Staying Connected during Covid-19

During these trying times we know that as Canadians we will work through this and become stronger as a community. But as we have come to realize, the next few months will not be ‘business as usual’, especially for photography clubs and other groups that meet regularly.

Is your club doing something special or developing plans to stay connected with your members? Here are some of your answers:

Victoria Camera Club:

One of our Victoria Camera Club members, initiated a new website forum for all members. Lorna Shaw’s idea is called the Distraction Project to run weekly during the Covid 19 events.

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A weekly challenge subject is given to members via email. Lorna says “if you’re needing a boost, missing photography, or wanting some normalcy, a healthy distraction, please get your camera out and participate. This is open to ALL members. Each theme can be completed indoors or out.

Submit ONE photo each week on that week’s theme. You can do this through the VCC website. A gallery called “The Distraction Project” has been set up, with a sub gallery for each week.

The topics are meant to be open-ended. Interpret them however you want and let your creativity come alive.

It isn’t a test or a competition – this is for fun, connection, and healthy distraction.” The link to it is

https://www.victoriacameraclub.ca/d/c7c1a6da-ba33-4fe3-a0ba-c8d88f5c4f51

It is very active after two weeks.

Cheers, Richard Shapka

The Darkroom Group:

We are keeping in touch through Zoom.
Thanks.  Judy

Club photo Impression

Nous organisons, sur notre groupe Facebook, une activité “La photo de la semaine”. Les membres proposent deux photos sur un thème hebdomadaire.

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C’est l’occasion d’échanger sur nos photos, souvent sorties de nos banques de photos.
Nous prévoyons aussi tenir notre exposition annuelle en mode virtuel sur l’outil izi-travel.

We are organizing a virtual contest “The photo of the week” on our facebook group. The members can summit two pictures responding to a specific theme. This is the occasion to retrieve pictures from our photographic bank and to comment the pictures.
We expect to have our annual exposition in a virtual mode with izi-travel.

Ça va bien aller. It will be fine
Bernard Legault, Président. Club photo Impression

Abbotsford Photo Arts Club

Well we had an executive meeting in March via Zoom but that’s about it so far.

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We are working on a website upgrade with Visual Pursuits much like Langley but I’m not sure at this point whether we will have any online club meetings between now and June. It depends how our testing goes. We might have images judged online by a remote judge but its all up in the air right now.
Cheers from APAC
Phil Dyer

Chung Ai Photographic Society

We do our meeting by WhatApp and we also WeChat for our club menbers. It works out very well. Thank you very much,
James Yip

RA Photo Club

As soon as the COVID-19 lock-down hit, one of the club leaders suggested that we implement a weekly themed challenge on the Club’s Facebook page.

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It’s a private Facebook site, so this means we have good control on who can post (i.e. keeps the trolls out). A topic is put up at the beginning of the week and people (abiding by all the local restrictions on getting out and physical distancing) create, process and post their images. The topic is communicated through both the Club’s email list server and the Club’s Facebook page.

The Nature group at the club is looking at doing something similar; backyard nature outings that comply with nature rules, i.e. avoiding the “hand of man”. This initiative is still in startup phase.

Our meeting facility was shut down between when we did the judging on one of our monthly competitions and when we were going to have the judges review the images at the next weekly club meeting. Our tech people are setting up the infrastructure to get all three judges to comment on the images remotely and will be streaming the event to the club members. We are looking at recording the proceedings so that members can stream this in the comfort of our homes. This should take place in another couple of weeks. We are also looking at running our final competition this way; remote judging with judges commentary to follow. This is planned for mid-May. We run mixed digital and print competitions, but unfortunately this last event will be digital only.

We run a monthly photo critiquing program where people bring in their images and members of the group critique each other’s work. We are looking at using the same infrastructure as the remote judging platform to enable this; again, something that we hope to get running in May.

A bit more hazy, but also under consideration is to offer seminars using web meeting platforms like WebEx and Zoom. We have asked some of our regular instructors to think about how to implement this type of program. We have not determined a startup date for this yet

Once these activities are up and running, we are going to look at uptake and participation to see what else we can offer club members. Ultimately, we are looking at ways to keep RA Photo Club members engaged during this crisis so that they want to come back when the situation normalizes.

