Giving it their best shot

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Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Photographers had the opportunity to share their work at a new photography club, Bonners Ferry Coffee & Photos, at the first meeting last Saturday.

BONNERS FERRY — With beauty all around, from mountains dotted with golden larch trees in the fall, to the numerous rivers, creeks, and lakes, to the blanketing snow of winter — it is no surprise that Boundary County attracts and inspires many photographers, amateurs and professionals alike.

Photographer Chuck Giordano wanted to bring those photographers together and give them a venue where they could share their images and ideas, and learn from one another. Tired of traveling to Sandpoint to the photo club there — and after tangling with a moose and an elk on two separate occasions during the drive — Giordano mentioned his idea of bringing a photo club to Boundary County to a fellow photographer.

“I wanted a club closer to home and was encouraged by Steve Jamsa when I mentioned the idea to him while out at the Refuge,” said Giordano.

The idea formed and the Bonners Ferry Coffee & Photos club was formed. Their first meeting was held at the Trinity Lutheran Church meeting room on Saturday, Nov. 23, at 10:30 a.m. and lasted more than two hours.

“I thought it was great that someone finally started a club. Needed one for a long time,” said photographer Nancy Russell.

Russell considers photography an advanced hobby, and for the past several years, her work can be seen on the walls of Mugsy’s Tavern and Grill. The group that attended had a wide level of experience and in different genres, from traditional to digital art. Russell said that it was nice to talk to other photographers and discuss images and techniques.

“Nice group and nice to see all levels of photographers. Great place to advance our photography skills and motivate each other,” she said. “Can’t wait for more.”

The group of photographers was treated to a talk about photo organization from Giordano, and had the opportunity to discuss their own organizational ideas and computer programs that they use, as well as ideas on backing up their images.

The photographers also had the opportunity to choose three to five photos and share them with the group, either in printed format or digital. They talked about each photo, the inspiration behind it, and the technical aspects involved with creating the image.

“I’m overwhelmed by the turnout and the quality of the presented images,” said Giordano. “I hope the club becomes a place where we not only share great images and encourage each other, but that it also is someplace a person can learn about this wonderful art form.”

Giordano shared his story and also gave the other photographers to do the same. For Giordano, his grandfather introduced him to photography as a pre-teen, and at the end of high school he was given his first SLR as a graduation present. In college he attended his first photo class, then had the opportunity to work as a Photo Lab Assistant at the school. In the early to mid 1970s, he ran a camera repair business.

“I continue to take images to this day, looking for ways to ‘see’ better and more creatively,” said Giordano. “I want to share my love and enthusiasm for this craft with others — always.”

This was the inspiration behind the new club, and his enthusiasm for sharing, and learning from others, was evident during the meeting. He hopes to grow the group and reach out to photographers of all levels, from beginners to professionals.

“I truly hope that we can convince the young folks in high school to join us and learn how important photography is to an understanding of our world,” said Giordano.

The photographers that attended were also enthusiastic about the opportunity.

“I am so excited that we have the opportunity to come together as a group, sharing our passion for photography,” said amateur photographer, Sharon Hintze. “I like to find the adventure in every day — excited to see where this new adventure goes.”

The next meeting will take place1 after the holidays on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 11:30 a.m. in the back room of Mi Pueblo restaurant.

n For more information about the club or how to join:

Facebook: Bonners Ferry Coffee & Photos

Email: bonfercofpho@gmail.com

Call Chuck Giordano at 208-267-8242

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