Mid Louth Independent - - FRONT PAGE - By GERAL­DINE FEE­HAN

AS lo­cal clubs go Ardee Pho­tog­ra­phy Club is only a baby!

Formed in July 2015 it was the brain­child of Al­bert Mullarkey, a keen ama­teur pho­tographer and an ac­tive mem­ber of the group.

A warm and friendly group has emerged and grown since the ini­tial meet­ing. The com­mit­ment of all the mem­bers has seen the club grow in strength and num­bers through­out 2017.

The club’s vi­sion is to be a lo­cal pho­tog­ra­phy club rather than a cam­era club. The em­pha­sis is on com­pos­ing and tak­ing cre­ative, in­ter­est­ing pho­tos on any de­vice in­clud­ing cam­era phones. No­body is un­der pres­sure to in­vest in ex­pen­sive equip­ment. Some mem­bers have caught the bug and pur­chased DSLR cam­eras but meet­ings still fo­cus on the pho­to­graphs rather than the equip­ment. The club’s up­com­ing ex­hi­bi­tion will in­clude a slideshow of pho­tos taken on mo­bile phones.

Un­like some clubs Ardee Pho­tog­ra­phy Club has a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of mem­bers who are be­gin­ners at pho­tog­ra­phy, while other mem­bers are more ex­pe­ri­enced. It took a while to find the best for­mat for new mem­bers to learn while pro­vid­ing a chal­leng­ing, in­ter­est­ing en­vi­ron­ment for more ex­pe­ri­enced mem­bers. From the out­set the more ex­pe­ri­enced mem­bers of the group have gen­er­ously shared their knowl­edge.

Notably Mark O’Brien, one of the group’s tal­ented mem­bers, cre­ated an in house pho­tog­ra­phy course which taught many mem­bers the ba­sics of pho­tog­ra­phy in a sup­port­ive en­vi­ron­ment where no ques­tions are ever stupid! Mark’s teach­ing means that some mem­bers have been caught mut­ter­ing “big num­ber, small hole” – a ref­er­ence to aper­ture in lo­ca­tions as di­verse as the Dublin Dock­lands at night and Tin­ure Grave­yard! Mark’s course is set to con­tinue early in 2018.

As the group evolved it be­came ap­par­ent that the great­est prac­ti­cal learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties hap­pened when the group were out and about tak­ing pho­to­graphs in Ardee and fur­ther afield.

As a re­sult pho­tog­ra­phy out­ings have be­come an in­te­gral part of the club. So far this year there are been 2 evening trips to the pho­to­graph the colour­ful lights of the Dublin Dock­lands, an at­mo­spheric trip at dusk to the High Crosses at Tin­ure, a trip to the Na­tional Stud and Ja­panese Gar­dens and an ex­plo­ration of Pow­er­scourt Gar­dens and Water­fall.

Ex­pe­ri­enced pho­tog­ra­phers Kevin Dardis and An­nette Nolan amongst oth­ers of­ten play a men­tor­ing role on th­ese trips, help­ing be­gin­ners with gen­tle guid­ance and pa­tience. Ev­ery­one comes home hav­ing learnt a few new tips and with some pho­to­graphs they can be proud of. There is of­ten a stop for din­ner on the longer trips and the craic on the bus is leg­endary!

With so many out­ings un­der it’s belt it felt like the right time to show the re­sult­ing pho­to­graphs to a wider au­di­ence. Ardee Pho­tog­ra­phy Club’s first ex­hi­bi­tion will be held in Dee Hub in Ardee on 18th and 19th Novem­ber.

In keep­ing with the ethos of the club ev­ery ac­tive mem­ber will have pho­to­graphs in­cluded and it prom­ises to be an en­joy­able event for any­one who en­joys pho­tog­ra­phy. Ad­mis­sion is free. There will be a raf­fle and the pro­ceeds will go to the Dee Hub where the club meets ev­ery se­cond Thurs­day.

Feel free to come to the ex­hi­bi­tion, en­joy the pho­to­graphs and chat to ex­ist­ing mem­bers. For any­one in­ter­ested mem­ber­ship is only €30 per year, great value to meet a fun and cre­ative group of peo­ple, make new friends, see new places and of course take some great pho­to­graphs!

“One for the wall” is a phrase the mem­bers use when they some­one gets a shot just right. To cre­ate a piece of art for your own wall is al­ways a good am­bi­tion!

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