I hope you are all coping with the present requirements of social-distancing, isolating at home, and not going out except for essential reasons such as to buy food, to exercise, for medical appointments and, for those not retired, to go to work or possibly school. Despite this I hope you are all keeping in contact with family and friends by phone or via apps such as Zoom or HouseParty. Many of us connect via Facebook. We are lucky to have so many ways to stay connected. The Club Committee has started meeting via Zoom. This is a great way to hold meetings and to actually see people. Today Arthur’s Friday Walk Group met up online via Zoom and this was a great success, though we still miss our walks and having coffee together afterwards. It was a good information sharing event. New member, John Paterson, joined in and it was good to meet him. Welcome John. These Group meetings will be held every Friday, so join in.

I, and other members of the Committee, have been very busy working on ways to keep the Club active and members engaged during these challenging times. There are several new activities I need to update you on.

  1. Zoom Club meetings: To help maintain normal Club function we will be moving to Zoom meetings for our monthly Club meetings. We will be holding our first Club meeting via Zoom on 8 May. I will send out a separate notice explaining this. You will receive further information about this as we get closer to the Meeting. Zoom meetings have been very successful for other Camera Clubs.
  2. Critique Corner: This is a new section we have activated in the Members section of our MyPhotoClub website. You can upload a maximum of 2 images for critique by other members in each of the Sections: Colour, Monochrome, Nature and Creative. This is helpful to get feedback on an image before entering it in a Club or external competition. On our website, click on MEMBERS then click on the blue CRITIQUE CORNER button on the left under MEMBERS PAGE. This will take you to a page where the function of Critique Corner is explained, where you can upload images, where you can access uploaded images to critique and where you can subscribe to Critique Corner notifications so that you will know when images are there for critiquing.  I encourage members to explore this new section and to use it both to get feedback on your own images and, particularly for the more experienced members, to provide helpful critique for other members.
  3. Mobile Phone Photography Challenge: In time for the May Meeting we have a new monthly photography competition for Club Members which should be fun and interactive. And there is a prize! All images entered must be taken using a mobile phone camera. The winner will be the People’s Choice with all members eligible to vote. With the present stay-at-home directives, the first Set Subject is “In my Garden”. For those without a garden, we extend it to your pot plants, birds visiting your balcony, your aquarium, etc. Enter through the Club competition portal. Members are limited to one image per monthly competition. For May, the entries must be in by 11.59pm 1 May. Voting will start on 2 May and finish at 11.59pm 7 May.  I will circulate the rules in a separate post.

The April edition of the FCC (NSW) newsletter, F/Stop, is a good one with lots of information and suggestions on things to do in isolation and while social-distancing. So, give it a read.  It also has information on TopShot 2020.  This year’s competition is Digital only. Entries close 8 May so start going through your images for potential winners and get them in.

Please keep safe and well but stay connected.

Barbara Blades