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Friday, December 3, 2021

Photography Club of Davis offers Davis an artistic focus

If you’re looking for a creative community to share your photography interests with, look no further than the Photography Club of Davis.

Established in 2008, the club was formed when local dentist Samer Alassaad, his patient Ian Kennedy and friend David Jolkovsky all realized the potential of their shared passion for photography. Since then, the club has been growing rapidly with local photographers who meet on the second Tuesday of every month at the Hallmark Inn.

“Collectively, as a group, we’re very energetic and full of ideas,” said Rob Floerke, a landscape photographer. “The goal is to learn more about photography, while enjoying the association with other photographers and the opportunity to showcase our work.”

Floerke, a UC Davis zoology graduate from the class of ’74, is an exhibiting member at the club’s current exhibition at the Davis Historic City Hall and Bistro 33.

The exhibition, called “Patterns in Nature,” is co-presented with the John Natsoulas Gallery, and will be on display until today. It features a collection of photographs from the living and inanimate worlds in nature.

“The photographs introduce a variety of patterns to the eye that you normally wouldn’t notice at a quick glance,” Floerke said.

Although the club mainly consists of folks in the Davis community, student membership is highly encouraged.

“We’d love to have more participation from the younger community in Davis. They always have fresh new ideas and generally pick up on new practices very quickly,” said Clyde Elmore, a retired UC Davis professor whose realm of expertise lies within wildlife photography.

Student membership fees are $15 per year, and helps pay for club activities. These activities include photography expeditions, workshops and presentations from guest speakers. Past workshops have included a range of topics from Adobe Lightroom 2 to Processing and Printing.

“The guest speaker presentations are helpful because they expose us to the possibilities of improving ourselves,” said Alassaad, who is this year’s club president.

He uses a Fuji S5 Pro digital camera, along with three lenses (12-24 mm, 24-85 mm, and 70-200 mm Nikon lenses) and a tripod. Alassaad said that his best advice for young aspiring photographers is to explore their hidden innate talents.

“Find out what inspires you and determine your own personal style,” he said. “It’s also important to listen to other people’s opinions about your work and be accepting of criticism.”

One of the visible certainties about the club is the passion that exists within it.

“Photography captures instances in time and freezes it to give you a new way of seeing the world,” said Kennedy, a UC Davis professor of Mechanical Engineering. “It’s an important and accessible form of art that doesn’t require the skills you might need for drawing or painting.”

The club members each possess a specific area of expertise in the photographic field – ranging from wildlife to landscape photography.

Kennedy specializes in underwater photography.

“It conveniently ties in with my second hobby of scuba diving,” he said. “I use an Olympus E-520 digital SLR, 50 millimeter macro lenses, with underwater housing and an external strobe.”

Kennedy said that is equipment is essential for doing close-up underwater photography.

Starting this Saturday, the club members will be volunteering to teach a photography class at the Osher Life Long Learning Institute (OLLI) of the UC Davis extension. The class, “Photography by Design,” is open to people of all ages. Alassaad encourages both beginners and intermediate photographers sign up.

For more information about the class and the Photography Club of Davis, visit their website at photographyclubofdavis.org.

VANNA LE can be reached at features@theaggie.org.

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