The Central Alberta Photographic Society (CAPS), which started back in the eighties by a group of just under 10 people, has continuously grown in numbers.
“When I joined in 2011, we were about 40 to 50 strong and we now have 120 members,” said Scotty Roxburgh, president of the Society.
The Society sees people from all over Alberta including Rocky Mountain House, Alix, Ponoka, Penhold and the list goes on.
“There’s a huge crowd. I respect the individuals who drive in in the winter time considering the conditions, but then we get speakers coming from Calgary or Edmonton during the winter and they give us presentations,” he said.
The group meets at the Golden Circle, with their club year running from September until May.
They meet every second Wednesday and every fourth Wednesday of the month depending on when they can get speakers.
Coming up this fall, a speaker from Strobepro, a studio lighting company based in Calgary, will be coming out to demonstrate some of the things they do.
With various guest speakers who come out, the group also participates in workshops, monthly photo assignments, winter and spring competitions, photo outings and more.
“We’re trying to expand people’s horizons, and I think the biggest thing about our club is that we have everybody from beginners up to experts,” said Roxburgh. He said those interested in joining must have a camera, as the group does monthly assignments which club members choose at the end of their annual general meeting in April.
There are seven assignments for the year.
“And we then turn around and do constructive feedback in regards to those images.”
Roxburgh said he himself learns a thing or two every time he sees the monthly assignments, as he sees how people look through the lens in a different way.
“Whether it’s something to do with composition, whether it’s taking photographs from a different angle, whether it’s something to do with the gear that’s in the camera – everything is about learning.”
In the past, the group did a competition with a photography club in England. Roxburgh said they could really see the difference in photographs from here to there. “England doesn’t have the wildlife that we have, they don’t have the great big mountains that we have – but it’s expanding our horizons.”
An example of a past project is ‘Wrinkles’.
“We had some amazing wrinkle images come in. We had one image that stands out in my mind of an old couple in their retirement years; forehead to nose facing each other. The wrinkles of age, time passing and of showing love as well as it doesn’t matter that your old – the wrinkles were there,” said Roxburgh.
And the photos, Roxburgh said, don’t have to be taken in Red Deer. He said there were also photos that came in of close-ups of elephants.
“Monthly assignments can be taken anywhere after the end of the last fiscal year. Whether you take a trip to Mexico or to Australia or Africa, if the subject matter that you have fits the description of the monthly assignment (the category) then it fits.”
Individuals’ images are then critiqued and given positive feedback. The group will also have an open discussion for half an hour on a random selection of images.
“The other thing we do is we have monthly outings. For example, we’re going to go down to the Saskatoon Farm just east of Okotoks, and the farm down there has beautiful coloured buildings and they’ve got a restaurant and you pick berries. Last I heard they had bison out there as well so we’re going to make a photographic tour of the colours there in the autumn.”
The group will also be going to High River for the night glow, where hot air balloons will light up the night sky, along with the Banff gondola and more.
Those interested in joining the club can visit their web site at centralalbertaphotographicsociety.com and register there, or they can come to the first meeting on the second Wednesday of September at 6:30 p.m. at the Golden Circle.
The meeting will then proceed at 6:45 p.m.