Granby Camera Club captures local wildlife and scenery

Print More

Scavenger hunt winner in the “smile” category. Photo by Beth McIntyre

From the iPhone savant to the Nikon DSLR aficionado, the Granby Camera Club welcomes anyone and everyone interested in photography.

Through the course of its almost 30-year history, the club has become a key part of many town events and establishments. The Club has been highlighted by numerous exhibits, including a 20th anniversary special at Lost Acres Vineyard, and members’ photos have been selected for inclusion in publications such as the annual Simsbury Bank calendar.

The March meeting began with a camera club staple: scavenger hunt submissions. The words for March were “smile,” “black and white” and “favorite.” Submissions included scenes from around Granby, abandoned farm equipment, wildlife, and get-togethers with friends. The winners were selected by popular majority. Beth McIntyre’s photo of a laughing baby opening a gift, while being cradled by an admiring man, claimed the category of “smile,” while Paula Johnson’s stunning shot of a red-tailed hawk perched on snowy branches swept the category of “black and white.” The same hawk, now in color and flapping its wings in preparation for flight, also won the category of “favorite.” These photos will be displayed in the Community Room of the Granby Senior Center as part of the Camera Club’s monthly showcase.

Led by Ed Judge and Ray “Jay” Harder, a workshop on using Photoshop and Lightroom to edit photographs filled the remainder of the March meeting.

Ed Judge focused on a picture of a bird snapped by Paula Johnson, and of a flower taken by Ed Hodgson. Both photos had some noise in the background that Ed first removed using Topaz Labs Photo AI. This software based on artificial intelligence touches up images and reconstructs parts of the image that may be out of focus. The user can select different denoising and sharpening levels to achieve the desired result. From there, Ed selectively saturated color ranges of both photos and added eye-grabbing texture to key areas, such as the bird’s breast.

Jay’s portion of the workshop focused on using Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop to edit black and white images he had taken of a ship’s lifesaver and different architectural scenes. Centering his attention on the curves present in the photographs, Jay added shading and lighting effects to draw the viewer’s eye.

Lifesaver on the ship “Isabelle Taylor,” edited in the workshop to be in black and white. Photo by Jay Harder

The workshop was well-received and very informative, with numerous questions from attendees whose skills ranged from novice to proficient. Members shared the programs each employs to edit and adjust their images. Tips and tricks to achieve beautiful, striking images were freely discussed.

The April scavenger hunt words will be “buds,” “copper,” and “favorite.” The Camera Club is also excited to announce that the April meeting will be in person at the senior center for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic and will feature Paul Hetzel as the guest. Hetzel is a photographer from Springfield, Mass., with an expansive portfolio featuring visits to Iceland, Greenland, Nepal, Tibet, Namibia, and Botswana, as well as landmarks in the United States like Ellis Island, Death Valley, Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and other points in the American Southwest. Dr. Hetzel also has a full-time Medical Oncology practice and graduated from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 1970.

Travel serves as a muse for Hetzel. His career in photography was ignited after a 1994 trip to Mt. Everest. In 2005, due to the limited free time available in his profession, Hetzel switched from film to digital photography. His work has been published in his 2013 book, From This Sapling, and has been recognized with several awards. At the Camera Club meeting, Hetzel will present a slideshow of his photography and talk about his experiences.

Looking ahead to the next few months, the club has many exciting events in which they would like to welcome new members to participate. In May, the club is planning a field trip to take sunset photos for its monthly meeting. Current plans include visiting the trout pond in McClean Game Refuge or Salmon Brook Park to take photos over the water.

Also in May, the club will take photos of the Granby Road Race, currently scheduled for May 6, 2023. This is a long-standing tradition in the club, with club members often taking up different positions along the race route to catch runners on the road, in the woods, and at the start and finish lines.

On the agenda for the June meeting is a session on pet photography. In July the club will curate its 21st annual exhibit in the library featuring one cabinet with a specified topic, and another cabinet with the members’ favorite photographs.

 The Granby Camera Club invites those interested in joining the club to come to their April 3 meeting at 7 p.m. at the Granby Senior Center.

Red-tailed hawk captured in the snow won the “black and white” scavenger hunt category. Photo by Paula Johnson