Vernon Photography Club's Outings
Outings have always been a very popular activity for the Vernon Photography Club (VPC). When COVID-19 struck we were a disappointed group but we made do with individual outing challenges (pick a theme and members found their own shooting locations) and Zoom slide shows. With the lifting of some of the Provincial Health restrictions and the ability to now hold in-person outings, the Outings Committee worked hard to provide members with a wonderful assortment of outings through the summer and into the fall.
In early July, members met in the Village at Silver Star Mountain and enjoyed a scenic gondola ride to the top of the mountain. After days of smoky skies from the BC wildfires, we had a reprieve with some clear vistas and we enjoyed a very pleasant hike down the mountain trails and back to the Village. The wildflowers and butterflies were great and we enjoyed watching the brave jumps of the downhill bikers.
We are fortunate to have an energetic and knowledgeable Outings Committee who work around the challenges of weather, locations and health restrictions.
It was a hardy bunch of photographers who braved rain and sleet to photograph the two remote small lakes, Dee and Island in mid September. Shivering, they struck out in kayaks and small craft to capture loons and a lovely assortment of lily pads, all in a moody and grey setting.
Images of the Milky Way have always had a special fascination for photographers and this certainly holds true for the VPC. These night sessions are always popular although they are often difficult to schedule as clear skies are required. The night before Halloween, a group of 16 photographers gathered in the dark at Kekuli Bay, along beautiful Kalamalka Lake. While the ambient light from Vernon and Kelowna made capturing great images of the Milky Way a challenge, it was delightful to get out with this group and work on our night photography skills.
Capturing various light sources is always a lot of fun and members gathered on an October evening to explore their creativity. Starting with night cityscape images of Vernon, the group then photographed vehicle light trails along the highway before setting up on a local beach. Here a variety of light sources were used – LED light stick, glow sticks and burning steel wool in a whisk. It was a fun evening, with an umbrella, the only casualty!
In mid August Club members gathered at Craigellachie, the site of the Last Spike, before heading on to the 3 Valley Gap Ghost Town. After being closed on account of being on evacuation alert for several weeks, finally, this historic and photogenic tourist attraction had opened. Before heading home, the group stopped to check out and capture Crazy Creek Falls and Malakwa Suspension Bridge.
The North Okanagan is fortunate to have an organization, The Allan Brooks Nature Centre (ABNC), that promotes the enjoyment of nature and the awareness of habitat conservation. In late August the ABNC sponsored a Raptor show that brought in several species of raptors for demonstration and viewing. Members of the VPC were able to capture some great images of the majestic birds.
What a pleasant morning was spent at the Sparrow Grass Field & Flower Farm near Armstrong on a glorious day in early August, wandering along the rows of colourful flowers. The sunflowers were at their peak just brimming with cheer inviting the photographers to capture their beauty. The multitude of honey bees and butterflies were a special bonus.