THE PEO­PLE BE­HIND THE CAM­ERA — AMURI CAM­ERA CLUB

New Zealand D-Photo - - CONTENTS -

Three Amuri Cam­era Club mem­bers — Bar­bara Burry, Michelle Saric, and Carl Thomp­son — tell us about their pho­tog­ra­phy styles and what they’ve learned as part of the club

Join­ing a pho­tog­ra­phy club can open your mind to a broad range of pho­tog­ra­phy top­ics you may never have en­coun­tered had you re­mained work­ing and learn­ing alone. We speak with three Amuri Cam­era Club mem­bers — Bar­bara Burry, Michelle Saric, and Carl Thomp­son — about their pho­tog­ra­phy styles and what they’ve learned while be­ing a part of the club

Bar­bara Burry

D-Photo: What in­spired your in­ter­est in pho­tog­ra­phy and made you pick up your first cam­era?

Bar­bara Burry: I can’t re­mem­ber ex­actly what in­spired me to pick up a cam­era, but I do know that it was over 50 years ago! I still have small black-and-white pho­tos of my high-school friends made on my Box Brownie.

Are you self-taught or have you been in­volved in pho­tog­ra­phy cour­ses?

I have at­tended many short cour­ses over the years, start­ing in Mel­bourne in the late 1980s at [the Cen­tre for] Adult Ed­u­ca­tion, and a oneyear part-time course at Pho­tog­ra­phy Stud­ies Col­lege, south Mel­bourne, in 1991. I moved to Han­mer Springs in 1992 and did many part-time cour­ses dur­ing the 1990s at Okeover, Can­ter­bury Univer­sity, in­clud­ing one year part-time with Richard Poole (com­mer­cial pho­tog­ra­phy). Other tu­tors I have learned from in­clude Free­man Pat­ter­son, Peter Harper, Dave Wethey, Tony Bridge, Mathe­son Beau­mont, Lindsay McLeod, and Si­mon Woolf, among many oth­ers too nu­mer­ous to men­tion. I am self-taught in­so­far as I have done dig­i­tal-pho­tog­ra­phy cour­ses on­line, read books and blogs, and at­tended many work­shops.

Who are the pho­tog­ra­phers that you draw in­spi­ra­tion from?

Ansel Adams, Cole Thomp­son, Free­man Pat­ter­son, and Sally Ma­son, among many oth­ers.

How do you keep your­self mo­ti­vated to keep

shoot­ing?

Feed­back on my pho­to­graphs by par­tic­i­pa­tion in on­line sa­lons and com­pe­ti­tions. I am also a mem­ber of the Pho­to­graphic So­ci­ety of New Zealand (PSNZ), Christchurch Pho­to­graphic So­ci­ety, and Na­ture Pho­to­graphic So­ci­ety of New Zealand, as well as a num­ber of smaller un­of­fi­cial groups. At­ten­dance at ed­u­ca­tional ac­tiv­i­ties at cam­era-club meet­ings and field trips. Set­ting per­sonal projects and pre­par­ing for ex­hi­bi­tions.

Is pho­tog­ra­phy your day job, or do you fit it into your spare time around your 9–5 job?

I have al­ways fit­ted pho­tog­ra­phy into my spare time.

How did you be­come in­volved with the club, and how long have you been a mem­ber?

I have been a mem­ber of Amuri Cam­era Club for 25 years, join­ing very soon af­ter I moved to Han­mer Springs in 1992. Mem­ber­ship en­abled me to meet lo­cal pho­tog­ra­phers and learn about the Han­mer Springs and North Can­ter­bury pho­to­graphic com­mu­ni­ties. Dur­ing my time as a mem­ber, I have been trea­surer and pres­i­dent of the club.

What are the skills and ben­e­fits you have gained from be­ing a part of the club?

From vis­it­ing speak­ers and field trips, I have been in­tro­duced to dif­fer­ent pho­to­graphic gen­res in­clud­ing black-and-white, land­scape, macro, ab­stracts, and im­pres­sion­ism.

Would you ad­vise other pho­tog­ra­phers to be­come a mem­ber of a club? If so, why?

Yes, def­i­nitely. You meet other pho­tog­ra­phers and learn from them in a friendly en­vi­ron­ment; you be­come in­volved in the wider pho­to­graphic com­mu­nity; you ex­tend your skills by en­ter­ing com­pe­ti­tions, lo­cal and na­tional sa­lons; and ap­ply­ing for PSNZ hon­ours — I gained my LPSNZ (Li­cen­ti­ate of the PSNZ) in 1999 and my APSNZ (As­so­ci­ate of the PSNZ) in 2001. You learn from be­ing fur­ther in­volved in the sys­tems and ac­tiv­i­ties of PSNZ; for ex­am­ple, I have been a PSNZ coun­cil­lor, and I have been on the editorial board of NZ Cam­era, [the] PSNZ’s an­nual pho­to­graphic pub­li­ca­tion.

