A Great Start to a New Beginning for the Island Art Association Photography Group

The Island Art Association Photography Group (IAAPG), originally founded by Bill Raser with help from Pat Hocks, met on the third Thursday of September full of promise and excitement with new leadership and many new members. The full house of eager photography enthusiasts, both professional and amateur, included organization former coordinators Scott and Donna Moore and new IAAPG leader, Jimmie Stone. The casual meeting opened with group members sharing original photographs of a variety of subjects and locations, engendering an engaging conversation with many in the audience actively participating.

The fast-paced meeting soon moved to the evenings guest presenter and IAAPG member Jim Ekstrom covering his photo safari to the wilds of Nairobi. Jim came with a laptop computer full of dozens of photographs taken over the seventeen-day once in a lifetime opportunity to see, photograph, and to learn up close and personal about the wildlife that most of us will only view in a zoo. The photos, each one more dramatic than the one before, were accompanied by an entertaining and informative dialogue from Jim which also included a wonderfully wry sense of humor. As he spoke, Jim would periodically share how he captured the photo and the camera equipment deployed. The humor came in handy as Jim faced down a bull elephant which had decided to feed yards away from his tent and when the open-air land cruiser stopped feet away from a beautiful, but lethal cheetah. The photos of lions, rhinos, elephants, wildebeests, zebras, and Jim’s favorites, giraffes were spectacular and unique. The images were wonderfully composed and each came with an interesting back-story. Perhaps one of the best antidotes from Jim was his description and photos of the five-star food and camping accommodations he experienced during the safari. The luxury tents, designed for two people, were made even better for Jim when the second occupant scheduled to share the tent had to cancel at the last minute. Though each of Jim’s photos was dramatically compelling in their own way, it was his final photograph of a zebra which capped an all too brief photo-outline of his amazing journey. This was an award-winning image worthy of a National Geographic cover story.

Thanks to Jim Ekstrom for such an entertaining, informative,
and humor-filled presentation and for sharing his beautiful photographs with the other IAAPG members. Thanks, also, to the great questions and comments from the fully engaged audience.

The IAAPG meets again the third Thursday of the month,
October 17th, 7:00 PM, at the Island Art Association’s downtown
Fernandina Beach 2nd Street building with the promise of another
rapid-paced and fun evening. We’d love to have you join us!

Photography as a Team Sport

Photography is often a solitary endeavor with the photographer behind the camera’s lens occupying a space on the fringe of the action, but rarely as an active player. Sports, group, and nature photography come to mind as examples of operating on or below what we find interesting enough to memorialize as an image. We’re on-station, but not on the field. My experience has been that learning how to take better pictures is much the same with copious amounts of trial and error mixed with how-to photo books and videos by Ken Rockwell and, of course, the obligatory YouTube offerings. Through it all, it’s largely an individual effort in a sink or swim environment where especially early in the process there’s more sinking than swimming. Thankfully, digitization allows us to take a thousand images with the hope that the blind-squirrel rule takes effect, but that soon gets a bit tedious. Fortunately for all of us as photographers at all levels, there’s a sea-change coming to Fernandina Beach in how we can learn to take better photographs and have more fun growing in the hobby or profession as part of a team effort. Perhaps the best part of the equation is it involves people helping people to learn photography from each other and from the images we all take. Some of us will be starting from scratch while others will be coming from an experts viewpoint. Either way, we all have something to offer and to learn. Why not do it in a casual open forum where the goal is to have fun and, maybe, learn something new that you can use as a photographer.

Jimmie Stone has worked tirelessly to continue the Island Art Association Photography Group (IAAPG) with the goal of providing an opportunity for photographers of all skill levels to improve their craft. It involves a casual meeting the third-Thursday of each month, beginning Thursday, September 19, at 7:00 PM, in the Education Center at the Amelia Island Art Association (AIAA). There will be opportunities to share images with the group and to hear presentations from a variety of island photographers. The topics will vary, but will all be designed for us to improve behind the camera. 

Each one-hour monthly meeting will cover something new and fresh with an impetus on making Amelia Island photography an enjoyable team sport after all.

Come Join Us next Thursday and be sure to visit https://aiphotographygroup.com.