbecue fired up and salads and desserts were aplenty.
Greg put all the photos from the members’ cameras on his laptop and projected them on a screen where we went through them and each member spoke about why they composed the photos the way they did and what they learned on the shoot. Before Randy went to prepare the barbecue, he was able to play paparazzi and capture some of the members as they worked on their scavenger hunt. These photos were also presented in a slideshow while Randy said a few words to wrap up the proceedings.
A great time was had by all and a big thanks to those who helped organize the event, brought food, and to Lynn Reket for preparing the scavenger hunt.

President’s Message

When I became your president last September I wasn’t sure what was in store. Yes, the Tom Exhibit was going ahead, however as far as what else we were going to accomplish, I just wasn’t sure.

The OSCC Planning Committee allowed me to transition into the President’s role effortlessly. Their support and guidance has been tremendous. I appreciate their support and direction. But I also have to thank you, the club members. It’s because of your love for photography and your support that I was able to accept and enjoy being your president.

This season the emphasis was on printing. I also stressed that we need to get out and photograph with our peers, and that’s happening. I am very pleased to hear when members meet up to go out and photograph a sunset, hike the trails, or just go for coffee. This year I am also proud to say I have had members come up to me and ask where they can help and that they want to participate.

But first we must look at what we accomplished:

  • this year we have doubled our membership (again!) and moved into another facility
  • we have a Mission Statement and a Planning Committee Mandate
  • at the start of the 2015-16 season we had a newsletter handed out at the meetings
  • we have our photos back in the newspaper every month
  • Michelle made membership cards
  • with help from members, we developed a new logo, and we have access to apparel that can have the logo on it
  • we introduced member’s profiles at our meetings
  • we exhibited the Tom
  • and I am happy to say that we begun to get discounts from local retailers within the arts community.

Wow! We have accomplished a lot this past season.

Next year we will continue with the emphasis on printing and stress that we need to produce a print to finish off the photographic process. We will do this by having a workshop on Workflow; this will be a couple of hours on a process from capturing an image to storage then to print. Then we will have Geoff from Foto Art come talk to us about printing, common mistakes and tips to make our prints better. Plus we will have an afternoon of self-taught photo editing tips. We did this a few years ago and everyone had a great time with it.

Also we will have a workshop on lighting and one on portraiture, not to mention the short workshops at our meetings. Finally, let’s not forget a photo shoot using actors at the Roxy. So, as far as what 2016-17 looks like, well it’s going to be a busy season.
I want to hear from you about your ideas and suggestions. After all, this is your club and the more ideas, the better.

A enjoy your summer. Play safe and I can’t wait to see you in September.

Randy O’Hara, OSCC President

Gallery Opening a Success!

On Sunday, May 15 the Owen Sound Camera Club officially opened their photo exhibition at the Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery. And what a successful opening it was!

This was the first ever gallery event for most, if not all of the 30-pGallery Openinglus members who submitted an image for the display. Members in attendance have been quite happy to hear all the positive feedback from family and friends who stopped by to show their support of this great club.

The display included a wide variety of image styles that really shows how diverse the club is. And the photos were created with camera makes and styles ranging from professional grade DSLRs from manufacturers like Nikon, Canon and Sony right down to an iPhone.

All the hard work by club President Randy O’Hara and anyone who gave a helping hand in making this event happen has certainly paid off. The exhibit will be on display until May 28 so if you haven’t been to The Tom to see these great photos, head on down and have a look. And feel free to leave some comments via the Contact page to tell us what you thought of the display. You can also leave some comments on the Facebook Page or on Twitter. We’d love to hear from you.

President’s Message

There is no greater service than to do a service for others. At times it seems overwhelming for me, but as I interact with you, it makes it all very worthwhile. It is the respect I have for our membership and for the Executive that has allowed me to accept the role as your President.

This is a great time for photography, but first let’s look at the definition of photography. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia writes:

“Photography is the science, art and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film.”

So what does this mean? Well, it essentially means that in our world of film cameras, digital cameras, and smartphones like the iPhone, and we’ll include the iPad here too, there has to be acceptance in our club. After all, it’s not just what captures the image, but what is done to achieve the final result. No one has struggled more with this than me. I have often poked fun at iPhone images. The truth is, it’s been recorded that more money is paid out for iPhone photos than any other medium.

In Recent Times

2014 was a good year for the club. Our meetings have been moved to a new location, our membership grew to fifty members and we instituted a Mission Statement.

In September 2015 I officially became president. We continued to grow — as of this writing, we stand at fifty-eight members — and we continue to build a strong foundation for the future as we work on developing a strong constitution. As we approach our sixtieth calendar year I am excited as many changes are taking place. We have a new logo that many members had input on. We arranged to have apparel designed with this logo available to our membership, once a month we have a photo published in the Owen Sound Sun Times, and in May 2016 our club will be exhibited at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery. We also have official membership cards thanks to our Secretary, Michelle.

Also we have a workshop planned in April, hosted by Rob Cotton. Rob is an accomplished photographer and teacher; for many years Rob has done workshops on the Bruce Peninsula.

Our membership is very good at sharing their knowledge with each other. Members are starting to get together for outings and working on projects together.

Our monthly meetings have become very interactive. When I facilitate the meetings I notice a lot of communication amongst our members. Folks are arriving as much as forty minutes early and many are volunteering for various tasks. This is very healthy for our club.

The Future

I’m very excited for the future of the Owen Sound Camera Club. If we continue to grow we may have to find another venue for our club meetings, and that also means that the art of photography is very much alive and well within our community. We’re already working on a program for next season that will reflect our mission statement.

In closing I want to thank everyone for their support, for their friendship and for their mentorship. The future of The Owen Sound Camera Club looks to be very promising. The membership is a part of this success. I hope you are all proud to be members of the Owen Sound Camera Club because I am very proud to be your President.

