Volume 3, Number 4
Jeffry Booher, Editor In Chief
Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies—Diane Arbus
Darkroomers is a complex club with a lot of moving parts. Navigating the myriad of competitions, exhibitions, programs and expeditions can be overwhelming and confusing. I take full responsibility.
Darkroomers used to be a simple club
When I joined the club a little over four years ago, the club barely had a monthly exhibition. There was, on average, ten to twelve members who would show up for exhibitions so the club had very few extracurricular activities. Compared to other clubs under the Southern California Association of Camera Club's umbrella, Darkroomers was a sleepy club. We were lucky if we got enough members to participate to compete in the monthly Interclub competition. And programs, what programs? Our monthly presentations were a free-for-all and nobody knew what was going on from month to month.
Over the years, however, our program structure has become more structured, involved and complex. We have regular monthly presentations, quarterly competitions, On Location shoots and Weekend Workshops. Our programming is packed so full that our monthly calendar can be overwhelming—even for veterans of the club. Our complex social schedule is a death-nail, however, for new members who are charged with immersing themselves into the club on their own.
While the club has bylaws, a website, regular meeting announcements, and a monthly newsletter, I have always felt like the documents and impersonal announcements were not enough. A few years ago, I authored the New Member Guide which has helped arm new members with the lay of the land but, still, it was not enough.
I remember a program I entered my sophomore year of High School that paired me, a newcomer to the program, with a veteran who helped shepherd me in so I would feel confident, comfortable and welcomed. I've always thought this was a great way to bring new people into a program and I have been toying with the notion of implementing a similar program for Darkroomers. Which is why I am creating a commission for mentoring new members.
The mentorship program pairs veterans of the club with new members for the first few months of their membership to help them understand the myriad of programs we engage with and the rules and processes therein. No program is perfect but I am hopeful that the personal touch to help absorb new members into the club will make for a more pleasant experience and lasting experience for those who are new to Darkroomers.
In the coming weeks, Janie Anderson and I will be reaching out to some veterans who we hope will make good mentors but I would encourage each of you to consider becoming a mentor. It is our charge to help those who come after us carry the torch of Darkroomers into the future and the mentorship program will light the way forward.
● ● ●
Every April Darkroomers hosts a Weekend Workshop on Focus Stacking and this year it is going to be a Focus Stacking Bonanza. It will be Darkroomers leading Darkroomers for the first time in awhile and newcomer, Kim Tiffany, has helped us with flowers to photograph.
You will need a macro lens, tripod, computer, data cable and cable release for this workshop
This is still a limited engagement opportunity and will be staffed by experienced focus stackers. If you're looking to play or learn, there will be something for everyone but you must signup in order to attend.
● ● ●
Death of a salesman
Jeff Booher, Richard Strobel, David Liebowitz, Janie Anderson