March 2019 Submissions Night: Abstract

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Abstract photo by Don Durand

It was a while ago, but thanks to Don Durand and members of the Abstract group for sharing their thoughts on abstract photography!

Theme Print
1st place: Italo Pino
2nd place: Dawn Kawahara
3rd place: Katy Wood, HQ Ly

Open Print
1st place:  Wendy Oor
2nd place: HQ Ly
3rd place: Doug Petry

Theme Digital
1st place: Wendy Oor
2nd place: Don Durand
3rd place: Italo Pino; Brent Bromilow

Open Digital
1st place: Mary Wagner; Wendy Oor (for two photos)
2nd place:  Mary Wagner
3rd place: Steve Pedersen

…and see the photos here:

February Submissions Night: Doors

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photo by Italo Pino

Catching up on February’s winners. And yes, there were 7 theme prints that tied for 3rd place!

Theme Print
1st place: Italo Pino
2nd place: Wendy Oor
3rd place: Jay Mann (for two prints); Stacy Kawalych (for two prints); Wendy Oor; Barry Ryziuk; Italo Pino

Open Print
1st place:  Francoise Noel
2nd place: Italo Pino
3rd place: Wendy Oor and HQ Ly

Theme Digital
1st place: Wendy Oor
2nd place: Catherine Page; Italo Pino
3rd place: HQ Ly

Open Digital
1st place: Catherine Page; Anastasia Kawulych
2nd place:  Barry Ryziuk
3rd place: Italo Pino; Al Popil; Heather Doran

See all their photos here:

January Submissions Night: Still Life


Photo by Catherine Page

The theme was Still Life, and the winners were….

Theme Print
1st place: Sylvia Labelle
2nd place: Barry Ryziuk
3rd place: Wendy Oor

Open Print
1st place:  Tim Osborne
2nd place: Catherine Page and Wendy Oor
3rd place: Jay Mann

Theme Digital
1st place: Sylvana Bobowik and Monique Wilson
2nd place: Heather Doran
3rd place: Italo Pino

Open Digital
1st place: Al Popil
2nd place:  Brent Bromilow
3rd place: Barry Ryziuk

…and see the photos here:

February Guest Speaker Night

By Doug Petry

Jason Symington spoke at the Photo Club Wednesday evening to around 50 club members who braved the chilly weather and icy roads and seemed glad that they did. I know I was happy to hear/see Jason’s presentation that he called “Photography and the Ever Attentive Eye”.

“Photography is, for me, a spontaneous impulse coming from an ever attentive eye which captures the moment and its eternity.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Jason teaches a DSLR-101 class and knowing our demographic to be slightly “greyer” decided to tailor his message to us by first filtering it through his younger, less experienced photography students. He explained that they are consumed by the very practical questions of “how was that done? How did that photographer get that image and how can I duplicate it?”

Their reaction to his question of “yes, you can learn to duplicate the image, but why” was like any group of hopeful young artists might be expected to respond. “Because it would be my image!”
But is that enough?

In the beginning, we just want to create something even if it is a derivative of what has gone before, a pale copy of the work of a great artist. But in a room snowed under with gray hair, our response is different and the room seemed to resonate with Jason’s question, why indeed! Or as Jeff put it, “so what?”

Looking through a catalogue of tens of thousands of images it’s hard not to ask yourself that question as an amateur photographer, “yes, I shot all these images, so what! Is anyone ever going to see all of these images?”

Perhaps not, but if you are like me, the image is actually secondary to the process of getting it. Photography is fun! I like wandering around with my camera, just exploring the world while at the same time keeping an eye out for opportunities. There are memories associated with each image that we make, whether it was a vacation, a photo club outing, or you were just driving around with your camera.

The whole process is enjoyable; getting out there, taking the shot, anticipating how amazing it’s going to be and even the processing can be fun (usually not, but it can be!)

All in all, I was encouraged by Jason’s message, which by the way is “why” not “why bother?” We need to ask ourselves as we make images a few questions that spring from that word, “why?” It’s more than the question “why am I taking this picture?” It’s, “what am I bringing to this photograph? What makes this mine? What am I trying to say?”

It made me think beyond the very literal answer “I’m bringing my camera and lenses” even though that can have a huge effect on the images that you make. Sure you bring your camera, but you also bring yourself. The photographers eye that you have painstakingly developed over time blended with your personality, energy level, natural creative ability, etc. etc. all comes together to prompt you to lay on your belly in the wet grass, forgetting all dignity, to get the shot that you want. Or not!

