January 23, 2021

Art & Lifestyle:

St. Mary’s Camera Club Gears Up for Fair

camera club
Photo submitted by Joanna Macaulay.
St. Mary’s County Camera Club member B.J. Ramsay is checking out St. Mary’s County Fair Photography Department award-winning photos.

Some years ago, the St. Mary’s County Fair Board invited the St. Mary’s County Camera Club to assume leadership of the fair’s Photography Department. Under the direction of club member Al Scheungrab, the club provides volunteers to check in entries, to judge the entries, to hang them for display, to tally the results, and to return them to the entrants. The group’s relationship with the fair board is excellent! There are several categories and age groups, and anyone can enter photos. Here is the St. Mary’s County Fair Guide and it can also be obtained at the St. Mary’s County libraries. General instructions for entering in the fair are on Page 16. Rules for the Photography Department are on pages 79 and 80.

But this is only one month out of a full year of programs and competitions and collegiality the St. Mary’s Camera Club makes available to all photographers — from beginners through professional.

The seeds of St. Mary’s County Camera Club began in the 1980s and 1990s. Jim and Joanna Macaulay were members of the Delaware County Camera Club in Pennsylvania. This club was formed before either was born, in the 1930s! It was, and still is, a very active club with many superb photographers and excellent programs and competitions.

Jim’s job was transferred from the Philadelphia area to Patuxent River in 1997, so they had to find another outlet for their photography addiction. Alas, there were no photography groups in St. Mary’s County, so they decided to start their own. They thought that if they could attract a small group of enthusiasts to meet in someone’s living room, that would be great. But the inaugural meeting on Nov. 2, 1998, held a big surprise for them: More than 40 people showed up!

Since then the St. Mary’s County Camera Club has continued its success at attracting beginners and pros alike. Some of the beginners have gone on to become professional photographers themselves, cause for much pride from the founders.

The club now meets twice per month, except when holidays or the St. Mary’s County Fair intervene. It generally meets on the first and second Thursday of the month. Its mission is to promote the art of photography as a hobby, providing a forum for exchanging knowledge of the subject and inspiring photographers toward improving their art. Toward this end, club activities include photo critiques, competitions, workshops, lectures, demonstrations, and field trips.

Please check the St. Mary’s camera club’s website for details. And visit here to view photos from past club competitions. Visitors are always welcome to attend for free. Yearly dues are $25 to help pay for guest speakers and rental of the meeting room.

St. Mary’s Camera Club September meeting information:

It would usually be meeting Thursday, Sept. 12, but it will instead be preparing for our annual sponsorship of the public Photography Department competition at the St. Mary’s County Fair — running from Sept. 19-22, 2019. If you haven’t seen the outstanding photography exhibited at the fair, you are in for a treat. If you have visited before, the club expects to see you back again this year. Come see the group at the county fairgrounds on Wednesday, Sept. 18, to enter your photos. For entry rules, see pages 79 and 80 in the fair catalog link above.

Schedule for the county fair week follows:
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 1 pm – 8 pm: ENTRY OF PHOTOS
Thursday Sept. 19, 10 am – 3 pm: JUDGING
Thursday Sept. 19, 4 – 9 pm: FAIR OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Friday Sept. 20, 9 am – 9 pm: FAIR OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Saturday Sept. 21, 9 – 9 pm: FAIR OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Sunday Sept. 22, 4 – 6 pm: FAIR OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Sunday Sept. 22, 6 – 8 pm: PICK UP ENTRIES
Monday Sept. 22, 1 – 6 pm: LAST CHANCE TO PICK UP ENTRIES

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