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Focus on education for seniors photo club

North Central Seniors Association Photo Club is all about education and sharing knowledge. And, of course, there's some show and tell of photos and when someone gets new equipment.
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Eddie Johnson, a member of the cmaera club, shows some of his macro work during a meeting Monday. Citizen photo by Brent Braaten Feb 1 2016

North Central Seniors Association Photo Club is all about education and sharing knowledge.

And, of course, there's some show and tell of photos and when someone gets new equipment.

"The idea behind the club is to provide another opportunity for people who are interested in photography to get together," said Bob D'Auray, founder of the 20-member group. "There's a Prince George Photo Club and it's a great group, which I was a member of, but they meet in the evenings so I thought I'd like something during the day for people who were retired. So we start at 10 o'clock in the morning every Monday."

The club is a very relaxed group, said D'Auray, that doesn't have a president or a board of directors, and they don't take minutes.

"Our focus is sharing our knowledge of photography and learning," said D'Auray.

About a year ago, one of the members came across a set of educational DVDs from the National Geographic photographers who talk about how they achieve their results.

"It's really, really good stuff," said D'Auray.

"This is not 'here's a camera and this is how you turn it on,' this is more about the philosophy and the motivation behind the photography. So we ran this series of 24 half-hour lectures and they were great because they stimulated conversation and ideas amongst the group."

It was so successful that D'Auray checked around to find two more series with 24 lectures each on the basics of photography.

"So after we've watched the video, then people bring in photos and the idea is to have fun and learn from the other people in the group," said D'Auray.

Once a year, there's a People's Choice awards where the photo club asks members of the North Central Seniors Association to come in and take a look at their photos and pick their favourite, said D'Auray.

"In the past we've entered the annual North Shore Photo Challenge, which is out of Vancouver, and two years ago one of our members, Al Wood, won a silver medal," said D'Auray.

The photo that placed second was an image of an owl.

"I was so close to the owl I had to lean back to get him entirely in the shot," Wood recalled with a smile.

The group takes pictures of any subject. Some love the outdoors, others, like D'Auray, like to shoot sports, while others want that special photo of their grandchildren, he said.

People go on trips and bring their photos back for all to see.

Members of the photo club also took photos for the Celebrating Pioneers calendar, which is a fundraiser for the Prince George Council of Seniors.

The group will get together from time to time to do location shoots to places like Cottonwood Island Park, Prince George's downtown core, and Cranbrook Hill, with a visit to Tim Hortons for coffee to talk about their adventures afterwards.

"The interesting thing about it is you can get 20 people in the same location and everybody gets different pictures," said Mary Jane Allen, member of the photo club.

"It's fun to go and just share and find that creative shot."