Bittersweet

This is my first month of not being the President of the Kingwood Photo Club after four years.  Its a bittersweet thought.  

     Sweet, because its been a lot of work over the past four years.  A lot of the work was frustrating and I didn’t achieve most of my goals to the extent I envisioned. This club was founded quite a long time before I joined, and run by some pretty amazing people with a lot of vision.  Although the club was doing very well and growing,  when I took over I saw a lot of potential to move the club into areas where I didn’t think it had been.  I thought it would make it a more vibrant, fun organization with more value to its members and to the community.  I wrote a vision for myself describing what I wanted the club to become and worked to move it in that direction.   I wanted more participation by members in our events.  It didn’t matter is we grew the club…I simply wanted more people involved in activities. I also wanted a club that was a bigger part of the community we lived in.  When I took over, the club was primarily for the members, and focused on monthly meetings with high entertainment and low educational value. Monthly field trips were almost non-existent and poorly attended.  Workshops, sponsored by the club, were non-existent.  Some of our members gave workshops, but not under the Kingwood Photoclub “brand”.  We didn’t participate in local events, such as fairs.  The “sweet” part of leaving this position at this time is relief from trying constantly, and not succeeding, at the rate I would like to see, to increase member participation.  Its just a sad fact that organizations like this club, run entirely by volunteers with busy lives in the “real world” can never expect to achieve the level of participation and energy I hoped we would see…lesson learned.

Now for the “bitter” part.  I love this club and will continue to work hard in it because of that.  The people I’ve met, worked with, and enjoyed time with are great people.  They epitomize the kind of community we live in. While frustrating, I did very much enjoy the last four years.  To have a “business” to run, with goals and dreams, was an important part of what made these last four years go by so fast and so enjoyably.  I learned more about photography in the past four years than I had in the previous ten.  The challenge of leading a group of excellent photographers, and try to appear like I deserved to be there was daunting, but pushed me to improve.

Bottom line…bittersweet, but mostly bitter.

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Long Time

Its been a while since I posted.  Who ever thought I’d be this busy at this time in my life.  I thought retirement was supposed to be when you kicked back and had time to pursue things like personal web sites.  Instead its been a time when I’m never in one place long enough to think.

Latest projects: We started after hurricane Harvey, with a trip to the Eastern Sierras to hike and get over Hurricane induced PTSD.  Thats a real thing!  The stress of days of heavy rain, no electricity, and rising water do have an effect.  The eastern Sierras were the perfect remedy with plenty of hiking and great scenery.

Following that there were several workshops to create and conduct.  One in Travel Photography and another on Landscape photography.  Both being probably my favorite subjects.

With the holiday season our Photo Club organized a “Santa Shoot” which was a grand success.  We had over 80 families with kids, and even pets posing with our Santa on a beautifully decorated set, and great participation from club members.  

This is my last month as president of the Kingwood Photo Club.  I’ll write something on that later.  It is definitely a bittersweet thought.

 

 

Travel Photography

I’m giving a workshop on Travel Photography tomorrow. I wondered when I came up with this topic whether or not it would draw any interest, especially since we had to schedule it in the only room we could get post hurricane Harvey; 7pm on a Thursday night. Much to my surprise we have a sell out! I love doing workshop, so this is great. I’m looking forward to a fun and informative session.

Travel photography is a surprisingly interesting subject, if you are serious about your photography and want to really capture the essence of your travel destination. My personal opinion is that combining photography and travel vastly improves both. Interesting images require that you stand in front of interesting subjects…Travel provides that. On the other hand constantly being aware of light, shape,color, details, expressions, and storytelling through your images deepens your enjoyment of travel.

I await tomorrow and hope for a good two way dialogue…I learn more in these workshops than anyone in the room.

Navajo Country – Monument Valley

In the spring of this year the Kingwood Photo Club sponsored a Navajo guided tour to the Monument Valley area.  We only had four participants, but the trip was well worth it.

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Iceland and Greenland

I’m finally getting around to editing and posting images from trips I’ve taken this year…not complaining, we’ve been very fortunate to take some amazing trips, but they’ve been back-to-back-to-back, so my pictures have been sitting there unloved for months.

This group is from a cruise we took to the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Iceland.  We ended the cruise with three days on Iceland being driven by the crazy norseman Ludwig (Luli) in his “super jeep”.  Great trip, and if you are from Houston, a great way to spend August.

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Special Session Announced for Plecia Bill

AUSTIN — Sources at the state capital have confirmed that Governor Abbot will indeed call another special session of the state legislature. Visibly irritated at the failure to pass the bathroom bill, Lieutenant Governer Dan Patrick fumed, “The biased liberal media got this wrong again! We’ve now failed several times to pass a much needed bathroom bill that was carefully crafted to address a problem we haven’t seen, but might conceivable have some day!” Having failed at the much needed bathroom bill Mr. Patrick went on to elaborate, “Since we have no chance of protecting our citizens in the bathroom, we’ll do the next best thing. We’ll protect them any time they are outdoors in our beautiful state, where they are constantly bombarded with promiscuity and lewd behavior.” The Lieutenant Governor was referring to his proposed bill to stop public displays of affection between Plecia, also described in the liberal media as “love bugs”. MR. Patrick went on to say, “Plecia have been openly, and without any regard to human decency doing certain things, which I won’t repeat in polite company, right in front of our kids.” Recent studies published by the Austin ThinkTank, Round Rock Institute, show a direct connection between the number of hours children under 21 view lewd Plecia behavior, and tendencies later in life to copulate in public. As the Governor announced plans for a special session he made it clear why this was such a high priority, “We’ve got to nip this problem in the bud, before it becomes a problem. Certainly it is clear to all Texans that we cannot abide by this kind of unbridled, irresponsible behavior.” Liberals in the state have already been calling for a boycott of Texas businesses, and warning that passage of this bill will cause those seeking to do business in Texas to look elsewhere. They add that the solution to this possible future problem is to provide better housing for the Plecia, so they can literally “get a room” when the urge strikes them.

Black and White Photography Workshop

I’ve written before about how much I enjoy conducting photography workshops.  Its also a great way for the Photo Club to fulfill what I believe its mission to be.  Now granted, I wrote that mission statement, so it might be somewhat biased.  I’ve been President of the club for the past 3 1/2 years.  This being my last year.  That mission statement might be re-written by the next person in this position, but for now it works.  Onwards to workshops.

ive come to believe that if you want to anything better, teach it to someone else.  Since becoming president of this club I have conducted more than a dozen workshops and loved every one.  Some of the topics I scheduled myself to teach I knew next to nothing about.  A little pressure to jump into hyper-learning mode.  They worked out fine.  While I try to convince others in the club to try this approach I secretly worry that if too many get into the workshop teaching mode, I’ll lose my chance to conduct as many as I like…it’s a weird quandary.  On the other hand I’d like to continue honoring our commitment to our fine public library, but can’t conduct workshops every month myself.  I know one thing for certain, even when I’m no longer club president I intend to keep teaching workshops as often as I can  

I just complete a  workshop on Black and White Photography, which I absolutely have come to love this past year.  I really fell in love with Black and White when I had several printed.  Seeing the actual prints, and hanging them up, made all the difference.

my Flickr gallery of black and whites.

Workshop Materials

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