On Wednesday, 7th September 2022 the Birkenhead Photographic Association held its first face to face meeting since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. A group of about twenty people met in their clubroom at the Prenton Bowling Club. Lately groups have been meeting outside to pursue their love of photography. Much has been done via the Zoom software to keep people in touch with their club and listen to lecturers from far and wide. However the atmosphere in the clubroom was vibrant and enthusiastic. Recognising that some members still have some hesitancy to meet in closed groups Ron set up a zoom facility in the clubroom to enable absent members to listen and view the proceedings. The success of this has still to be assessed.
The BPA secretary, Ron Thomas, has been a driving force in bringing about this opening meeting for the 2022-23 season. He led the discussion on how the Club could move forward with a goal of being more inclusive for young and older people, novice photographers with basic cameras and smartphones and more experienced photographers, perhaps seeking external recognition. The emphasis should move away from internal competitions, perhaps leaning towards challenges and group opportunities to share the how and why a photograph was taken. Some may be encouraged to develop their art in the form of prints and some may have a leaning toward external competitions.
Ron shared a selection of images, including some of moths taken at a recent outing to Thurstaston. There was great excitement that day as a rare specimen was found in the moth trap. There were many requests for a repeat visit. Ron also surprised the group with some AI produced images that were surprisingly realistic and questioned where this might lead.
The meeting finished with the usual tea and biscuits and some extra pastries. Thanks Ron and a huge thanks to everyone that pitches in and helps with the setting up and putting away, making the tea and washing up. You are invaluable.