By Clarence Ngoh
CHANGE ISLANDS, NL – The moon was the only source of light as a group of photographers from the Gander Photography Club rose early and battled sleep for an excursion to Change Islands.
The group arrived well in advance for the first ferry to leave Farewell to Change Islands to make full use of the day.
It was the second trip to the island for most people in the group, with the first excursion being an indelible experience that left photographers wanting more.
The diverse subject matter on the itinerary catered to the photographers’ varied interests, and the people we met on the island were generous with their time, friendly, and accommodating.
A trip to the Newfoundland Pony Sanctuary, a stop at the Olde Shoppe Museum to appreciate and understand historical artifacts, and a few portrait sessions with locals filled the day.
Between these events, the serene landscape of Change Islands provided bountiful opportunities for landscape photography.
The trip allowed photographers to explore and extend their creativity. Lori Cusack used the opportunity to “try to shoot at different angles than I normally would, by moving down low, or shooting through objects, and playing with light and shadow.”
The opportunity to photograph a variety of subject matter allowed Lori to push her creative boundaries outside her comfort zone.
“I am more comfortable with shooting landscapes, and I feel nervous with portraits, but they still turn out the way I anticipate, and I am happy with how they turn out.”
Amy Cusack, Lori’s sister, says she “shoots anything that catches her eye.”
Amy remembers her first camera.
“It was around 2010, and I started off in film. It was a 35mm McDonald’s film camera. And I think I still have some film in it.”
Recalling how intimidated she was when she first started, Amy said, “(the information) wasn’t connecting at first. But right now, I can focus on it, and remember. But before, it just went in one ear and out the other.”
As the excursion came to an end and the group prepared the leave the island, a slight panic arose – there were more cars than expected in the queue waiting for the ferry, and murmurs that some would be stranded overnight on the island.
A local resident calmed any anxieties.
“You can knock on any door on Change Island, and you will be fed and provided a place to sleep if you are stranded,” he says.
One of the photographers remarked, “I guess it will not be a bad thing not to make the ferry after all.”
The beauty and grace of Change Islands was deeper than the images photographers captured. It was also witnessed through the generosity and hospitality of its people.
They may yet see another trip in the not-too-distant future.
There was more work when the photographers arrived home, as sorting, editing and post-processing the images awaited.
The Gander Photography Club meets every two weeks at the Gander Town Hall. For more information, check out their Facebook Page – Gander Photography Group.
Clarence Ngoh is a reporter for the Beacon and a member of the Gander Photography Club.