Nov. 2002

President's Message

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President's Message

Bob Coffey

Last month's assigned subject, "On the Beach", proved to be exceptionally popular. Not in recent memory have I seen so many entries, both in slides (51) and in prints (47). I have long been a staunch proponent of the value of the assigned subject as a learning experience. Most photographic courses send students out to shoot assignments, archetypically "doorways, doorknobs", to be printed and critiqued.

Some assignments are relatively easy, as was the October assignment. Others are more demanding and require some real head scratching to come up with
images that best meet the requirements. And that‚s the whole idea. Checking our shots to see which ones might fit the assignments is not the best way to learn. By previsualizing the desired result and then searching
for appropriate subjects, working the perspective, altering the composition, experimenting with lighting effects, and trying myriad techniques, we learn
much more.

Years ago, my daughter‚s photography instructor disciplined his students to include the entire image without any cropping in their darkroom prints. At that
time, I seriously questioned this practice as it restrained creativity in the darkroom. However, I have since grown to appreciate his rather extreme restriction as I realized that he was trying to teach them to do their cropping
in the viewfinder first and not to rely on after-the-shot cropping as a crutch. The concept is simply that everything that does not add to an image subtracts
from it, i.e., less is more.

It was great to see so many excellent entries, especially by new members. Slides in all categories totaled 140 entries and prints surpassed them at 145. Wow! I applaud your efforts and encourage you to keep up the good work.

We have just received notice that the IRS has granted the DPS the requested tax exempt status 501(c) (3). This is excellent news and we will issue guidelines for seeking grants and contributions to take full advantage of this in a future issue.

- Bob Coffey