This week I continue introducing the McLean Photo Club. Necessarily, that means introducing Bill Prosser. Bill is one of the club's founding members. He and four or five other amateur photographers started meeting at the McLean Community Center in the late '70's. Since 1995, he has been a mentor to photography students at McLean High School. Some recent pictures by Bill are in the gallery on this page.
Last year Bill earned a promotion of sorts at the Community Center; some of his prints moved upstairs to the Atrium Gallery. The McLean Project for the Arts exhibited a show of his black and white pictures. You can view an online gallery of Bill’s Unseen McLean images by clicking here; and, you can read a Patch article on Unseen McLean by clicking here.
"The club has never been large," Bill says. "It's always had a typical membership, actual, membership, of thirty to sixty people. And a typical meeting of fifteen to thirty people....It has the advantage over other, larger clubs in that it’s very personal....It works best when the members with experience are welcoming to those with less."
I'm one of those newer members who has benefited from that kind of welcome, from Bill and from others.
With the advent of digital photography came the end of the need to have a smelly, stained and expensive darkroom and, along the same lines, an end to costs that rise with each snap of the shutter. For me, that made it practical to learn photography by making mistakes. A lot of them.
I find that learning how to avoid or fix my mistakes can be done on my own about 90% of the time. Or so I like to think. But that last 10% or more is the hard part. People like Bill have helped me make those improvements. More telling, perhaps, is that they have also introduced me to photographic challenges and solutions that were completely new to me.
Originally Bill was most interested in photographing landscapes. Now he spends more time on photographs that portray a scene within a scene. As a member of another photo club, the Northern Virginia Photographic Society, a few years ago Bill began creating annual portfolios that featured techniques Bill hadn't used much. Out of that work came Unseen McLean.
To see more of Bill’s photos, visit http://www.pbase.com/prosserwm.
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The McLean Photo Club is in its fourth decade -- and we welcome new members. MPC's October meeting will be a friendly critique session, for any type of photograph, with no limitations on subject matter or photographic technique or equipment. No prizes, no names (if you want), just a chance to learn by being part of a group discussion about the merits and demerits of each image. Join us and see what it's about.
We meet Wednesday October 10 at 7:30 pm in the McLean Community Center. If you would like an image critiqued at the meeting, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be kind, rest assured. You may just find out that your work is as good as you hoped.
This month the club is gathering photos from members for entry in an annual nature photography competition that is organized by McLean and five other clubs. The Nature Visions Photo Expo takes place November 9, 10 & 11 at the Hylton Center for the Performing Arts in Manassas. The pictures in last week's McLean Patch gallery are by McLean photographers who earned a place in the exhibit at the Nature Visions Expo last year. About three hundred of the one thousand photos entered from the six partnering clubs were selected for the Expo's exhibit.