West Kootenay Camera Club exhibition set for Kootenay Gallery in June
“Photography is not a great mystical thing,” says Ken Ferch, a founding member of the West Kootenay Camera Club, “once you know the basics, the rest of just happens…photography is an art form, a medium of art.”
The WKCC started 31 year ago with a dozen members. It has grown to a club with over 50 members.
Part of WKCC mandate has always included education. Every meeting includes tips and hints on techniques to improve member’s photography.
Another component is the social aspect. Popular is the monthly field trips that let members go off the beaten trail and photograph areas out of their comfort zones.
With Covid restrictions and social limits last March, meeting in person was not in the cards. The 2020 WKCC Photo Show had to be cancelled. Put on hold were in person meetings. Field trips were cancelled.
WKCC started to pivot onto a different platform. Instead of meeting in person at the Castlegar Library twice a month, they changed to having bi-weekly Zoom meetings.
Education is still a featured part of each meeting with members still striving to increase their photographic ability.
WKCC joined with other photo clubs in BC to access webinars hosted by various photographers on different photography techniques. One meeting was a joint Zoom meeting with the Whitehorse Camera Club. The members got to see scenery from around the West Kootenays and the Yukon.
Another change was a redesign of the WKCC website westkootenaycameraclub.com. The updated website features pictures from the WKCC membership. It was unveiled in late April this year and feedback received was positive on the change.
Covid Restrictions still in place put a damper on festivals generally held in the spring and early summer.
That included the cancelation for Sunfest in Castlegar. Starting on the first weekend in June many enjoyed going over to the Kootenay Gallery of Art to see the entries in the WKCC’s photo competition and show. The show highlighted the talented photographers that live in the area and was opened to WKCC members and non members alike.
Covid restrictions led to the cancellation of 2020’s show. With Covid restrictions still in place it was decided that the show would have to be cancelled for a second year.
The WKCC wanted to do something to help raise people spirits.
They changed the WKCC photo show to a photo exhibition. The exhibition is only open to WKCC members. With subjects ranging from abstract to landscapes and all venues in between the WKCC exhibition will highlight the WKCC members own favourite pictures.
The exhibition will be displayed at the Kootenay Gallery of Art at 120 Heritage Way, Castlegar, from June 4 to June 11. The Gallery is closed on Monday.
Social distancing will impact how many people are allowed in at a time. Masks are required for all that attend the exhibition. There will be WKCC members present during the opening weekend to explain about the camera club and also on the photos exhibited.
Adding to the fun the public will be invited to choose which photo they like the best. They will be able to vote on their choice of best photo in the exhibition.The winning photo will be featured on the WKCC website www.westkootenaycameraclub.com
WKCC still is unable to have meetings in person but continues to meet twice monthly virtually through Zoom until the end of June. There are no meetings held during the summer. They are hopeful that sometime this fall meetings will be able to resume in person back at the Castlegar Library.
Even during a pandemic the WKCC still is working at bringing the picture into focus. One shot at a time.