Cape Cod Camera Clubs
It’s a Wednesday evening at the Falmouth Art Center, and Walter and Carol Knox, president and public relations director respectively for the Upper Cape Cod Camera Club, are setting up for the night’s meeting. Members are drifting in about a half hour before the start. Among them are Jeannine Lavoie and Greg Anderson, neighbors in Bourne. Both retired, they had similar yet different reasons for joining the club.
Anderson was a photojournalist. After a career shooting film, he helped usher newspapers through the transition to digital platforms, having been responsible for digital technology at the Tacoma News Tribune, Dallas Morning News, and Seattle Times. Anderson never shot digitally for newspapers, and he resisted DSLRs in his personal work. Conversely, Lavoie, who now shoots with her iPhone and edits on an iPad with an Apple Pencil, says she immediately realized she could do some interesting things with her phone.
“I look for the beauty in life,” she says. “I don’t think so much about the technical aspects of photography but more about the aesthetics.” Like all “iPhotographers”—the term for those who shoot with smartphones—Lavoie says she relies on editing apps like Snapseed, iColorama and Distressed FX to “create more artistic interpretations of my photographs. It’s not for everyone, but I enjoy the added creativity involved.”
Lavoie says the camera club is great learning. “From mentors, competitions and other photographers, one learns how to improve their photographic skills in a supportive environment of people who have a passion for photography.”
For Anderson, the club has made photography fun again. “Photography was my life, and I joined the club to get back into it,” says Anderson. “And I’ve never been a fine arts photographer, which is so different from journalism.”
All three clubs interviewed participate in photo competitions, some more seriously than others. In the competitions, photographers earn points that allow them to proceed from the rank of Basic photographer to Master. “If people took it too seriously I probably wouldn’t do it,” Anderson says. “It would be too frustrating. If you show an image to five different judges, you’ll get five different opinions.
“I use competitions for education,” Anderson continues. “Sometimes I listen to the judge, sometimes I don’t, but it’s nice to get feedback. Most people are the worst editors of their own work.”
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