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‘You have to have a camera in your hand

Photographers entertain and educate at Peabody community

Created date

December 12th, 2012

On the third Tuesday of every month, novice and expert photographers alike gather in the Brooksby catering room to share images, ideas, and instruction. Meetings of Brooksby s photography club both entertain and educate club members. Photographers look forward to seeing larger-than-life visuals of their work while peers enjoy a show of images taking them to beautiful corners of the world, from Brooksby s grounds to Europe. Slideshows are also paired with informative discussions ranging from the artistic to the technical. I just want to provide a place for people here to look at quality pictures and find a way to help them make their pictures even better, says Roy Deveau, the club s chairman. Founded in 2009, the photography club initially gathered in one of Brooksby s classrooms but now makes use of the professional audiovisual equipment in the catering room. Special presentations hosted by the club often draw more than 100 people. It s nice to see your pictures on a ten-foot-high screen, Roy says. We have tremendous support from the audiovisual folks, he adds of Brooksby s staff.

Traveling Brooksby and beyond

Roy makes appearances on Brooksby s TV919 closed-circuit channel to advertise larger presentations, like those assembled by club treasurer Don Fields. Don s popular presentations have included photographs of local trips taken with Brooksby and collections from various European trips taken with his wife. I get comments as soon as I walk out, Don says of the appreciation for his work. People send me thank-you cards; people stop me in the dining room and say they really enjoyed it. Don s photographs from the 2011 Dale Chihuly blown glass exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston attracted about 125 people at Brooksby. Of his photos, Don says: I take them to show people who can t see what I can see. Don and other photographers have delighted in capturing the animals that pass through the community s grounds. Don s shots of Brooksby and its environs have been displayed at various luncheons for people interested in learning more about the Erickson Living community in Peabody, Mass. On a walk around Brooksby s pond, Roy Deveau encountered an egret that seemed to be begging to be photographed. As it spread its wings, Roy snapped a photo, just at the right moment. He says of times like that, You have to have a camera in your hand.

Artistic and technical lessons

Regular club meetings draw approximately 15 to 20 club members who share photos often with a common theme and stories. But meetings also feature carefully planned technical discussions, like how to send photos via email, and artistic talks on topics like how to compose a shot. Nancy Baker, another club member who lives at Brooksby, shares lessons learned at outside photography workshops, including one about macro photography close-up photography of small subjects. Nancy explored the style by photographing tiny amphibians indigenous to Central and South America. When I go to workshops, I try to pass along information, she says. Roy has led discussions about photo editing by making an example of even the worst of his work. He showed how with a few clicks of the computer s mouse, a poor-quality image he captured at a wedding went from terrible to acceptable, Roy says. Don Fields says he has benefited from the group s photo editing lessons. I had some experience before working with the club, but working in the club extends that learning process, he says. Though he organizes the monthly meetings, Roy adds: It s not my club; it belongs to the Brooksby residents. What I try to do is provide the residents what they need.