Top News

Gander Photography Group members share a love of the art form


It’s well into the evening and a dozen amateur photographers are gathered around a table at the Jumping Bean coffee shop in Gander, sharing a few laughs over a cup of joe.

Good-natured banter is taking place about which is the superior camera brand. And while Nikon users slightly outnumbered those using Canon, neither side is willing to concede.

Having finished up a lengthy in-class session on portraits and proper lighting techniques Jan. 17, the group was awaiting the chance to put what they had learned to use.

As the model for the evening – Jessica Ricketts – entered, the focus changed.

Lighting is assembled and, after a little direction, the model sits in position. Photographer Wade Janes tests the white balance and the shoot gets underway. 

While it’s a new experience for the first-time model, it’s just a regular session for the snap-happy members of the Gander Photography Group.

“We try and do as much practical as we do in classroom sessions,” said Walt Gill, one of the founding members of the club.

Good-natured banter is taking place about which is the superior camera brand. And while Nikon users slightly outnumbered those using Canon, neither side is willing to concede.

Having finished up a lengthy in-class session on portraits and proper lighting techniques Jan. 17, the group was awaiting the chance to put what they had learned to use.

As the model for the evening – Jessica Ricketts – entered, the focus changed.

Lighting is assembled and, after a little direction, the model sits in position. Photographer Wade Janes tests the white balance and the shoot gets underway. 

While it’s a new experience for the first-time model, it’s just a regular session for the snap-happy members of the Gander Photography Group.

“We try and do as much practical as we do in classroom sessions,” said Walt Gill, one of the founding members of the club.

First time model Jessica Ricketts strikes various poses for group.

Much like a shaky camera running a slow shutter, the exact timeframe of when the club started is a little blurred.

It’s been about a decade according to Gill, as its eighth exhibit is coming up. The club existed previous to the annual showcase. 

“A small group of us would get together every now and again at Giovanni’s (now Jumping Bean) to have a coffee and talk photography,” he recalled. “That went on for maybe a year and a half when, for no reason at all, we just stopped meeting. About a year and a half after that, we decided to make another stab at it.”

The club has been going strong ever since, meeting every second Tuesday each month, except for summer breaks, doing classroom-style sessions and field work. 

The group’s membership has a tendency to float, with an average session running about 15-20 members.

“But it’s not the same 15-20 because we have shift workers, students, and some people drift in and out” said Wade Janes. “But overall on the mailing list we have over 40 people.” 

However, the work of the group has a much broader range. Its Facebook page — Gander Photography Group — has more than 600 members.

And while improving photography skills is the overall goal, the club accomplishes this by learning together and from one another. 

“Basically we’re a group of amateur photographers helping one another out,” said Gill. “We have a lot of different members with a lot of different skill-sets, but no one has a big ego and they are quite willing to share the information that they have obtained over the years.”

One of those photographers is Gander resident Derm Chafe, who has been studying photography for nearly 30 years. 

He’s been a part of the club for the past eight years.

“In smaller communities sometimes it’s hard to find people that you share common interests with.

"The good thing about photography is that most people are into it, one way or another, whether it’s snapping a picture with a cellphone or higher-end setups,” said Chafe.  

“So it’s nice to have people you can socialize with . . . to talk about a specific subject or learn from one another.”

When he first joined the group, Chafe hardly knew anybody involved. In sharing this common interest he’s been able to establish friendships with the various members. 

“It’s interesting because photography is something that can be an art or a science, pretty much anything you want it to be, and you can tie it to another interest, such as sports, people, fine arts, and it brings together people who wouldn’t normally associate because of that common interest.”

 

Recent Stories