By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Region – As photography has evolved, so has the Assabet Valley Camera Club (AVCC), now in its 32nd year. Meetings take place the first and third Wednesdays of the month from September through June at the Hudson Senior Center, 29 Church St. AVCC currently has about 50 members of varied ages from 15 communities throughout the Metrowest area. Their photography experience ranges from beginners to professional.
AVCC was founded in 1985 by several photography enthusiasts after attending a course at the adult continuing education program of Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School in Marlborough. They initially met at club members’ homes and projected color slides on living room walls. As membership grew, the meetings were moved to other venues. They met at the Unitarian Church of Marlborough and Hudson when Doris Monterio joined AVCC in 1992. She has observed AVCC’s evolution over 25 years.
“There are still a few of the club’s charter members involved,” she noted. “Most of the younger people use their iPhone for taking photographs and the older generation tends to use a traditional camera. A number of club members did photography when they were younger and it elapsed as their kids were growing. Now older with an empty nest, they’ve rekindled their interest in photography. There’s a nice interaction between the two generations. We can always learn from one another.”
Meetings held the first Wednesday of the month typically feature an instructional program with a guest speaker or members’ pictorial travelogues. At the 2017-2018 season’s first meeting Sept. 6, members discussed images based on a theme or their summer activities.
Print and digital competitions are offered at the third Wednesday meetings. Professional photographers and members of other camera clubs judge the competitions. AVCC members who accumulate the most judges’ points are recognized at a year-end banquet in June.
“We ask judges to critique images in such a way that says something positive about them if they can, and then says how they could be improved,” Monterio explained. “Images that tell a story tend to score better in competitions. They have a dynamic aspect as opposed to static.”
AVCC members periodically photograph together on field trips, ranging from a day at Tower Hill Botanical Gardens in Boylston to weeklong international excursions. A few years ago Monterio travelled with members to Nova Scotia. There, they photographed sea stacks, lobster fishing areas and puffins during a boat trip.
“We try to experience what the locals experience and immerse ourselves in their culture,” she said. “Learning in the field provides opportunities for more advanced photographers to mentor those who wish to try something new or sharpen their skills.”
For Monterio, the club’s main benefit is regularly hearing feedback to improve her photography skills.
“The only way you’re going to get better at photography is if you keep taking pictures,” she said. “Getting feedback from other people helps the whole process.”
Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, visit assabetvalleycc.com or contact John Gill, club president, at 978-293-5192.
(Photos/ David Reynard)