Joan Dolson takes photos of Scenic Canyon Park in Kelowna for the Central Okanagan Photographic Society.

Okanagan camera club adapts to challenging times

The club has successfully adapted their fall program to accommodate the changing times.

~A special to Black Press Media ~

Photographer Joan Dolson captured some of the beauty of Scenic Canyon Park in Kelowna during a recent field trip with the Central Okanagan Photographic Society. This was one of several carefully planned activities that the club was able to do while still observing the new COVID-19 safety protocols.

Marshall Moleschi, Central Okanagan Photographic Society (COPS) President, noted “Many organizations now realize that they have to look for new ways to meet the needs of their members if they are to survive this pandemic. Our organization began adapting immediately, when we could no longer have our weekly in-person group presentations or workshops. We knew we had to look for new ways to serve our members.”

COPS has been an active organization for decades, so they knew that with the new order of things a creative solution was needed to achieve their mission of “Share – Learn – Grow”. Sharing photographic images and techniques was no longer possible with group meetings. The club experimented with an executive meeting on Zoom and then expanded to include image evaluations and follow up feedback discussions. Rosemary Kean had experience with the Zoom platform from other organizations, so she was able to provide the technical guidance for the club. It turned out to be a very positive experience and gave the executive the confidence to commit to conducting their fall program on Zoom. The members also appreciated the safe approach for a visual arts program.

READ MORE: Thousands of students return to schools as new COVID-19 cases emerge

Over the summer Ray Putnam and Peter Downward of the Program Committee assembled a full slate of speakers, workshops, field trips, image presentations and evaluation sessions. Due to the times, the club has been fortunate to engage a number of photography professionals to conduct on-line workshops. COPS now has a fall line-up in place with high profile presenters covering skills development workshops and photo presentations.

Some examples include: Astro photography, Architectural photography, Portraits, Landscapes, Winter photography and photo editing.

With COPS’s ongoing commitment to learning, their programs will also include skills development workshops. One of these is an introductory level “Get to Know Your Camera”, a hands-on Zoom session covering major camera brands. Other weekly meetings will include evaluation of members’ images and review nights to discuss ways to improve their work, both in camera and with computer programs such as Photoshop and Lightroom.

READ MORE: Hand sanitizer stations coming to downtown Kelowna, Orchard Park

COPS participates in Provincial, National and International Photography competitions and has fared well in a variety of categories. The club is open to photographers of all skill levels and all age ranges. New members are always welcome.

For information visit: https://copsphotography.org

—— Central Okanagan Photographic Society

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