We are glad to have you as one of us!
The Bridge Lake Photo Group (BLPG) is made up of enthusiastic amateur photographers, some of whom also sell the occasional photo. Our collective and individual goal is to get better, both in the taking of photographs and in their subsequent editing. We welcome anyone who has the same goal, no matter what is their experience with photography. We all started out knowing nothing about photography and learned from those who helped us. So, whatever our own level of knowledge, we like to share what we’ve learned so far with other photographers.
We welcome photographers to BLPG membership, whether they are full time residents of the South Cariboo or seasonal residents. In fact, we require only the most tenuous relationship with Bridge Lake! We currently have resident members from Lac La Hache to 70 Mile and from 100 Mile to Lac des Roches. The residences of our seasonal members range from Calgary to Salt Spring Island and points in between.
To help you learn the ropes in a hurry, this document contains some background information about the way the BLPG operates. After reading it, if you have any suggestions about how it might be improved please share that with us.
The BLPG meets twice a month throughout the year, typically on the first and third Thursday.
Sometimes, in a month with five Thursdays, we might make the meeting dates the second and fourth Thursday. Very occasionally the meeting might be cancelled; it depends what else is going on in the life of the organizer. There will always be plenty of warning if there is to be a change. You can also always check the Important Dates on the BLPG website (read about the BLPG website below).
The meetings always run from 7 PM to 9 PM, and are held in the Interlakes Community Centre on Highway 24 just near Roe Lake (in fact, for historical reasons, the hall is often referred to as the Roe Lake Hall just to make things confusing).
- BLPG eMailing List
When you attend your first BLPG meeting, we want your name and email address so we can add you to our BLPG emailing list. We send out reminders for each meeting a few days ahead, and we send out meeting recaps a few days after each meeting.
- Cost of Membership
There is NO cost to be a member of the BLPG. Nor is there any cost to attend your first BLPG meeting in order to find out whether you would like to join our group.
After the first meeting there is, however, either a $2 or a $3 “donation” required from each meeting attendee, because that is how we are charged for the hall rental for the meeting ($3 per person UNLESS you are a member of the Interlakes Community Centre – membership fee $5 per year or any part thereof – in which case your meeting cost is only $2. In other words you can recover your membership fee if you attend five or more BLPG meetings in the current year! If you want to join the Interlakes Community Centre just tell the fee collector and it will be arranged for you.)
- What Goes On At A Meeting
Usually there are three parts to a BLPG meeting.
First, we welcome any new attendees, discuss any issues of importance, and mention any important upcoming activities and dates.
Second, we review images that members have brought to the meeting for our collective viewing and discussion. This is an important part of the sharing which we encourage. As we view the images of others it often inspires each one of us to try something different, an integral part of growing as a photographer. We also discuss how an image could be improved if it’s obvious (e.g. Ask about pokies).
Third, time permitting, we’ll watch a video about some aspect of photography. Again, this is an important part of our continuing education as photographers.
At the conclusion of each meeting, your help is requested to put the chairs away and to move the tables against the wall.
- Web Site
We have our own website (http://bridgelakephotogroup.com). Each photographer has a Photographers Showcase page on which are shown the images that person has brought to our BLPG meetings. The Showcase pages are updated after each meeting.
The opening page of the BLPG website is Recent Additions. This page is updated after every BLPG meeting with all the images that were shown. The website contains other information of interest to members, such as descriptions of past field trips and workshops.
You can choose to become a Follower of the BLPG website. If you do so, whenever a new post to site is made, which happens now and then, you’ll automatically receive a link to the new posting. To become a Follower, simply look for the Follow button near the bottom of the righthand column.
- Submitting your photos for a meeting
It may be a bit daunting for you to bring some of your photos to a meeting for viewing. After all, each of us is critical of our work in comparison to others. But don’t worry. We foster and maintain a supportive environment, and tend to focus our comments on what each of us might have done to improve (in our opinion only) your photo. Since each of us has our own style, you are free to accept or reject any suggestions that are made – after all, it is your photograph. However, listen carefully to the suggestions because there are usually some good ideas put forward.