Regards (and keep safe!)
Manfred Mueller, RA Photo Club Chair

Photographic Guild of Nova Scotia

Our club has image critiquing online. In the Members Only section of our website, we have something called Share and Evaluate where members can post an image for feedback from all our members.

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I hope you are well and taking some time for yourselves as we all adjust to working from home as well as social distancing. Here’s a message that I sent out to the members of my club. Some of them have been successful in receiving anywhere from 2 to 3 months free. You may wish to share this with members of your clubs.

I hope you all are keeping safe and finding ways to explore your creativity during this time of social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here is some happy news (not an April Fool’s joke) about Adobe. If you are a current subscriber, you might be able to get a payment holiday.

1) Login to your Adobe account at: https://www.adobe.com/ca/
2) Make sure you are on full screen so you can see the magnifying glass. In the search window type “Covid 19”
3) On the bottom right of your screen, the “Contact Us” icon will appear. Click on it to open the chat window.
4) Type in Discount in the chat window.
5) This should give you the chat agent. (It may take a few minutes). Ask for a payment holiday and you should get 2 free months added to your subscription.

Happy Creating and Stay Safe!
Joyce

Lions Gate Camera Club

The Community Centre where we meet is closed until the end of June. Our Club year usually ends in late June.

During COVID-19 situation we are doing everything remotely by internet.

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We are continuing our monthly Projected Image Evaluations by sending images to a designated person who collects them and who then sends all the images by “We Transfer” to the judge(s) and all members.
The judges have agreed to do this for us. The judges scores and comments are then sent back to all members. Scores and winning images are also posted on the website (as usual).

This month we are using the same system for Nature Night, judging will be by 3 experienced members who are Nature Photographers. Members are allowed to submit 3 images for Nature Night.

In addition, while we cannot meet together, we are running a weekly competition. Each member will submit one image to be judged by the other members participating. Again a designated person will collect the images and send out by “We Transfer”. This person will also act as the collector of the scores and at the end of the Club Year a small prize will be awarded to the winner.

Tony Keen
President, Lions Gate Camera Club.

Napanee Photo Club

Our current plan for the Napanee Photo Club will be doing our June Competition online including online judging with CAPA judges instead of doing our regular print competition. 

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As well we will continue to have a monthly theme where we will post and share images via Flickr.

Regards

Sean Hearon

West Kootenay Camera Club

Our March 16th 2020 West Kootenay Camera Club Meeting was canceled due to CoVid 19 and as of March 19th all Camera Club Meetings and Activities have been cancelled. This includes Monthly Outings, Travelling Exhibits and June Photo Show Exhibition.

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The Photo Show group had already done a lot of preliminary work and they were quite saddened to have the show cancelled. However, we now are moving on in another way with Zoom video conferencing.  A few members are familiar with Zoom but the majority are not, so at the present time we have three or four Hosts trialling Zoom with small groups within our club. The feedback from members has been quite positive and some are hosting on there own and discovering a new way to stay connected with friends and family.

For our Club, the goal now is to have our first online meeting at the end of April. The main objective is to continue with photographing the Monthly Theme and showing and judging the photos that have been sent in. Also we always seem to have excellent photography presentations and we are hoping that presenters can retool so to speak and make presentations online as well. At the moment one small group has decided to have reoccurring weekly meetings mainly to share photos that have been taken in their back yards. Maybe other members will host meetings on their own with specific interests like Macro or Equipment discussions. So we are experimenting and going gradually to allow as many members as possible to participate with confidence online.

Over a long period of time social isolating will be more difficult to do, but we hope by keeping busy, active and carrying on with some kind of Photography Meetings online we may continue to push everyone’s limit in taking better photos. Now is the time to make this happen. Good luck to all.

Cheers,

Ken Lebedoff

President

Hamilton Camera Club

Hamilton Club has been trying out new ways to keep members connected by having a date set for a webinar with Matt Kloskowski. A number of other clubs have also done this for their members.

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We are to register to this webinar and then be able to watch it on the date chosen from the comfort of our own homes or be able to watch it at a later date.
Another way we try to keep members informed was to have a member from the club set up a workshop on how to create composites. Members signed in to Zoom and watched from their own devices from home, they were allowed to ask questions and interact with the member leading the workshop. This was a new thing, but worked out well. Hopefully a few more workshops may be set up soon.

