May 13, 2021 | JOEL BROWN

Hello Santa Rosa Photographic Society

May has come to Sonoma County and I think of joyful music played on warm nights while grilling in the backyard. Music, do I have favorites? I freely admit I am a Piano Guys, Luther Vandross, Santana, Miles Davis kind of guy when alone, However, this evening I am thinking of Vivaldi’s Spring (La Primavera). A technically complex and understated art piece, with studied brilliance, deep passion, and burning creativity; just like we are as SRPS photographers.  Despite the clouds of Covid, our club members have persisted in delving into our art and the quality of our photos during competition nights show that growth.

I want to especially thank and recognize Lynda Stuber and her Program Committee mates, Anne Abrams, Betsy Waters, & Liz Lawson. The past 2-programs; Harold Davis Photography, Rob Badger & Nita Winter, were presentations without any charges to the club due to this committee’s efforts. And the programs themselves, I can only describe as studied brilliance. We thank you each of you for your service!

I would like to thank Tony Reynes, for organizing the Mentoring Photo Critique sessions prior to our monthly competition nights. It has become a hit with everyone who participates in this venue, and the quality of the submitted images are evident during competition nights. In a sense, Tony, you seem to be burning off creativity that you cannot put into your own pictures (you can only submit 3 per month ?) by giving to others. You’re like an Energizer Rabbit (capitalized)!!!

Nick Allen, I want to give a loud “shout out” for the behind the scenes work you did on enabling our Zoom Meeting announcements access thru our website. Now that both members & the public can access our programs thru our website, there is a large potential for spreading the word for our activities just by word of mouth; “go to our website my friend”!! A technically complex piece of software use in your understated way. & thanks to Erin as well when you don’t have the answer at your fingertips.

The final gracious thanks is for Bill Stacy our Judges Chair person & Zoom Meeting coordinator. Bill’s work as the judge’s coordinator is simply outstanding. He has also taken on the role of Zoom Meeting coordinator over the past year; being present for dealing with any technical difficulties during our competition and program nights. His deep passion for photography which he shares with us not only in his pictures but his willingness to volunteer is outstanding.

Which comes back to the largest SRPS need; more Volunteerism from our members who are not already donating their time to various club positions.  As a club we have indicated a real desire to continue our virtual meetings alongside our meetings at LBA&GC. We do have the technical expertise between Bill, Nick & Steve. However, the burden on their time bluntly needs to be reduced by others in the club volunteering to learn what they do and be there as alternates if they are away taking pictures like the rest of us. I see a need for alternates in the following positions:

  • Zoom Meeting Coordinator alternates (must be willing to learn how to troubleshoot zoom meetings)
  • LBA&GC representative
  • Competition Chair alternates (willingness to learn Visual Pursuit Software in case Steve gets lost in the ethernet and cannot find his way back)
  • Website Coordinator alternate (willingness to learn our website management software, in case Nick gets eaten by a zombie bunny rabbit}
  • Projection Chair alternate (willingness to run competition laptop at our in-person meetings, learn ICM software, Steve cannot do both when we return to LBA&GC)

I am going to let this simmer for now, but this needs to become a prime goal for all of us. Share the load so that all of us can have more time to take pictures.

Some upcoming events. Tim Allen (Exhibition Coordinator) is organizing or our September Photographic Exhibition at the Sebastopol Regional Library. He has begun sending out emails on theme of the show, as well as trying to gauge participation levels. Please respond to him!!

As to when can we return to LBA&GC, the following is a summary from Cindy Moore (LBA&GC Board President) received 5/3/21: “The Center is classified as a Community Organization and Event Center, which puts us under the larger category of Convention Centers in Sonoma County.  Both the CDC and the County instructions do not allow these types of places to open until the green status.  That said, I think we can follow the guidelines to open on a limited, modified basis starting with smaller meetings and then working our way up to Workshops, Open to the Public meetings and finally opening our outside Event business. We will need to continue to monitor the official status closely and send out regular updates once we agree on a plan. We will also begin to tentatively book the calendar at that time.  Hopefully things will move quickly, and we can all get back to our next version of normal.” I will keep the club in the loop on LBA&GC’s progress. 

Some of the future activities being developed by the Board are as follows:

  • Setting up a post-Field trip photo salon which utilizes a combination of Zoom & our photo competition software Visual Pursuits so members can talk about what they shot for that trip. Steve & Tony are close on this activity. [Nearly close on this activity. Tony has done 1 or 2 sessions post field trip but moving the photo submittals to Visual Pursuits has caused an overload of the software. Stay tuned, the VP software group is working on a fix.]
  • Setting up a Photo Critique & Photo Processing Technique Salons which will focus on providing helpful information and creative sharing outlets to our members in a safe & caring environment. The salons will utilize the same technical combination of Zoom & our photo competition software Visual Pursuits. The club team of Terry Connelly, Nancy Goodenough, Steve Muench, Nick Allen, & Joel Brown are still working out details of technical and format issues but stay tuned.  [On the back burner at this time]
  • We hope to enable access to our Competition and Program Night Zoom Meetings directly thru the Club web site. The feature will allow not only club members but non-club members who visit our web site direct access our public events. [Complete, whoo-hoo!]
  • Run our Club Meetings at LBA&GC in parallel with a virtual interface meeting format, i.e. Zoom or other software. Will allow remote attendance by members and the public, plus increase the pool of judges and programs from local to national & international. [1-meeting to date of the committee; N. Goodenough has pointed out a similar activity by Science Buzz Cafe in Sebastopol scheduled to start in September which will be investigated.]

Vivaldi’s Spring (La Primavera); technically complex but understated, studied brilliance with deep passion, and burning creativity. Yeah, that is us!!!! Let’s spring forward and don’t let Covid rain on our parade!!!.

“Life is short and precious, so one must make every Shutter Click count!” – unknown photographer.