It is suggested that you submit no more than 5 photos for review.
In order that your photos display in the best possible way at the meeting, please make sure the files are of as high a resolution as possible. If the photo file is less than 600K, it may not project that well. Don’t worry about an upper size limit; that will be taken care of when your photos are prepped for the website. With a high resolution image, we can zoom in on parts of your photo, revealing details that are important. We can handle pretty well any image file type (jpg, tiff, psd, nef, cr2, png etc)
You may put your photos on a data stick which you’ll bring to the meeting, or you may send them to Derek Chambers before the meeting. One of the best ways to do the latter, is to use Dropbox. Upload your photos to Dropbox and then send an email, containing the link to the Dropbox folder, to Derek (email@example.com). You can also try emailing each photo to Derek; that should work, depending on the size limit imposed by your email provider.
If you use a data stick, please use a larger one, not one of the tiny ones since they need to draw more power from the computer being used than its usb ports provide.
Please name each photo file so that it contains what you’d like to be used as a Caption for that photo. And please also put your name into each filename. Examples might be:
- Mount Robson At Night – Hank Snow.jpg
- AllAboard JackShaw.psd
- Home On The Range – ©Slim Pickens.tif
From time to time, we offer workshops that provide in depth hands on training in some facet of photography. For example, we have done workshops covering all aspects of Lightroom, Macro photography and focus stacking, ICM (intentional camera movement), off-camera flash in portraiture, light painting, night photography, calibration and sensor cleaning, HDR (High dynamic range) photography, layering and texturing in Photoshop and Elements, and getting ready for our annual Photo Exhibition (see below).
All workshops are free with one exception. If we bring in an outside instructor who has to be paid, then the cost is split amongst the participants. In all other cases, the expertise of one or more of our members is freely shared with the workshop attendees.
Workshops which require a classroom are usually held at Eagleridge (7491 Eagleridge Road, off Highway 24 between Bridge Lake and Lac des Roches). The workshops are typically on a Saturday or a Sunday. Occasionally a workshop will be repeated on a weekday for those who couldn’t attend the weekend one.
Workshops are announced well in advance and you are invited to sign up. The classroom will accommodate up to a dozen people. A few days in advance of the workshops, signed up attendees receive, via email, a detailed workshop outline and other useful and pertinent information.
- Field Trips
From time to time we organize all day field trips, complete with carpooling, to local areas of photographic beauty, such as Eakin Creek Canyon, Wells Gray Park or Farwell Canyon. We also did a one week field trip to the Palouse area of eastern Washington State. There is considerable interest to doing a future multi-day field trip to Drumheller and Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, and to the Jasper area.
- Annual Photo Exhibition
Each year, on the last Sunday in April or the first Sunday in May, we put on a Photo Exhibition at the Interlakes Community Centre. We have up to fifteen 4′ x 8 ‘display boards, some showing the favourite photos made by members, some showing BLPG activities and at least one board dedicated to single works by BLPG members. In 2017, the 9th annual Photo Exhibition is on Sunday, April 30th. On Saturday afternoon (April 29th) we will be setting up for the Photo Exhibition.
The Photo Exhibition hours are from 1 PM to 4:30 PM. We usually have between 130 and 180 visitors. They view the display boards and then settle down into chairs in preparation for the hour and a quarter’s worth of video slideshows that BLPG members have prepared.
As a member of the BLPG you are encouraged to show your favourite works, either reserving a complete display board, by sharing a board with another member, or by contributing one or two photos for the collective board. If you have taken photos documenting some of our workshops or field trips, you are invited to make them available for the BLPG activities board.
By the way, each of us is requested to bring a plate of goodies (sandwiches, cookies, muffins, or cake etc) because, at the end of the show, everyone present is invited to graze the food tables. That’s when visitors meet the photographers and/or their neighbours for good chats.
I hope these few notes are of use to you. If you have any more questions, just ask at one of our meetings. We might know the answer!