Welcome to what will undoubtedly be a slightly unusual season at Brechin Photographic Society. The nationwide lockdown that has been caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has curtailed most club activities since March, but it seems that most members at least have been able to continue taking photographs - albeit perhaps in less exotic locations than they might have hoped.
We have been contacted by a few members in the last few days with a whole host of queries, so I will attempt to cover them - apologies in advance if this is a long post!
SUMMER OF LOCKDOWN
Our facebook group has been buzzing all summer, with 20 weeks of informal fun competitions, and the majority of members have been able to maintain contact through this medium. We will endeavour to expand these competitions into the programme, as a monthly competition on a specific theme - to be judged by the previous winner.
Cloud-covered Cuillins, Skye. Taken from Raasay a few days before lockdown by Anne May - one of the entries to the facebook 'Landscapes and Seascapes' topic.
2019-20 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
As you will recall, we were unable to hold our AGM in April, and planned to hold it on the 1st September when the pandemic had blown over. I don't think anyone expected the scale of the situation back then, and we are still some way from being able to host meetings at the Church Hall.
We have therefore arranged to host the AGM via Zoom - an online conferencing system. This can host up to 100 people remotely via their computer, tablet or smartphone. The Committee held a meeting last night using the system, and it was very successful. I'm sure many of you have used the system over the last few months to communicate with work, friends, family and other groups and societies. If it would be helpful, we can hold an informal Zoom chat a week in advance so people can try the system out in advance.
All the trophies were engraved before the lockdown, and winners will also receive their miniature trophies as soon as possible.
SUBSCRIPTIONS AND CLUB MAGAZINE
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has obviously curtailed a number of club activities, and the ability for the immediate future to hold physical club meetings. The Committee feel that it is imperative that we take steps to keep the club together the best we can, and maintain the great group of people we have. To this end we urge members existing and prospective to join the club again for the season at a reduced rate of £20 - to be ratified at the AGM. For this members will still get a copy of the club magazine, which was sent to print yesterday, and is a whopping 100 pages now, with content from lots of our members, and pictures from almost all. Members will also still have a full competition season, as well as the best 'virtual' content that we can possibly deliver until we can return to physical meetings.
Issue 4 is bigger and better than ever!
Again, I would urge members and prospective members to support the club and the hard work of the Committee and sign up for the season, and hopefully we can come out of the pandemic in a strong position. Our club has been in existence since 1888, and the Committee feel a genuine sense of responsibility to keep it going through whatever is thrown at us.
As with previous years, we have to comply to the General Data Protection Regulations, so will issue membership applications forms by email in the near future. Subscriptions can be paid ideally by BACS payment. Alternatively, if you cannot do internet banking, payment can be made to the treasurer by arrangement.
Magazines will be delivered to members as soon as practical - the logistics of how to distribute them are yet to be ironed out, but we'll come up with a plan.
After the AGM, the intention is to host virtual club meetings - albeit not every single week initially - with a range of possibilities. As mentioned above we will run monthly themed informal competitions to be judged by the previous month's winner, the first topic to be announced at the AGM.
We have also arranged our first virtual guest speaker - David Boag from Dorset, a professional wildlife photographer, who will deliver his talk via Zoom on the 29th September. David has over 40 years of experience as a professional photographer, has published several books, as well as tutorial DVDs and has run workshops for years. You can look at his website here for more information. His well rehearsed presentation style make him the perfect person to demonstrate how successful this form of club content can be, and I am sure all members will enjoy it greatly. If this is as successful as we expect it will be, we can look to arrange more guests on the same basis.
Please be aware, therefore, that the programme is subject to change as we progress through the season, as we really are in uncharted waters.
The formal 2020-21 competition season will progress (almost) as normal. The submission dates are set out in the programme, which will be emailed to all members, and detailed on this website.
All the competitions, with the exception (provisionally) of the Print of the Year competition in January 2021, have been reverted to digital only. Our judges have all agreed to provide their comments and verdicts either in writing or as an audio recording. The plan is that I will then produce a slideshow to accompany the comments, and this will be broadcast live on the scheduled judging evening on the clubs youtube channel. Members will be sent a link by email to tune in to watch the broadcast. Members will be able to use the live text chat to converse and make comments throughout the stream as well, without upsetting the judge!
The first competition is therefore Round One of the Annual Image Competition, with PDIs to be submitted no later than the 15th September, with the judging to be done by Stewart Dodd LRPS from Dundee on the 6th October.
In summary, therefore, the Committee are working very hard to deliver the best programme we can for the coming season, within the restrictions that have been imposed upon us. We appreciate that we are asking members to tackle potentially new technology, but we would urge everyone to work with us, as you the members make the club the success it is, and your ongoing participation is massively appreciated.
We look forward to welcoming you all to the virtual AGM on the 1st September, and thereafter to the 2020-21 season at BPS.