Photography has always been a popular hobby, whether film or digital, landscape or portrait, and if you’ve been bitten by the shutter bug, there’s a local community of like-minded photo enthusiasts to share your passion.
The State College Photography Club has been around for decades and welcomes all who are interested in pursuing photography.
“The club is open to anyone interested in photography — film, slide, digital or video. Any and all media interests are welcome, as well as all skill levels from novice to expert,” said Kathy Smith, the club’s president. “If you have an interest in photography, we encourage you to come to learn and share.”
Learning and sharing seem to be the two words that best describe the club. Meetings are typically separated into two parts. The first part is generally focused on group discussions that run the gamut of topics.
“We spend the first part of the meeting working in groups on images, offering suggestions for improvement, or we could have a speaker in to talk about photo editing or ways to improve shooting skills or how to market your work and how best to preserve it and frame it,” Smith said. “Photo topics to improve your skills are endless.”
The second part of each meeting is dedicated to friendly competition. Each month, members can submit two photos in each of two categories, with the categories changing monthly. The photos are then judged, usually by visiting professionals, who give feedback about how to improve the work.
“I find that simply viewing the amazing works submitted by my fellow club members and hearing the judges’ insightful critiques helps me to become a better photographer,” Co-vice President Elizabeth Pennock said.
Sharing their work with others is not restricted to just club members. Many of the members have had their photographs published in a variety of local and worldwide venues.
The club also offers workshops and informational sessions throughout the year. Past workshops have included a black-and-white photography workshop, a macro-photography workshop and a session on photo editing using Adobe Photoshop.
Some of the upcoming meeting topics include a session next meeting on working with problem photos in which members will get advice on how to improve on work that poses particular challenges, and a session in November in which members will discuss their likes and dislikes about the equipment they use in their own work.
“Photography is one of the fields where there is always something more to learn, especially in this digital age where technology and tools are rapidly changing,” publicity manager Carolyn Todd said. “Meeting other photographers and gaining exposure to their work and ideas about photography is both fun and helpful. We’re a friendly group and we always welcome new members and new ideas.”
Meetings are held on the third Monday of each month at the Foxdale Village auditorium in State College and start at 7 p.m. More information on the club, including monthly events and competitions, can be found at www.state collegephotoclub.org.