Shutterbugs welcome!


VERSAILLES — The Darke County Photo Club will host a photo show, “A Moment in Time,” during the upcoming Poultry Days festival in Versailles.

The Darke County Photo Club formed in 1995 to allow local photo enthusiasts to come together to learn and share their knowledge, experience and creative vision in an open and supportive environment. The club embraces photographers of all different skill levels – from the true beginner to the seasoned professional – which is helpful in keeping things fresh and alive, said Ruth McDaniel, current president of the DCPC.

Monthly meetings often include a specific learning topic and guest speaker, as well as a friendly critique of members’ photos on a monthly theme. Examples include discussing the best ways to save and safely store digital photos; learning and practicing ways to work with depth of field or the “bokeh” of a photo; and experimenting with lighting changes with a live model.

June’s learning topic is a fairly basic one and great one for getting started with the club – “Getting to know your own camera.”

Upcoming monthly photo themes include Furry Friends or Creepy Crawly for June, and weathered and work for July. Later themes planned include before and after processing, and then finding faces in inanimate objects.

The club meets monthly (except for August) at the Shawnee Prairie Building in Greenville on the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. Anyone interested is welcome to attend and does not have to be a member. Membership is only $15 a year, which helps fund the club and also entitles the member to a 10 percent discount at Granny’s Corner Frame Shop in Greenville.

McDaniel said she sees photography as more than just a way of capturing an image to biographically record an event.

“Photography has taught me a new way of seeing,” McDaniel said. “Since getting more involved with the art, I see so many things in a different way. It can be exciting just to see the way light is reflecting off a glass, or to focus in a single leaf as the foliage begins to turn. A good photographer can create an interesting image out of some the mundane or turn a simple portrait into a work of art. This takes both creative vision and a certain level of skill. It is so exciting to see some of the images others share in the club. I find myself exclaiming that I would not have thought of doing a shot that way!”

Advancing the art of photography takes lots of practice and being able to accept constructive feedback. Typically great images don’t just “happen.” McDaniel said she shoots 200-300 photos in the hopes of getting one or two good “keepers” – a practice made considerably less expensive thanks to the advent of digital photography. Getting just the right shot was a lot of expensive “trial and error” back in the days when film was the only option.

McDaniel said the photo club is looking to grow, and some new members have been joining lately, including a retired professional photographer and a “girl who just got her first real camera” at the latest meeting.

“It’s great, because the more experienced folks can help out the less experienced,” McDaniel said.

The group not only meets for lessons and critiques, but members also get together for unofficial “field trips,” which have included trips to the Franklin Conservatory in Columbus, photo scavenger hunts in downtown Greenville, trips to capture the lights at night at the Great Darke County Fair, the Air Force Museum, zoo trips and more.

The DCPC would like to invite area “shutterbugs” to enter the upcoming photo show, “A Moment in Time.”

This is the club’s ninth annual show, and it will be held at the old Wrestling Building during the Versailles Poultry Days Festival. The festival runs June 10, 11 and 12, and the show is open to all competitors.

The show will have a Student Division as well as an Adult Division and will be judged by a seasoned professional, John Cook. The cost of entry is $5 per photo with no limit on the number of entries. Photos will be eligible to win ribbons and cash awards. Best of Show this year will be $75 and that ribbon is sponsored by Greenville National Bank.

In addition, the show has several sponsors who will award their favorites with a rosette ribbon and a cash award. Sponsors include Greenville National Bank, Granny’s Corner, Dave Knapp Ford, Financial Achievement Services, Hartzell Veterinary Services, Jeannie’s Pooch Parlor, and Hittle Buick/GMC.

McDaniel said photos need to be at least 5 inches by 7 inches, framed with a wire hanger (not sawtooth hangers), and not display any nudity or violence. Categories are People, Architecture, Sea/Landscape, Nature, Animals, Unclassified, Digitally Enhanced, Photojournalism, and Student (18 and under).

To accommodate people’s busy schedules and help beast the Poultry Days traffic, DCPC has arranged some different drop-off and pick-up times and places for the photos. Drop off is scheduled at the PAWS Bingo Hall, 848 Martin St. in Greenville on Friday, June 3, from 6 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 4, from noon to 4 p.m.; or at the Versailles old Wrestling Building on Tuesday, June 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. Pick up will be either at Poultry Days, Sunday, June 12, from 3 to 6 p.m. or at PAWS Bingo, Saturday, June 18 from noon to 4 p.m.

For additional information about the show or the club, contact Ruth McDaniel at 937-307-3264. There also will be club members on hand during the show for anyone interested in more information about the group.
Darke County Photo Club seeks new members, show entries

By Rachel Lloyd

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Reach the writer can be reached at 937-569-4354 or on Twitter @RachelLloydGDA. Join the conversation at or visit our website at

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