We also plan to hold the AGM meeting using zoom so all members can watch and interact.

Other members have also been sending links to online courses that are now offered free or at a low cost for people to enjoy at their own leisure.

Hope this helps, Take care, stay safe,
Kathy Heykoop

Port Franks Camera Club

Hamilton Club has been trying out new ways to keep members connected by having a date set for a webinar with Matt Kloskowski.  A number of other clubs have also done this for their members.

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 We are to register to this webinar and then be able to watch it on the date chosen from the comfort of our own homes or be able to watch it at a later date.

Another way we try to keep members informed was to have a member from the club set up a workshop on how to create composites.  Members signed in to Zoom and watched from their own devices from home, they were allowed to ask questions and interact with the member leading the workshop.  This was a new thing, but worked out well.  Hopefully a few more workshops may be set up soon.

We also plan to hold the AGM meeting using zoom so all members can watch and interact.

Other members have also been sending links to online courses that are now offered free or at a low cost for people to enjoy at their own leisure.

Hope this helps, Take care, stay safe,
Kathy Heykoop

Vernon Camera Club

The President and entire executive of the Vernon Camera Club is working well and making important contributions to keep the club active during this difficult time.

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The Education Committee organized a Zoom online conference on Thursday, April 2nd attended by 37 members. Ian Bull gave an excellent presentation “Getting to Know your Flash” giving us inspiration to unearth the equipment and dispel the boredom of being stuck indoors. Ian had also made up a video from photos submitted by members of the club from the trip to Bella Coola last September – a lot of marvelous images . The poll taken at the end of the meeting was overwhelmingly enthusiastic. We will be holding another online meeting on Thursday April 9th. This will be an Evaluation meeting whereby members submit a maximum of four photos on stipulated themes to be displayed and reviewed by two of the Club’s evaluators. So the plan is to continue on with online meetings until the crisis is over. In the mean time the members are kept informed via e-mailed newsletters and a lively interaction takes place on FaceBook.
Gill Kopy, Vernon Camera Club CAPA Rep.

Foothills Camera Club Calgary

COVID-19 CAPA Summary
Meetings:
All regular twice monthly meetings are cancelled for the remainder of the 2019-2020 year. These will not be replaced by virtual meetings.

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The Executive is continuing to meet using Zoom.

The AGM was to be held before the end of May (scheduled for April 21st). We will send the membership the AGM reports on-line and recruit the new executive who will be temporarily appointed until an AGM can be held at one of the earliest face-to-face regular meetings in the fall. At the deferred AGM, the new executive will be formally appointed.

Photography Competitions and Challenges:
Digital competitions will continue as previously planned with on-line judging.

Additional digital photography challenges have been initiated – the first one being ‘Signs of Spring’ and this challenge will be judged by all the members on-line through a ranking system.

Educational Opportunities:
We are offering on-line Zoom meetings on photography topics hosted by various club members.
We have set up a Discussion Forum for sharing on-line photography educational resources that members have found useful.

Thanks, Dan

The Chinese Canadian Photographic Society Of Toronto

These are very unusual times. We did not expect or prepare for it. But we have to adapt.

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1) Our executive committee holds virtual meetings online. We also use Whatsapp for time-sensitive communication.
2) We plan to hold online meetings with members. Topics of meetings include educational presentations, sharing travel experience and photos, photo evaluation and critique.
3) We have a private Facebook group for members to share their pictures and to have discussions on all things photographic.
4) We hold informal friendly bi-weekly mini photo contests on special assigned topic. To encourage members to stay indoor and be creative, we ask members to take pictures on an assigned object commonly found around one’s home. One object is assigned for each contest. Participants post their photos on our Facebook page. The one who gets the most ‘like’ wins and be recognized.

Stay safe and healthy
Regards, Frankie

Focus Camera Club

Social distancing being our new normal, Focus Camera Club has decided to embrace technology and host our meetings via video conferencing. 

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Much to our surprised, our first meeting had 75 members in attendance and the feedback was so positive that we decided to change our 2-hour bi-weekly meetings to a weekly one-hour meeting.   Our scheduled guest speakers have so far been able to present their presentation; allowing us to deliver our program.  We continue to incite our members to submit their images for our upcoming competitions and we will show the images and the winners using the video conferencing tool.

