Hawke's Bay Photographic Society is a hidden gem of talented photographers who will be exhibiting this month at Creative Arts Napier (CAN) from Friday, May 13 to Thursday, May 26.
"It is an opportunity for our members to share their creativity, diversity of subject matter and passion for photography – and what better place to do this than at the local community arts centre," club president Anil Dumasia says.
Club secretary Dianne Wells says the works are predominantly from the past two years.
"When you see an image in print, they come alive, they're luminous, magical. It's really worth seeing."
Anil took on the role two years ago, joining a committee of about 10 volunteers. There are currently 58 members made up of beginners and amateur enthusiasts to professional photographers. The club is also affiliated with the Photographic Society of New Zealand, with many of their judges coming through that channel for judging the monthly competitions.
The photography group meets twice a month in the Cedric Alexander Hall in Devonshire Place, Taradale, Napier.
"We provide a forum for members, at whatever level of photography, to meet and encourage them to take part in and contribute to the educational workshops and submit digital images for judging on a monthly basis. Some are happy to use their phone or point and shoot cameras as well as professional gear," Dianne says.
They hold an image evaluation, or judging event, on the last Tuesday of each month.
Anil says members can submit digital images in any of three categories — open, creative and set subject.
"You can play with colour, black and white, multiple exposures and much more. We encourage members to use other tools such as photography software designed for photographers to learn new computing skills and to enhance and manipulate their images."
The committee selects the subjects for the third, set subject category, to challenge members out of their comfort zone.
Dianne says the three categories give photographers an opportunity to learn and share.
"They get the judges' feedback which is fantastic coming from someone who knows what they're talking about."
She says photographers can see their progression over time.
"This expands their horizons and is great for growth. They ask themselves, what can I do better and where can I take it next?"
Anil says an image is all about engagement.
"We're surrounded by it. We've never been so influenced by images — it's everywhere. Photography work has changed — there is more access to more people."
He believes the club provides an outlet with quality feedback and "separates out from the great mass of social media imagery".
Visitors are welcome during judging nights but workshop evenings are for members only.
Twice a year the club runs a print competition and presentation of award cups and certificates. Speakers, usually professional photographers, are also invited to club nights and others are asked to come in and show their work.
For now, it's the Hawke's Bay Photographic Society showcasing their members' work at CAN in the main gallery. Some work will be displayed on the walls, with some for sale, others will be projected images. Details of the event can be found on www.thecan.co.nz. Alternatively, to learn more about the photography club check out their website www.hbps.co.nz.