Jason showed us a lot of images by influential photographers and again I was encouraged because it seemed to me that many of the images weren’t particularly good by today’s standards. (Yes, I do remember shooting with film, it was difficult!) On Wednesday night I saw very few images that I would put money on to finish in the top three at a St. Albert Photography Club submissions night.

Well, this one called Madrid 1933 by HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON is pretty good!


One of Jason’s points was that any of the photographers in the club are capable of going out and shooting similar images to those famous photographs on any given day. Those “decisive moments” that elevate photographs to the level we saw Wednesday happen in all of our lives if we are watching for them (and we have our cameras handy)!

It was interesting to see the famous images, listen to Jason’s commentary and apply it to the overall theme of the night, “why this image, done in this way, how is it yours, what did you bring to it?” Jason is right when he talks about some of the standard images like sunsets being done to death. It’s not enough (for most of us) just to make a record of a nice view, we want others to be blown away with how wonderful/different/creative our images are, kind of like the quote from Robert Frank.

“When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.”

Unless we are extraordinarily lucky and sometimes that’s all that separates the snapshot from the amazing, we will get out of our camera exactly what we put into it. Sure the shots are there in some form or other, but if we want more we have to put more in; more time, more thought, (more money!) and more of ourselves.

“You just have to live and life will give you pictures.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

True, but will they be good ones?

Thanks Jason for coming out and sharing with us your thoughts, it definitely made us think and I’m sure more than a few of us were prompted to pull out the old photography books to review.
You can visit Jason’s website by clicking on the link below.

November Submissions Night: Landscapes


HQ Ly captured this sunset landscape

Take a look at the landscapes and other winning photos from November’s submissions night:

Theme Print
1st place: HQ Ly
2nd place: Barry Ryziuk and Tim Osborne
3rd place: HQ Ly and Stacy Kawulych

Open Print
1st place:  Rob Stefaniuk
2nd place: Italo Pino  (for two prints) and Doug Petry
3rd place: Dawn Kawahara

Theme Digital
1st place: Ken Collett
2nd place: Wendy Oor (for 2 digitals)
3rd place: Ken Collett

Open Digital
1st place: Ken Collett
2nd place:  Wendy Oor
3rd place: Barry Ryziuk, Steve Pedersen, and Carla Wagner

October Submissions Night – “Out of Place”

Red Curtain

“Red Curtain” by Sylvana Bobowik

It was interesting to see how people worked with the concept of “Out of Place”, such as with this photo that establishes a strong pattern, broken by one element. The winning photos will be posted here, and you can also browse winners from the past few years:

Theme Print
1st place: Barry Ryziuk and Doug Petry
2nd place: Catherine Page
3rd place: HQ Ly for two of his prints

Open Print
1st place:  Italo Pino
2nd place: Dawn Kawahara
3rd place: Francoise Noel and Rob Stefaniuk

Theme Digital
1st place: Mary Wagner
2nd place: HQ Ly and Silvana Bobowik
3rd place: Monique Wilson for two of her digitals

Open Digital
1st place: Catherine Page
2nd place:  Mufty Mathewson
3rd place: Monique Wilson


September 2018 Submissions Night

Welcome back to another year at photo club! Each month, we have a submissions night where members can submit photos and then everyone there votes on the best of the evening. It is always a great learning experience, with helpful discussion about what goes into creating a strong image.

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Tulips by Wendy Oor

For the first Submissions Night of the season, the theme was a lovely one, “Flora”. The winning photos will be posted here, and you can also browse winners from the past few years:

Theme Print
1st place: Italo Pino
2nd place: Italo Pino
3rd place: Barry Ryziuk

Open Print
1st place: Tim Osborne, Italo Pino
2nd place: Barry Ryziuk
3rd place: Doug Petry (twice), Barry Ryziuk

Theme Digital
1st place: Ken Collett
2nd place: Al Popil, Doug Petry, Wendy Oor, Stacy Kawulych, Irena Vlach
3rd place: Barry Ryziuk, Monique Wilson, Wendy Oor, Rob Stefaniuk

Open Digital
1st place: Tim Osborne
2nd place:  Monique Wilson
3rd place: Wendy Oor

Wrapping up another year!


All photos in this article provided by John Vanveen


Thanks to the St. Albert Inn and to fundraising efforts, we had a delicious and well-attended banquet.





Our annual general meeting provided information about our financial status and some ideas for the upcoming year.  Elections resulted in some new and some returning executive volunteers.



Al Popil won the trophy for the Digital Open category, adding his name once again.






HQ Ly was our leader for the Digital Theme category.




Brent Bromilow took the trophy for Print Open.





Finally, Italo Pino added up the points month by month to take the Print Theme category. Congrats to all!