We have also been running a daily challenge for 14 days where our members are encouraged to post a photograph that they have taken inside of their home to a specific theme, for example, texture, snacks, rules of third to name a few.  At the end of each day, we draw one winner and at the end of the 14th  day, we will be drawing a prize to an individual who has posted a picture each day of the challenge.  At the end of this challenge, we will be launching a new challenge to encourage our members to continue being creative within the confinement of their property.

We are fortunate that our members have embraced this tool allowing us to continue business as usual in these abnormal times of having to practice social distancing.

Stella d’Entremont

Club photo de Boucherville

The Club photo de Boucherville has been doing online meetings on Cisco Webex (Zoom equivalent) since our place was closed by the authorities on March 13th.

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For now, we had three meetings where we shared images on screen. We voted online for a macro contest and then shared the notes and comments together. We had an evening where three “superstar” members shared their portfolio and their photography journey (that’s always a big winner in our club each year, we get to know each member deeper). We finally had another viewing and commenting of photos taking during photo trips we organized throughout the year 2019-2020. We even record the meetings so people can watch it after if they missed it! Our photographers are delighted by all those solutions. Being online also means that pictures are clearer because we’re closer to the computer and no one is chitchatting at the same time 😉

For the rest of the season, we plan to do presentations of our artistic team projects done throughout the year (another fun way to bond members and to create opportunities) and even our general assembly. We also know some photographers offering online conferences to photo clubs, which is great!

At the end of each year, we are invited to exhibit around 100 images in our public city art gallery and since we cannot do it this year, we are going… ONLINE, of course! We’ll send an invite, if you’d like!

We are also very active on our Facebook private group where we share pictures everyday, tips, news and so on!

Thanks a lot,

Marilène, CA director

Lakeshore Camera Club

This is a great idea. We’re looking forward to hearing what other clubs have been doing.

As for us, the Lakeshore Camera Club didn’t skip a beat.

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We had our last ‘physical’ meeting on Monday March 9th and our first ‘virtual’ one the following Monday livestreamed via WebEx. Since then, we’ve held four meetings without having to change anything – two competitions complete with slideshows and critiquing by three judges, one with a presentation by a guest speaker operating remotely, and the last one which was a reveal and talk on several photo essay projects by our members.

We have consistently had between 70 and 80 members (out of a total of approximately 140) participating in these meetings! We have even added two meetings to make sure there is no gap for weeks when a holiday falls on a meeting night. For instance, this coming Monday is a normally a holiday but we have added a virtual meeting on Tuesday – tech talks by three of our more experienced members.

We invited executives of another camera club (also a CAPA member as it turns out) to introduce them to these possibilities and helped them get started with an objective to being able to offer even more content to camera enthusiasts with two “meetings” a week, one by each club. Discussions are currently underway and we’ll see where it leads to.

And that’s not all!

Our webmaster and another of our members introduced us to ‘Slack’, an online community space that allows people to communicate and share ideas, images, links to webpages, youtube videos, whatever … both structured (by topic of interest) and unstructured (direct messages to each other). Aside from text and sharing files, members can easily initiate video calls among themselves up to 15 at a time. We started testing with a free account and then took advantage of Slack’s offer of a fully functional upgrade at no charge for non-profits.

We are now accessible and online 24/7. Already we have over 30 members in the first week who have activated their account and we are holding weekly challenges, posting links to educational websites and much more…This environment will continue to operate independent of the formal end of our season in early June (we normally restart just after Labour Day in September)

However, we are also starting to plan for the possibility of extending our season through the summer months given a not unreasonable likelihood that some form of containment may remain in place for much longer than our hopes would have.

Finally, if you don’t mind me using this opportunity to communicate with other clubs, we would like to mention that if there are any other clubs that might be interested in “virtually” partnering with us, feel free to contact us at president@lccphoto.org

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to share our experience and hear the experience of others.

Regards,

Carmin Cristofaro, on behalf of the

Lakeshore Camera Club

Montreal

Photo Fredericton

Photo Fredericton opened the annual print exhibit at the Playhouse galleries on March 2. However,  as the building is closed to the public at the moment, we made a YouTube video for the virtual gallery tour.