Getting ready for 2024 with the Photo Club? I am! And since I’m writing shortly before Thanksgiving, I’ll start with the many things I was thankful for in 2023 with the Rossmoor Photography Club.
I’m thankful for a full year of interaction with a group of friends who enjoy the art and science of photography. First, thanks go to all the members who showed up. Faces in the Vista Room brought me cheer and energy. Special thanks go to those folks are the members of our Management Board, who ensured that we have direction and support for our activities.
We had losses in 2023; our Treasurer Sharon Sonsteng and our former President Ken Lezin both passed away. These were members who went above and beyond in their support for photography and their engagement with like-minded people. They will continue to be missed.
Our gains came in increased participation post-pandemic, finding more members attending in-person meetings, contributing prints and projected images in competition, and achieving success not only in our own competitions but at the N4C level.
Competitions – We met on two Wednesdays a month from January through November. Our entries in Print and Projected Images gave our N4C (Northern California Consortium of Camera Clubs) Judges plentiful material for critique and dialogue, and we had successes in each month at the highest levels. Whether or not members entered a specific competition, judges’ comments gave food for thought for current and future photography plans. I am grateful to N4C for making judges available to us, to our judges who learned new approaches to their work via members’ thoughtful evaluations of them, and especially grateful for Bob Adler, the Club member who made all of the arrangements and schedules for the judging. Club member Phil Meyer, who serves as our Print Competition chair, and I look forward to seeing Prints and Projected Images continue through the coming year. Vicky Richardson, a former Club President and now Hospitality Chair, made sure that we had snacks and drinks to keep us happy and sustained during all meetings.
Educational opportunities – In addition to the tips and techniques we learned about in our weekly sessions, we had some meetings with members to answer questions about the Club and to encourage wider participation. We also took advantage of N4C’s educational programming via free Zoom webinar registrations, and look forward to continuing in the coming year even though many Clubs are back to in-person meetings. Sean McDonough and David Horn gave us a look at their work; Sean demonstrated journalistic photography, including drone operation, and David introduced us to infrared and stereo photography. We have talented members who are willing to share their skills.
Our connections to PSA (Photographic Society of America) are ensured through the work of John Mentil, who also makes sure we know of our placement in their quarterly competitions. He’s joined by Sean McDonough in reviewing our N4C winners for submission to PSA. We are Group E in PSA’s interclub competition; out of 16 Clubs in this group, ours placed 9th in Color and 8th in Monochrome. Our sister Group E Clubs range in a wide variety from Arkansas to Wisconsin and Australia to Wales.
Members and Rossmoorians have read about our competition results and have seen the winning images in the Rossmoor News, along with timely announcements of current and future Club activities. Eva McDonough has been the Club correspondent with the News and with Channel 28 and consistently makes sure that we are viewed widely and in the best light. She designs our flyers, website pages, and other promotional material, and helps us think of ways to engage and recruit new members to the Club. Susan Helms has embraced the Membership Chair position with dedication and flair – her correspondence with you is always thoughtful and engaging.
Our meetings could not have happened without the guidance of Sean McDonough and consistent presence of Dick Bogaert. Dick trained me as a projectionist, and serves in that role on the first Wednesdays. We are both looking for new volunteers in this role, and I thank Richard Frank who has recently stepped up for assistance, along with Andy Neureuther who will fill in if needed. However, we always need more support so that there is some vacation and other scheduling flexibility for us. Let me know if you are interested – you’ll learn much about competitions, I promise you. You'll need some computer skills and willingness to interact with a software program that manages all aspects of our communication with competitions and N4C. Dick is a great mentor, and you'll also have support from others who have enacted this role, so you'll have lots of back-up. Sean supports all of our web-based activity, from maintaining our Calendar online to managing the competition schedules and sign-ins. He, to me, is VP for Everything.
We’ve had two field trips to the Oakland Zoo, thanks to the generosity of our Club member Steve Goodall, who is the OZ photographer. Similar generosity from Bancroft members’ donated tickets brought us to the Ruth Bancroft Garden and Nursery for a macro-themed field trip. All who participated in these field trips enjoyed them and learned new photography techniques from more seasoned members at hand.
Work also goes on behind the scenes – Rossmoor Photography Club gallery/exhibit chairs have continued to bring our work to the Creekside Clubhouse, Fireside Room, the Gateway/Library complex, and the Event Center. A committee of Gallery Chairs (Bob Adler, Eric Fox, Andy Neureuther, Mary Scheele and me) makes the review and installation process simple for all venues, and we urge you to think about showing your work in our Galleries when the “calls” are received.
Treasurer Mark Forrette has made sure we have rooms to meet in, AV assistance as needed, a strong savings account, and has re-envisioned the Club budget to set goals clearly for 2024 and beyond. We are pleased to be able to keep our dues at the 2022-23 level again. We are a bargain at $30 annual dues, as you can see.
There is much that kept us active, informed, and engaged in our photography community. Planning for 2024 has begun, and I welcome the return of our meetings in Vista Room on the 1st Wednesday in January. N4C has added new Print divisions for the coming year so we’re looking forward to Landscapes, Doors, Portraits, Street Photography, and other specific themes for each month.
Join us in the Vista Room on January 3, 2023, before the 7 PM judging (of prints and projected images) begins. …/zina