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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Tri-State Photographic Society

Tri-State Photographic Society. Facebook. 
By John Deering

We lived in Eastern Kentucky for two very long years; however there was one really great thing about our being there:  The Ohio Valley Photography Club of Huntington, West Virginia.

It was the first camera club I had ever known.  I not only enjoyed being with these new friends, but I learned to make much better photos.  Even though the photo bug had not previously bitten Ann, an art major, she went to the Friday evening meetings with me, saw these photos, and decided, “I can do that.”

She has become a really enthusiastic photographer.  We built a darkroom in our basement, obtained the equipment, and began snapping and developing.

When we came home in 1976, we were sure there would be photo clubs in Cincinnati. Well, there were several, but only one would allow women to join -- the Cincinnati Color Slides Club in Wyoming, Ohio; it had been formed by a woman.

We joined it, of course, and met more really grand new friends; we stayed with it for many years. However, they only did slides.  Yes, I was “allowed” to join the print clubs, but I was not about to go to a camera club two Friday evenings a month without Ann. Well, what were we to do? “Let’s create our own and have both slides and prints,” we said.

In 1977, we did that and have never regretted having done so.

We gathered a few interested photo friends and started the Tri-State Photographic Society. We first arranged to meet in the Fort Thomas YMCA. On our first evening, no one showed up to let us in; so we had our first meeting in a station wagon in the driveway.

Then we tried the original Covington Library; they too were not very cooperative by forgetting to let us in. (We were wondering if it was something we had said. GOSH!)  Well, we eventually found a welcoming public room in a bank -- finally!

We struggled along for a year or so with little progress; finally. We invited all the members to our living room and in so many words politely asked, “Are we or aren’t we going to do this?”

After some discussion, we agreed to do it!  Then we really began to prosper and we have ever since. We have meetings with programs and competitions, and soon added nature subjects. Each evening there were beautiful color slides, black and white prints, and even some color prints.  Ann and I even put a full basement under our new ranch-style home to have a studio and a darkroom.

We established our bimonthly meetings. We have field trips – one-day trips to local sites such as the Cincinnati Zoo and overnighters to such places as Shakertown.

Well, everything was going so well. Then came (drum rolls and trumpets blasts: DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY!) Now what? Well, there is no doubt we are making a transition that some wanted to make and some did not, we had to face it. Photography was and is becoming another technology. Younger members began to adapt right away and their images are “something else.” We older ones dragged our feet about it. However, even we had to face the fact of life in photography. We bought our digital cameras and discovered how great they are. The computer age was upon all of us and we reluctantly began to adapt to it.

I have to  wonder what Ansell Adams might think of this transition.

Now personally, I do not use my computer to create images; my new digital printer makes all the adjustments I need or even want to make.  Others are “really into digital.” We now have both the computerized prints and the “mildly” adjusted ones. We even still have some color slides. Then there are the digital slides too.

There is something common to all photo clubs: They are made up of the same people -- with different faces. They are successful and pleasant people from many walks of life, occupations, and professions.

Are you interested? Visit our web site:  Our meetings are held at the Campbell County Extension Service [University of Kentucky] at 3500 Alexandria Pike, Highland Heights.

From Fort Thomas, go to U.S. 27 [Alexandria Pike] turn south past the entrance of NKU. Then proceed to the street next to the Asbury Methodist Church, turn right into the parking lot of the Extension on the left, come to the doors, and become one of us. We shall welcome you! You do not have to be another Ansell Adams. We divide into Tyro and Advanced sections.   You are welcome to visit, and we hope you will.

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