We invited QCG member, Betty Collerson, to reflect on her photographic journey and in particular, what she has gained by being a part of a camera club. We hope you enjoy Betty’s story, and the visual journey reflected in the timeline of her images back to 2011.
My interest in photography started early. My father, a keen amateur photographer, gave me my first camera when I was 10. I had a few cameras over the years, but with the arrival of children, I mostly took snapshots for the family’s photo albums. It wasn’t until 2011, during my first trip to Japan, that my interest in photography rekindled. It was the fall season and the colours where amazing. I had an Olympus E-PL3, or Pen, and managed to get some decent shots, which more recently were reprocessed, and much improved, due to my acquired skills in Lightroom and Photoshop. Luckily, don’t ask why, these images we all taken in Raw at the time.
In the following years, I continued to enjoy photography. However, wanting to improve, in 2016 I decided to join a camera club. Instead, I ended up joining two – the Queensland Camera Group and the Brisbane Camera Group. My strategy was to attended a few meetings of each and then decide. Well… three years later, I am still a member of both groups, and nowhere ready to let one go. Both clubs have helped me tremendously to improve, not only on how to take better photos, but also on how to best process and present the images. At QCG, and BCG, I have met a wonderful group of people, generous in sharing their knowledge and skills. I have learned from my peers, the judges, and from the opportunities afforded to me as an active club member.
As most keen photographers will understand, soon I felt that I needed better cameras and lenses. That little Pen wasn’t so sharp. I progressed to an Olympus E-M5II, with some Pro lenses, as well as Nikon D750 with two very good lenses. When you compare the two images of Uluru, one taken in 2014 with the little Pen and the other in 2017 with the Nikon, the results speak for themselves.
Adding to the improvement in camera gear, and skills acquired as a camera club member, was also the learning imparted by experts in the field during photography trips. For example, the 2017 trip to Uluru was led Stef Dunn, who I met through QCG.
Finally, the image of the dog chasing the ball, taken May 2019 with the Nikon D750 and Nikor 300mm lens, made me realised how much I have learned in the last three years. Capturing this shot - a dog and ball in full speed, but at different speeds, in harsh light, required skills I didn’t have before. Thus, I am very grateful for all the learning and encouragement I received at QCG, not to mention the friendships. I hope to continue my photography learning journey for years to come.