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Cape Cod Camera Clubs

“Nauset Light” sunrise by James Walczak

Cape Cod Viewfinders Camera Club

“Viewfinders is not laid back, in many ways,” says former president Michael Karchmer. “Historically we’re known as a competitive group. We try to teach the less experienced photographers the rules that make a sound picture, for instance, the rule of thirds and keeping the horizon straight. We see competition as a way to make your photography better.” 

There is traditional, mainstream photography that preserves visual academic traditions, and then there are the photographers who go “where dragons be,” quoting the line that used to signify uncharted area on navigational charts. Joann Eldridge, a former high school English teacher, has been shooting seriously for about nine years. At one point she switched to the iPhone and never looked back. “I do street photography and I feel it’s the best camera for that because it’s not intrusive,” she says. 


Barbara Markus, another iPhotographer, likes the spontaneity of the iPhone. “I can get an image out on social media fast,” she says. “It has its limitations, but every camera has limitations. Since I’ve taken up photography, I see the world like I’ve never seen it before.” 

Viewfinders member Linda Bodin previously had a career in healthcare software. With her job she traveled up and down the East Coast. She always carried a camera, but she was a single mother and art didn’t pay the bills. Until she retired five years ago, art was on the back burner. She joined Viewfinders two years ago to become a better photographer. “I can see the difference in my work since joining,” she says. Her current project is a series of 100 eight-by-eight-inch images, printed on canvas, which she’ll then paint. “It may seem like a departure from traditional photography, but I look at photography like I’m creating a painting, and I like playing with the images more,” she says. 

One never knows where creativity may lead. For example, the images  Harwich-based photographers Michael and Suz Karchmer display on their website—production shots of entertainment events that are sharp, in-focus, and overlaid with a few Photoshop filters—may have a very good chance of being even more relevant 150 years from now. This, in the end, is the power of images. They show our daily life, what we do, what we look like, how we entertain ourselves, and what we value based on what we choose to photograph and how we present it. These images that are being manufactured daily are all part of the historical record, collected by enthusiasts in flea markets and antique stores. They’re snapshots of our moment in time.  



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