Camera Club takes stock of its past; plans for its future

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The panel in the Senior Center Community Room where the Camera Club’s monthly Scavenger Hunt photos are displayed. Photo by Shirley Murtha

In 1994, Bob Orr and Harry Fischer (the manager of Granby’s camera store at the time) decided that a camera club for people who shared a passion for photography—learning about it, creating their own style, and just plain enjoying the beauty of it—would be a good addition to the town’s social and artistic organizations. Thus was formed the Granby Camera Club, which exists to this day, continuing its mission to “pursue photography as an art form.”

The club meets at the Granby Senior Center the first Monday of each month from September to June. It is open to people of all ages and levels of ability. Not just Granby residents may join, but also folks from surrounding towns. The club matches up new members seeking more expertise with experienced members who will mentor them.

Most meetings feature special programs that will add knowledge in the various components of photography: equipment and related computer programs, types of photography such as portrait (human and pet), nature, landscape and sports. Occasional field trips are enjoyed by all.

Past highlights of the club include having an exhibit each June in the Granby Library, mounting a show at Lost Acres Vineyard on the club’s 20th anniversary, photographing the Granby Road Race and high school sports and taking photographs for the Simsbury Town Calendar. Simsbury no longer publishes the calendar, but the club expects to continue all the other activities and looks forward to having the show at Lost Acres for its 30th anniversary in 2024.

In addition, this year the club photographed the town’s Juneteenth celebration and the wildflower planting on Route 10/202. Photos of these events were published in the Drummer.

A few years ago, Camera Club president Paula Johnson discovered that other camera clubs frequently talked about an activity called the Scavenger Hunt, in which members select three words each month to use as inspiration for taking photos. One word is always “favorite,” the other two words have covered such topics as color, sense, shadows, structures and water. This activity has become very popular with the Granby club. Members take photos to share and critique with regard to subject, technique and composition at the next meeting. The photos are then displayed in the Senior Center for the next month. Photos are also posted on the club’s Facebook page, where viewers are invited to ask questions or make comments.

During the Covid years, the club met via Zoom but meetings have returned to in-person. The Zoom technique might come in handy again during winter months when weather can discourage attendance.

The first meeting of the 2022-23 year will be on Sept. 12, starting at 6:30 p.m. (a half hour earlier than usual) because a field trip to photograph a farm is on the agenda. The group will return to the Senior Center for the regular meeting and sharing of the photos.

Each meeting of the club is announced in the In Town Focus section of the Granby Drummer.

Other programs planned for the year include guest speakers Robert Floyd, Wendy VanWilie, and an evening of Pet Photography with Penny Wills.

Johnson hopes that new folks will join the club this year; all are welcome. Anyone having questions or wanting more information can contact her at pjgranby38@gmail.com

A final note: The Granby Camera Club was saddened by the death of founder Harry Fischer in July. He will be greatly missed and remembered with great fondness not just by the Camera Club, but by all the people he helped so generously at the store.