May 1, 2012–Organizational planning for the Group

Nineteen members of the group were welcomed by meeting chair Marv Goldschmitt at shortly after 7 at the BCA meeting space at Old Town Hall.

John Sullivan asked for recommendations for a wide-body printer.  If you have information, please contact him at johnsullivan@sullivanvideo.com.

Marv reminded us that Jason Musselman and Becca Laders, our speakers at April’s meeting, are still seeking donations of used point and shoot cameras that can be used in their upcoming trip to Honduras.  Any working point and shoot will be welcomed, but our group had discussed the possibility of individual contributions of factory refurbished Nikon L24s available from B&H (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Brand_Nikon&ci=15487&N=4294182650+4291315846&Ns=p_PRICE_2%7C0) so that as many as possible would be using the same camera.

Nick Johnson will be the judge for our show at the Cary Memorial Library in Lexington in October.  The theme will be “water in all its forms.  Marv had collected images from six group members  and played a slide show (with music accompanying) of about 20 images that had been submitted.  It is strongly suggested that people submit at least one image that has been captured since the topic of the show was announced.  Also, Marv suggested that it is important to submit images that you have been able to print satisfactorily.  We’re expecting that there will be room for about 30 pictures, and that each member should submit no more than 3 for judging.  Later in the meeting, a show committee of Marv, Bill Davison, Mark Levinson, and Julie Turner visit the space and develop guidelines for submission of images.

The remainder of the meeting consisted of a discussion about the future of the Group and the need for some changes in structure and leadership.  Julie Turner recorded the following notes:

Because of increasing work/time pressures and perhaps a touch of burn-out from holding so much responsibility for the group since its inception, Marv Goldschmitt wishes to step back from his organizing role.

In his remarks, Marv noted that his taste has influenced the group’s lecture-based format because he has taken responsibility for much of the programming, but that other options for the group are possible if more people become involved in generating ideas and planning for the meetings. After seeing a large group of photographs submitted by members for this evening’s meeting, he added that there’s no dearth of talent in the room and that there are many who would have interesting points of view or technology to share.

Tonight’s meeting discussed the group’s future. There’s no particular narrative to the following notes, but rather an attempt to capture most of the comments that were offered:
There was uniform appreciation for the high level of information and expertise that the group has presented over the past two years, although there was also a sense that the level is so high it can feel intimidating.

The lecture nature of the group’s offerings may need to evolve; it’s as though we’ve had a marvelous course with an excellent 6-person faculty. But it takes a lot of time to prepare what the group has enjoyed. Perhaps it’s time to move from the classroom to a seminar format where we, as the students, take what we’ve learned and get more involved in preparation and presentations.

I love seeing everyone’s work and sharing ideas about it and would offer my home for an informal photo sharing session – perhaps we could set up a lot of laptops so everyone could share work. (Donna Griffith, if the group wants to follow up on her offer.)

There are many ways to learn – top > down / lectures and bottom > up / experiences, with a middle ground that combines the best elements of each.  The group might want to adapt the idea of presentations/lectures to demos that are more hands on
Guest presentations by non-group members would bring expertise that we might choose to purchase.

Would like to see more times where the group goes out on a shoot in a relaxed format, perhaps with a specific goal, theme or subject matter.

Boston Camera Club meets every week and offers a different theme/members each time (www.bostoncameraclub.org).

Perhaps the photo group could publish a calendar with this meeting and a menu of alternate events; we could notify the larger list of BCA photo enthusiasts using doodle or ‘meet-up’ technology online.

Nashoba Valley Photo Club now has two monthly sessions: A salon and “Harry’s roundtable” – although Harry’s no longer leading the group, they still meet and use his roundtable format.

There could also be camera-specific user groups to delve into the deeper details of particular marques.

Field trips the group has done have been popular: LensProToGo and Carlton’s studio.
Two places in Waltham that might be good field trip targets: Adobe and E B Levine (whose facility includes printer capacity and studio space).

Printing images might be the foundation for an interesting subgroup – Bill Davison has opened a new studio in Nashua and volunteers a visit for 5-6 people interested in fine printing.

Calibrating printers/screen view may also be a topic for future consideration.
Satellite groups needn’t diminish the group which would be the sum of its parts and further the BCA’s community and educational mission.

A matrix of possible topics would afford options

Danger of a meet-up group: Bad organization and limited attendance; value of this group: A consistent presence and commitment among our members.

The group is healthy, with 15 to 22 members attending each month. Goal: Grow 25 members to 50, not shrink it to 5. Don’t fix what ain’t broke.

A program group will begin to take responsibility for creating monthly meeting topics and presentations: Bill Davison, Donna Griffith, John Sullivan, Bob Bicknell and Bob Bass. Bob Bass will convene the group.

A show committee to “watch over” the October show at Cary Library might be helpful. The group would create a timeline; arrange a juror; communicate with the members; and help to assure that the show comes off well.  Bill Davison, Mark Levinson, Marv Goldschmitt and Julie Turner will visit the gallery and meet with the library’s curator Nancy Marshall (caryart@minlib.net) but it wasn’t clear whether this group would also track the details between now and the show.

Compiled and Submitted by Bob Bass (rwbass5@comcast.net)

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