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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Jason Stuart photo

Shutter bugs join club to share ideas

By Jason Stuart

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

Locals interested in honing their photography skills or in expanding or sharing their photography knowledge have a great forum to do so in the Shooters Photo Club. 

After forming last fall, the club had its first showing of photos by club members at The Gallery on Dec. 8. Club member Linda Cunningham said despite her long love affair with photography, prior to involvement with the club, most of the photos she took never left the hard drive of her computer. So seeing her photos hang on the display walls of The Gallery was quite satisfying.

“It was kind of fun just seeing my work framed,” Cunningham said.

Club member Stacey Bowlds happened to have family in from Seattle during the show. She said her family doesn’t normally get to see her photography, so she was thrilled they got to see it at The Gallery showing.

“So I was very happy they were able to come and see what I’ve been doing,” Bowlds said.

The Shooters Photo Club began as an idea between founder Kristi Powell and Cunningham, who said they talked about forming some kind of photography club every time they saw each other for about three years prior to Powell actually starting the club last fall. Powell said her central idea was for the club to function as a forum for amateur photographers to share their work, techniques and photography knowledge with each other.

“When you can get together and talk about what kind of lens you are using, how do you use your settings and what do you do in certain situations, that has value,” Powell said. “And there was really no one in town to turn to to answer those kinds of questions.”

Bowlds said while she joined the club primarily for the fun of it, she has also enjoyed the opportunity to expand her photography skills by learning from other club members.

“I joined mostly for fun, and to get a lot more knowledge and to share ideas,” Bowlds said. “Instead of Googling things, I like sharing knowledge with people.”

Of course, there’s no “club rules” that say you have to learn anything new if you don’t want to. Club member Sandy Darrah said she joined simply because she likes photography and likes spending time with others who share that passion, joking that learning anything new really wasn’t part of the equation for her.

“I just like taking photos and I thought I’m going to meet the people who like that too, that was my thinking (in joining the club),” Darrah said. “Maybe I’ll learn something, but I doubt it though.”

Club members also have a wide variety of interests in their subject matter. Powell and Bowlds are first and foremost landscape photographers. Cunningham has a wider range of interests, but prefers sports photography above all else.

“I like to take anything, but I love to take photos of kids in sports because I’m a teacher and I love taking photos of those kids,” Cunningham said.

Darrah, for her part, favors macro photography above anything else, the kind of close-up shots that show every fine detail of the object being photographed.

“I like shapes and textures and macro stuff, really going right in and getting to the heart of something,” Darrah said. “A drop of water on a leaf or something, that really just turns me on.”

Shooters Photo Club has about 10 or so active members as of now, Powell noted, and the club is happy to have more people join. Whether you just want a forum to show and share your work, want to spend time with other people who share a passion for photography or are eager to learn new skills and techniques from others, the club is happy to have you.

“Expand your horizons, my dear,” Darrah said.

Anyone interested in joining Shooters Photo Club can contact Powell at 377-9457.

Reach Jason Stuart at rrreporter@rangerreview.com.

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