Are there com­pe­ti­tions and pro­grammes that the club of­fers that you par­tic­i­pate in? How do they work?

We had more mem­bers when I first joined Amuri Cam­era Club, and en­joyed monthly open, nat­u­ral his­tory, and pho­to­jour­nal­ism com­pe­ti­tions. These days, we are a smaller group and now con­cen­trate on hav­ing guest speak­ers; go­ing on field trips; and, at our meet­ings, shar­ing our images with each other and giv­ing feed­back.

How do you show­case your images to an au­di­ence? Do you make use of var­i­ous forms of so­cial me­dia? If so, do you en­joy us­ing them?

I have had a num­ber of ex­hi­bi­tions in the Amuri Com­mu­nity Art Gallery in Han­mer Springs. I have a Flickr page (Bar­bara.57); I use In­sta­gram (@ bar­baraburry) some­times. At times, I also post pho­tos on my Face­book page (@bar­bara.burry.1), and share with dif­fer­ent Face­book groups. In this way, I do en­joy be­ing part of the wider pho­to­graphic com­mu­nity. I have made a few Blurb books to share with fam­ily and friends, but I haven’t tried to sell these.

Michelle Saric

D-Photo: What in­spired your in­ter­est in pho­tog­ra­phy and made you pick up your first cam­era?

Michelle Saric: I have been in­ter­ested in pho­tog­ra­phy from a young age. When I was about 11, I got my first cam­era for Christ­mas. I re­mem­ber that it snowed a few weeks be­fore Christ­mas (in Eng­land), and I asked Mum if I could get my present early. I then spent a few days walk­ing around my vil­lage tak­ing [pho­to­graphs of] snow scenery. When I was younger, I en­joyed tak­ing pho­tos of my pony and my cats. Now, I love tak­ing land­scapes and nat­u­ral-his­tory images.

Are you self-taught or have you been in­volved in pho­tog­ra­phy cour­ses?

I am pretty much self-taught. I did a blackand-white pho­tog­ra­phy course at col­lege in Eng­land, where I learned about the cam­era, learned some pho­to­graphic skills, and the ba­sics of de­vel­op­ing prints in the darkroom. Since be­ing in New Zealand, I have com­pleted week­end cour­ses with Dave Wethey, Tony Bridge, and Peter Harper, and I have been on field trips with other pho­tog­ra­phers who have given me tips and in­spi­ra­tion.

Who are the pho­tog­ra­phers that you draw in­spi­ra­tion from?

I draw in­spi­ra­tion from pho­tog­ra­phers such as An­dris Apse, Be­van Tulett, Mathe­son Beau­mont, and Carl Thomp­son. Mark Gee and his as­tropho­tog­ra­phy is an­other in­spi­ra­tion.

How do you keep your­self mo­ti­vated to keep shoot­ing?

I en­joy at­tend­ing our cam­era-club field trips, as they give me an op­por­tu­nity to spend time tak­ing images. Ev­ery year, I aim to pro­duce three or four images that I love, whether they are macro, na­ture, land­scape, or com­put­er­ma­nip­u­lated images. I like to sub­mit my favourite images to the NZ Cam­era book and am priv­i­leged to have had two images se­lected in the last few years.

Is pho­tog­ra­phy your day job, or do you fit it into your spare time around your 9–5 job?

Pho­tog­ra­phy has al­ways been a hobby for me. Re­cently, with a young fam­ily, I haven’t done as much pho­tog­ra­phy as I’d like to, but I still get out now and again to cre­ate some images. A lot of my pho­tog­ra­phy now is cap­tur­ing mem­o­ries of my chil­dren as they grow up.

How did you be­come in­volved with the club, and how long have you been a mem­ber?

I joined the Amuri Cam­era Club about 10 years ago af­ter do­ing a pho­tog­ra­phy course with Dave Wethey at the Amuri Au­tumn School. At the course, I met a club mem­ber who told me about the club. I went along, en­joyed the club, [and ended up] be­com­ing the sec­re­tary, which is a po­si­tion I still hold to­day.

What are the skills and ben­e­fits you have gained from be­ing a part of the club?

I have learned lots from be­ing part of the Amuri Cam­era Club, through go­ing on field trips and from vis­it­ing speak­ers. Through ac­tively par­tic­i­pat­ing in field trips, I have learned

how to ‘drive’ my cam­era and have learned lots of dif­fer­ent tips to im­prove my pho­tog­ra­phy. I have learned macro pho­tog­ra­phy from our club pres­i­dent, Carl Thomp­son, who is a great tu­tor on field trips. I am still learn­ing and de­vel­op­ing my pho­tog­ra­phy skills.

Would you ad­vise other pho­tog­ra­phers to be­come a mem­ber of a club? If so, why?

