Have Camera, Will Travel

Gila Woodpecker, by Donna McGregor

Ken Duquaine

Among the many reasons to join a camera club is the opportunity to participate in various photo shoots that can range from single-day trips to excursions of several days. Often these field trips involve places or subjects that one would not have known about otherwise. Some of the more rewarding aspects of such trips include the experience of sharing photo ideas with fellow photographers and learning about approaches, techniques, and equipment used by others that might be new to you.

Each season, the Sun Lakes Camera Club (SLCC) organizes a number of such trips for its members, and the 2022-23 season is no exception. In December a group of photographers traveled to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. That trip afforded participants the opportunity to photograph a variety of migratory birds and other wildlife that frequent the area, as well as some fine landscape locations.

In November two SLCC groups went to Catalina State Park where they had the chance to photograph various desert critters in an indoor, air-conditioned, controlled environment. Participants came away with many photos of snakes, lizards, Gila monsters, desert tortoises, scorpions, toads, and other desert inhabitants that would be difficult to get under other circumstances.

During the 2021-22 season, the Desert Photo Retreat in Marana was visited by five different groups of SLCC photographers. This photo shoot takes place in two sessions, one in the afternoon of the first day and another in the morning of the second, during which participants are able to photograph a large variety of birds and other wildlife from blinds. Plans for this season include one or two more trips to this unique facility.

In March SLCC photographers plan to visit Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. This beautiful but out-of-the-way park near the U.S.-Mexican Border is replete with landscape, wildlife, and wildflower photographic subjects. In 1976 the United Nations designated the monument as an International Biosphere Reserve. It’s a showcase that exhibits an extraordinary collection of plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert, including no less than 31 species of cacti, including organ pipe and giant saguaro.

Clearly, photography and travel are pursuits that have always enjoyed a harmonious relationship, and for those who enjoy both hobbies, a camera club can provide many rewarding opportunities to combine them.

The Sun Lakes Camera Club meets on the first and third Thursdays, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., in the Navajo Room of the Sun Lakes Country Club from October through April. For more information about the SLCC and its activities, contact SLCC President Samantha (Sam) Palmatier at 902-727-0334 or totsie1954 @yahoo.com, or Past President Lynn Thompson at 480-734-0040 or [email protected] and visit our website, www.sunlakescameraclub.com.