BY SHARON LONEWOLF –
Whether you are a beginner exploring a new interest or an advanced photographer looking for fresh challenges, you can enjoy what the Ouachita Photography Club in Mena has to offer. The club was formed about four years ago so that photographers of all ages and levels of experience can share the joys of photography, with the goal of having fun while expanding knowledge and skills. Membership in this informal group is free.
Meetings are held every two weeks at the Mena Art Gallery on 607 Mena Street. On the second Saturday of each month meetings are from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. Ideas and recent works are shared, new techniques are explored, photo shoots are planned, reviews and helpful critiques are offered. Sometimes hands-on educational seminars by professional photographers are also given.
On the fourth Saturday of the month, the group gets together at 9:00 a.m. for photo-related activities. They plan organized photo shoots and if the weather is nice, road trips to places like Mount Magazine’s Butterfly Festival, Little Missouri Falls, Poteau Balloon Fest, and other photogenic venues. Sometimes they don’t go far at all, perhaps embarking on an architectural photographic adventure around town, or they may visit the Nature Center on Rich Mountain. Local events such as the Rod Run are also scheduled for photographic shoots.
There’s never a dull moment in this group of shutterbugs. One of the interesting things they do every month is called the Challenge. For example, the Challenge for the month of August was “Faces or Figures Found in Nature.” Entries included images of a potato shaped like a teddy bear; a rock resembling a face, complete with a naturally embedded crystal nose and moss formed features; another one was a lady’s face in tree branches, and more. Ben Campbell’s image of a tree stump shaped like a sheep won the most votes. As the winner, he chose “Water” as the theme for the following month’s Challenge. Themes chosen by winners of previous month’s Challenges include “Feathers,” “A Quiet Place,” “Fall Colors,” “Bubbles,” “Silhouettes,” and more!