Be­ing a mem­ber of a club re­ally helps you de­velop your pho­tog­ra­phy. Even though our club is small, we have a num­ber of dif­fer­ent guest speak­ers visit our club who in­spire me to try new things, and who give me ideas for my pho­tog­ra­phy. The club is also a place where you can share your pho­tog­ra­phy and re­ceive feed­back to move your pho­tog­ra­phy for­ward.

Are there com­pe­ti­tions and pro­grammes that the club of­fers that you par­tic­i­pate in? How do they work?

We have or­ga­nized a com­pe­ti­tion and an ex­hi­bi­tion in the past, which all club mem­bers par­tic­i­pated in. It’s prob­a­bly time to or­ga­nize more.

How do you show­case your images to an au­di­ence? Do you make use of var­i­ous forms of so­cial me­dia? If so, do you en­joy us­ing them?

I share some of my images through my Face­book page, so that I can share my images with friends and fam­ily. I also en­ter my images in the Amuri A&P Show in March. The cam­era club has a ro­tat­ing dis­play of our images in the Han­mer Springs li­brary, where I share my images lo­cally.

Carl Thomp­son

D-Photo: What in­spired your in­ter­est in pho­tog­ra­phy, and made you pick up your first cam­era?

Carl Thomp­son: My his­tory as a pho­tog­ra­pher be­gan in the 1950s when I bought my first cam­era — a 35mm Voigtlän­der Rangefinder — from the Waikari chemist. It was to pho­to­graph the chil­dren, and it was not un­til camp­ing trips into the moun­tains that I be­came in­ter­ested in alpine flow­ers and in­sects. I made my own par­al­lax — con­nect­ing the viewfinder with fenc­ing wire — but there were great lim­i­ta­tions. My fam­ily, sons, and grand­chil­dren, as well as the won­der­ful New Zealand land­scape and na­ture, still in­spire my pho­tog­ra­phy.

Are you self-taught, or have you been in­volved in pho­tog­ra­phy cour­ses?

I am a self-taught pho­tog­ra­pher.

Who are the pho­tog­ra­phers that you draw in­spi­ra­tion from?

I draw in­spi­ra­tion from John Shaw — an Amer­i­can na­ture pho­tog­ra­pher — and Peter Harper.

How do you keep your­self mo­ti­vated to keep shoot­ing?

I have a big de­sire to al­ways im­prove my pho­tog­ra­phy, which keeps me mo­ti­vated. I love see­ing more of our beau­ti­ful coun­try, and have an ever-grow­ing love of na­ture.

Is pho­tog­ra­phy your day job, or do you fit it into your spare time around your 9–5 job?

Pho­tog­ra­phy has al­ways been my big­gest hobby, be­side my bee­keep­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. I spend spare week­ends tak­ing pho­tos out in na­ture and the moun­tains.

How did you be­come in­volved with the club, and how long have you been a mem­ber?

I wanted to see how other fel­low pho­tog­ra­phers took pho­tos, and had a pas­sion to learn more tech­niques and to learn new places to take pho­tos. I am one of the found­ing mem­bers of the club, and have been in­volved with the club for over 50 years. I also be­long to the Na­ture Pho­to­graphic So­ci­ety of New Zealand and Christchurch Pho­to­graphic So­ci­ety.

What are the skills and ben­e­fits you have re­ceived from be­ing a part of the club?

Well-known guest speak­ers have al­ways been a won­der­ful ad­di­tion to my learn­ing, knowl­edge, and growth. Meet­ing pho­tog­ra­phers from all around the coun­try and be­ing able to share new ideas and pho­tog­ra­phy are some of the ben­e­fits of be­ing part of the club.

Would you ad­vise other pho­tog­ra­phers to be­come a mem­ber of a club?

Yes, so that we can all learn more and share more knowl­edge, as we all start from some­where. I be­lieve we should al­ways be will­ing to help other pho­tog­ra­phers so that we can all grow.

Are there com­pe­ti­tions and pro­grammes that the club of­fers that you par­tic­i­pate in? How do they work?

Be­cause we are such a small com­mu­nity of pho­tog­ra­phers, we do not hold many com­pe­ti­tions. But we do have meet­ings at which mem­bers bring their pho­tos for oth­ers to com­ment upon and share ad­vice.

How do you show­case your images to an au­di­ence? Do you make use of var­i­ous forms of so­cial me­dia? If so, do you en­joy us­ing them?

I show­case my pho­tog­ra­phy in lo­cal art gal­leries, cafés, the lo­cal news­pa­per, mag­a­zines, gar­den­ing books, and Barry Brails­ford’s books. I also use Flickr and In­sta­gram (@car­l_thomp­son_pho­tog­ra­phy).

Bar­bara Burry, Canon EOS 40D, 17mm, f/10, 1s, ISO 100

Bar­bara Burry, Canon EOS 60D, 111mm, f/5, 1/1000s, ISO 250

Bar­bara Burry, Canon EOS 60D, 200mm, f/18, 1/13s, ISO 100

Bar­bara Burry, Canon EOS 40D, 100mm, f/14, 0.6s, ISO 100

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