The Ballarat Photography Group has seen plenty of changes across 58 years, but one thing has remained constant - the high standards at its annual photo competition.
Selected from monthly winners, there’s a depth and professionalism to the entries, which features landscapes, dogs, and plenty of birds.
Steve Demeye took out the large print category, with a composite image of a hot rod sitting on a beach.
“The beach is Moon Bay near Tathra, the Thunderbird’s from the Bannockburn car show, and the Pacific Gulls I took in Lorne,” he explained.
He said the monthly competitions kept him sharp.
“Each month there’s a set subject that forces members to get out of their comfort zone and do some creative work in a category which they may not normally do,” he said.
“That can lead to some surprising entries, which is quite good.”
New technology like smartphone cameras had changed the game somewhat, but good photography was still a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
“The advent of the camera phone is probably the single biggest influence on photography generally, that’s at a global scale,” he said.
“(But) it’s the candid shots of people - landscapes are completely different because you can take your time to frame up and get your elements just right, there’s very little chance of stuffing up the shot.
“When you’ve got animals or people moving, and you’ve got something developing in front of you, catching that frame that captures that moment and tells that story, that’s one of the most pleasing ones you can take in photography.”
READ MORE: Check out last year's winners
Group president Noel Verlinden said phone cameras were a good first step.
“It’s not until people get an actually interest in (photography) and want to go further with it that they realise the limitations on a camera phone are quite restrictive,” he said.
“Everyone’s got access to digital equipment, and while it varies a bit, if you’re able to spend a bit of money and get decent digital stuff, the outcomes are pretty spectacular at times.”
He said a highlight for him was a prize-winning shot of a bridge.
“It was in an Australian competition many moons ago - it was of a bridge, just a walking bridge, and the light came through the uprights,” he said,
“It was very simple but very powerful.”
As well as the monthly photo competitions, the group participates in interclub competitions against Corio Bay and Ballarat.
It meets on the second Tuesday of every month at Pinarc, Otway Street, at 8pm.
Newcomers are welcome to join, and learn more about their cameras.
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