Last updated: November 26. 2013 8:00AM - 804 Views
Kevin Spradlin Editor/Content Manager

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One of the primary people who design the pages of The Richmond County Daily Journal called John Shaw’s photo “one of the best centerpiece photos I’ve seen since I started to working” for Civitas Media.

It is attractive. Shaw allowed us to print his landscape portrait of Trunk Bay, along the island of Saint David in the U.S. Virginia Islands. The 50-year-old Hamlet resident took the photo earlier this month while on vacation.

I first saw John’s photo on Nov. 21 during the monthly meeting of the Richmond County Photography Group. At the group’s October meeting, members were assigned to take a photo and submit it into the group’s informal contest under the theme of “blue.”

A dozen members met last week at the Arts Richmond building on East Washington Street. Members’ photography experience ranged widely; the group is led by veteran photographer Jimmy MacDonald, who is a regular contributor to The Daily Journal.

MacDonald said he was approached in April 2012 about hosting a group for all levels of photographers “to meet, discuss our passion and share ideas.” It’s a theory that works very well in execution. Conversation wasn’t stifled, and those with far less experience than others felt free to chime in on whatever the topic of conversation happened to be during the 90-minute session.

For the “blue” assignment, members each brought in an 8 X 10 print. On a low-to-high scale of 1 to 5, members put their personal rating on a Post-It affixed to the back of each photo. Each photo, then, could earn up to 60 points; the photo with the highest point total won “Photo of the Month” honors.

John’s entry won, but it was close. Two entries tied for second.

I have to admit — rather sheepishly, now, after the fact and after John’s photo has garnered such high praise — that I did not vote John’s photo as No. 1 on my personal list. I had it as No. 2; there was another photo that featured a level of detail and spontaneity I appreciate.

But that was part of the fun of the Richmond County Photography Group; any and all opinions are welcome, and my vote counts as much as anyone else’s. The winner was identified, recognized and congratulated; all of the submissions will be on display at the Arts Richmond building.

December’s assignment must go under the theme “family” — a theme some might argue is very easy to make happen during this time of year. It’ll be nice to see how creative everyone is with the assignment.

If you care to join in, visit the group’s social media forum at www.facebook/groups/rcphotoclub. There are weekly assignments as well as monthly and quarterly engagements; participate as your schedule permits.

The group is open to those age 16 and up and meets at 6 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. MacDonald said he hopes to attract guest speakers for future meetings or host field trips and “photo walks.”

“One of my favorite parts of the meetings is to hear the stories and challenges from each person concerning their photo submissions,” MacDonald said.

The majority of photos are taken in and around Richmond County, but this is yet another way for locals to see there is, indeed, a bigger world outside the county’s borders. And there is plenty of time to talk about how each photo was taken. Perhaps you”ll consider joining the group at its Dec. 19 meeting.

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