Have you ever thought about improving your photography skills?

The Moose Jaw Camera Club (MJCC) is back in session for the 2023/24 year and is looking for new members.

About 25 people turned out for the first meeting of the season held this past Monday at the Cosmo Senior Citizens Centre (235 3rd Ave NE).

"It's a hobby club where people get together and they share their photography interests, show pictures, go to various photography outings and just socialize as part of a hobby group," explained President Leonard Ber.

The club averaged about 20 to 25 attendees last year, topping out at 30 for one of the meetings.

Ber says they welcome all skill levels, noting they have three or four professionals who attend and then several members who are just using iPhones and everything in between. Most of the club members are using more advanced mainframe cameras. Expensive cameras and computer equipment are not required to participate.

"Some people are more interested in just taking snapshots of family around the yard. Some people are really focused on wildlife and do a really good job with wildlife and landscape photography," mentioned Ber. "The more skilled photographers, they're doing a lot of wildlife and landscape, rodeo, that type of thing."

Moose Jaw Camera ClubPresident Leonard Ber speaks to the group.

MJCC meets for ten months out of the year on the second Monday of every month, taking a break in July and August. The meetings offer skills workshops, guest presenters, photo competitions, fun photography experiments, and the sharing of ideas and knowledge with other photographers. The club also organizes photography outings at various locations such as corn mazes, parks, and downtown Moose Jaw. The first outing of the year will be a "Photography Scavenger Hunt" in downtown Moose Jaw on Sept. 23.

"Every third session is a critique session where you bring one picture and then we talk about how it could have been better because there's never such a thing as a perfect picture," said Ber. "We're always looking at ways to improve."

He adds they will be bringing in professional photographers to speak at about half of the meetings. Presenters this year include Stan Hingston, Sandy Sunderland, Greg Johnson, Branimir Gjetvaj, and Rob Harden.

The Moose Jaw Camera Club subscribes to two organizations for competitions including the Prairie Region of Photographic Arts (PRPA) and the Canadian Association for Photographic Art (CAPA).

Ber recalls that the original camera club started up over 20 years ago and was focused on film photography. The club shut down for about five years when film stopped being used but started back up with the advent of digital photography. The current iteration of the MJCC has been running for over 10 years. Ber says there are still a few photographers who use film but none who are current members of the MJCC.

The yearly fee to join the MJCC is $50 per member and $25 for each additional family member. Students are $30 for the year. If you're not sure about joining, there's an option to check out a session for free before signing up.

The club's budget for 2023/24 is $3,000, with half of that coming from membership fees and the other half from fundraising. Ber says the membership fees previously covered the entire budget, but costs have gone up with the club providing more activities and guest speakers. They are also putting more money into photo competitions.

For more information on the MJCC, call Wanda at 306-631-7440 or Leonard at 306-693-7865.

You can view samples of the club's work at https://themoosejawcameraclub.com/

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