The Hills Photographic Society is a young incorporated camera club, meeting at the Hills Hub, Emerald, Victoria, on the second and fourth Thursday of the month at 7.30pm. All are welcome to visit with a view to becoming a member.
We are a not-for-profit organisation, formed to share our common love of photography, as well as knowledge, skills and creativity. The club provides a friendly environment for member to learn and enhance their skills for taking and processing images with their chosen cameras.
Our current committee members are:
President: Paul Bianco
Vice President: Pauline Bunker
Secretary/Webmaster: Kathie Thomas
Treasurer: Allan Pan
Competition Steward: Henk van den Bergen
VAPS representative: John Weeks
Committee members: Steve Wickenton and Robyn Gallucci
Some of the members of our club.
Although 2020 has been interrupted by Covid-19, the club has persevered and still finished up having a reasonable year. Probably the most disappointing aspect of the March to June period was not being able to meet in person and conduct workshops. We’ve had a go at substitute or vicarious sessions on Zoom, and thanks go to those members who have prepared and lead these, but a number of members have expressed dissatisfaction with the method and some have not participated. For those of us who have I’m sure you’ll agree it was the next best thing. The same applied to our competitions via Zoom – satisfactory but not quite the same.
From July last year until March we did have a successful period, including attracting a few visitors. Unfortunately, having to cease those “live” meetings at St Joseph’s Hall and conduct sessions via Zoom was not conducive to keeping them interested. Unfortunately for one reason or another, most likely Covid-19, only one of those visitors signed up. Welcome Robyn.
However, the earlier workshops were well presented and enjoyed, two of the more noteworthy ones being an examination of different lens and filters, the session lead by David Jenkins and Steve Wickenton, and a workshop on Black and White photography expertly lead by John Weeks. The Zoom sessions covered such topics as lighting and Food Photography.
We were not able to conduct the usual field trips but the early morning visit by eleven members to Birdsland, Belgrave Heights in June just before the second lockdown was well worth it.
A highlight of the year was undoubtedly the club’s involvement, via the August competition, with the Dandenong Ranges Community Bank Group (Bendigo Bank) with the 2020 Calendar. Twelve members submitted a total of 42 images, from which thirteen were eventually chosen for the calendar. The bank donated $500 to the club for our contributions. Thank you Kathie Thomas for initiating the contact and subsequent involvement.
The low point of the year must be the cancellation of the 2020 PAVE Festival. The club was well on the way with preparations for the Photography Competition and Exhibition, which this year was to include a Schools’ Competition. Thank you to all members who worked on this project, especially to Allan Pan for his enthusiasm for and work with the schools. Then of course, after planning for a Schools’ Photography exhibition at the official opening of the new Emerald Hub, Covid-19 meant the Hub was closed and the exhibition cancelled. With a bit of luck we can proceed with it next year. Again thank you Allan for your work on this as well.
Well, there’s plenty to look forward to: the relaxing of restrictions surrounding the Corona virus and some form of return to face-to-face meetings, resulting in more satisfying workshops, field trips, competition nights and, hopefully, more interest from the public and new members.
There are people to thank of course: Pauline Bunker as Vice President, ready to step in if necessary, an unbelievably great job performed by Daine Alcorn as Secretary, Allan Pan for his excellent handling of finances, Kathie Thomas who continues to freely act as webmaster, John Weeks as Publicity member, including marketing our club on radio 3MDR and the other members of the committee, Henk Van Den Bergen, David Jenkins, and Steve Wickenton for your contributions during the year. Thanks also goes to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church for the use of the hall.
Finally, a huge thanks to you, the members of Hills Photographic Society for sticking with it throughout this difficult period. You’re the ones who make it work of course. Without your input there would be no workshops, no competitions and no fun. Together we can really make this club hum when we bounce back to normality.