Randy O’Hara

Thanks Steve Irvine!

©Steve Irvine
For our March meeting, we were treated to a great talk by local potter and photographer, Steve Irvine. In a fine example of converging interests, he uses his skills as a potter to construct one-of-a-kind ceramic pinhole cameras that are both functional and very beautiful.

Pictured here are two of his pinhole camera creations and you can find many more on Steve’s website. Keep in mind they are all equipped with a pinhole and able to produce images with traditional analogue darkroom techniques using light sensitive paper as film – works of art creating works of art!

©Steve Irvine
Pinhole cameras provide a unique view of the world, and by browsing some of Steve’s images, you’ll get a feel for the creativity his own personal vision brings to his photos. His intuitive approach to pinhole photography is starkly contrasted by the highly technical skillset demanded by his interest in photographing the night sky.

Living up the peninsula, he’s in an area with low light pollution from city lamps and able to take advantage of the darkness with his astronomy know-how, camera skills, and flexible bedtime. Set aside a few hours to browse through his extensive gallery of astrophotography images, ranging from Aurora Borealis, star trails, solar phenomena, and much more.

It’s always a pleasure to be in the audience when he shares his world, and we were fortunate for this return visit. Thanks again to Steve for an inspirational talk as always!

Photo Critiquing

Critiquing a photograph can be a tricky thing to do. You want to give an opinion on the image but how do you go about it? Sure, you can be blunt and just say what comes to mind, but sometimes that can backfire and what comes out might not be what was really on your mind.

Before you give a critique on a photo, first make sure it is welcome by the photographer. An unsolicited critique can tarnish the relationship, if any, between the photographer and the one with the opinion. There are many websites where photos are uploaded for the sole purpose of getting critiqued, and usually the photographer will ask for help with the image in the picture’s description. Your friends may post them to social media outlets just for the sake of sharing them. Should that be the case, and if you’d like to give them your thoughts on the image, simply ask them if it’s okay.

Further preparation for critiquing would include educating yourself on the subject matter of the photo. This may not be of the highest importance in some cases but, depending on the subject matter of the image, when trying to help someone improve their craft, a little more knowledge could go a long way. Honesty is another good characteristic of a quality critique. No artist wants to be misled by patronization or “feel good” comments. Go into a critique with the intent to be helpful.

When commenting on someone’s technique, be sure to ask “why” they made the photo look the way it’s presented. They may have taken an artistic approach that, to them, is exactly what they were after, but to anyone else, looks like a mistake. The photo could be out of focus or have a colour shift that just looks odd. Maybe it’s supposed to look that way, but then again, maybe it really is a mistake, a blunder caused by a mere erroneous camera setting. Asking “why” can sometimes help the photographer understand what went right or wrong with their photo.

Keep your critique neutral. Don’t give a biased opinion because that could confuse the artist. What you think the image should look like and what they were after in terms of a result could easily be two different things. This goes along with the “why” part of a good critique. When discussing a photo with its creator, the conversation should produce ways that could improve their work, maybe even motivate them to make another attempt at the same shot if its possible. The last thing you want to do when critiquing someone’s work is discourage them from continuing on or trying to improve.

Be aware of your statements. Short comments like ”that’s nice” may be complimentary but offer no direction to teach the photographer what makes a good photo. Put some thought into it and be thorough. Also, be constructive if you have to be critical. It’s easy to point out what you feel is wrong with a photo, but it’s much more helpful to end the discussion with a positive note. It makes the photographer feel better knowing he or she learned something about their image, yet at the same time, they still have done something right.

I’d like to encourage club members and non-members alike to be more open to giving and receiving critiques on their work. It’s an important part of the learning process, and I’ve always said the Owen Sound Camera Club is all about the learning.



A Great Start to the Season

All I can say is “Wow!” Last night was the first meeting of the 2014-15 season and boy, did we have a crowd on hand. Some folks had to stand (we apologize, and thank you for sticking it out) and I don’t recall that ever happening before.

First of all I’d like to say a big “Thank you” to all of those who were in attendance. We had most of last year’s membership body on hand as well as a host of new faces, some of whom are now new members. That is awesome! I’d like to see the membership grow more… because apparently, the numbers were quite a bit larger in the 70s, so the challenge has been accepted!

The theme for this meeting was “High Key – Low Key” and some folks found it a little challenging while others had a good grasp of the concept. But that’s what the club is all about – learning. I admit, it wasn’t the easiest of themes, but sometimes facing a challenge in photography is the best way to master the concept presented. The theme for October’s meeting is “Silhouettes” and shouldn’t be as difficult to master, but might challenge one’s creativity, mine included.

Something new that was introduced to the club was the idea of implementing mobile photography into the club’s curriculum. There are literally millions upon millions of people globally practicing this type of work, although most of them for more social reasons than for the art of the craft. We’ll see over time how, and if, mobile photography fits into the OSCC culture.

Well, that’s about it for now. This left-brained chap can’t recall every detail of the meeting but I’ve been able to jot down some of the highlights. If you’re reading this and are within a reasonable geographical distance of Owen Sound, by all means, you are welcome to attend our next meeting on Tuesday, October 14 at 7pm.

Oh, one last thing. Tom Jenks, a member for the past seven or so years and a Past President, announced last night that he will be relocating out of the area and will not be renewing his membership. Tom has graced us over the last couple of years with presentations from trips to Africa and Antarctica and the photos he shared with us were truly amazing. We wish Tom the best is his future endeavours and continued success in his photographic ventures. Thank you Tom for your company, your wit, your wisdom, and your wonderful imagery. We hope to see you someday down the road.

Greg McMillan,

President of the Owen Sound Camera Club