Of all the questions about photography that I have been asked over the course of this summer, one question has challenged me far more than any other. That question is simply “Why should I join PSRI? What does my $30 membership fee get me?”. How do you answer that? My mind races with all the different things that the club does, and all of the things that I have learned at PSRI. With all the things I mention in my answer, I often find myself sitting hours later thinking “ I should have mentioned X, or I forgot to tell them about Y”. That got me thinking about how I ended up a member of PSRI, and what the club has to offer. After receiving a DSLR as a gift, and taking a few classes at Ritz camera I still wanted to learn more. It was suggested that I look into joining a local photography club, and google found PSRI for me.
PSRI is a club dedicated to the art of photography, and our activities are aimed at taking the art of photography to higher levels and the practice of this art to a more meaningful and fulfilling experience. I wholly believe that all members of the club – from beginners to professionals, and every photographer at every stage in between – can and WILL improve their photography. Whether you are using the latest DSLR, a point and shoot, or a cell phone camera, our goal is to increase your knowledge of what goes into a crafting a great photograph. Ansel Adams once said “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.” PSRI is going to make those 12 inches better! Through series of club run activities such as presentations from highly recognized photographers, networking with peers, mentoring sessions with advanced club members, competitions, and image reviews I ensure you that you will find your skills and your images advanced in ways you never anticipated over the course of the year.
Each year PSRI hosts a series of photography presentations by world class photographers from across the country. Recognized names on the agenda for this year include:
• Canon Explorer of Light Jennifer Wu (http://www.jenniferwu.com/)
• Mollie Isaacs & Mary Lindhjem from Awake the Light (http://www.awakethelight.com/index2.php)
• Landscape artist Joe LeFevre (http://www.joelefevrephoto.com/Home.html)
• Night time photographer Roman KuKurycwzak (http://www.roaminwithroman.com/index.html),
This is just to mention 4 of the roughly 12 presentations that we will have just this year alone! I encourage you to take a look at each of their websites, look at their images, and read their biographies. These are people that are not just passionate about photography, they are passionate about sharing what they know. They want to advance this art we share, and I can assure you that you will walk away from each presentation a little wiser, and it will show in the images that you make from that day forward. And that is what PSRI is about – presenting you with the opportunity to improve your photography!
Over the course of the photography “season”, the club hosts 5 internal competitions in 3 different skill levels. Judges from outside the club are brought in to score the images. Club members are active in both digital & film, and the club offers competition in Digital, Print and Slide formats. Whether you are actively participating in the competitions or not, these nights offer a tremendous learning experience. Hearing the comments on images from a judge will only help you to craft better images of your own. Seeing the variety of images produced by the members can help you to identify a style that you like!
Due to the large number of active members we have, PSRI has a large pool of talented photographers who are more than willing to share their knowledge in the art of photography. Regardless of whether you are interested in studio portraits, wildlife, macro, landscape, or any other kind of photography we have someone with similar interests who can help you advance. If you have a question specific to a piece of equipment, or a certain technique chances are we have you covered. Our members shoot with just about every brand of camera found on the market – Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, and many others. Often advanced members offer one on one mentoring, where you can get images reviewed, suggestions on books to read, and questions answered. Mentoring nights are scheduled on Tuesday nights throughout the year where you can talk with club experts on topics such as: camera filters, Photoshop, Lightroom, how to improve focus. Bring your own equipment and get help on any number of topics.
If you are a hands on person, you might enjoy our Hi Jinx nights where the club sets up a variety of shooting activities, from water drops and flowers, to black light photography. These Tuesday night events are very popular!
PSRI has over 125 dues paying members, and each weekly meeting provides you with a tremendous opportunity to network with your peers. It is at these meeting that you will forge new friendships with local photographers that share your passion and enthusiasm for photography. Talking about techniques and recent shoots over drinks and snacks before and after a meeting are a great way to keep in touch.
Now that you know a little bit more about PSRI, what we do, and how we can help you, I hope that you will consider joining us. Our first meeting of the year will take place on Tuesday, Sept 11 2012 at Lakewood Baptist Church, 255 Atlantic Avenue, Warwick, RI. I hope to see you there!