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Sorting Through the Images for the Meeting

February 13, 2012
Spotted Towhee

© jmillerphoto.com - Spotted Towhee

Before I headed off on my 2 year educational exile, I had a routine that helped push along my months.  The 2nd Saturday of the month was the regular meeting of the Concho Valley Photography Club.  And the highlight of each of those meetings was what happened before the business portion of the meeting.  This meeting before the meeting was all about sharing recent images.  The guidance was simple:  Pick up to 10-12 of your best images from the past month or however long it had been since you’d been to a meeting.

The not so simple was picking those up to 12 images to show.  If it had been a slow month, you might have a limited population from which to cull your picks–it might only be 4 or 5 (which was okay, but frustrating).  If it had been a busy month, 12 all of a sudden was an awful small number.  Usually by the Tuesday or Wednesday of the week before I would be deep into the electronic stacks of images thinking, “Which ones do I pick?”  And to some degree agonizing over those choices because the show-off in me would want to shine in front of the class.

But whether feast or famine, for me the pre-meeting image viewing was a mighty important part of my month for two reasons.  First, it gave me a reason to review the previous month’s shooting.  And second, it gave me some live feedback in front of audience of my peers.

And it is for that second reason that even in this day of the Internet, Meetup, photosig, Flickr, and others, the local photography club meeting is still important.  Sure, often the medium these days is digital rather than slide projection or prints on a table.  But it is still immediate feedback that is not cloaked behind the 1’s and 0’s of a distant connection.  And it is not just the words that are spoken, but often the words that are not spoken.  Or the recommendation on a change in cropping.  Or the, “What f-stop did you shoot that at?” type question that comes out of the blue.  Seeing other people’s work and gathering thoughts about subjects, lighting, and the such.  Hearing their explanations to questions that might shape your shooting.  The collaborative process, however indirect, was outstanding.

I’m not involved in a group right now, but I still share once in a while with the group back in San Angelo.  I always hear a little feedback, whether immediate online or the next time that I stop in.  But I so miss both the instant feedback and seeing their work.

About the Image:
This Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) makes a return engagement.  It is one of the 7 images that I sent back to San Angelo this month.

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