Resources for Improving Our Photos

Milky Way over Sedona by Janet Ballard

Milky Way over Sedona by Janet Ballard

Ken Duquaine

Photography clubs such as ours offer many opportunities for photographers at all levels to improve their skills. Having been suspended during the past year due to the COVID-19 virus, one such opportunity will once again be offered by the Sun Lakes Camera Club (SLCC) beginning in January of 2022. Two series of classes entitled Introduction to Digital Photography and Mastering Your Photo Technique will be available to both SLCC club members and non-members. Introduction to Digital Photography is primarily designed for those who are relatively new to photography and are using equipment ranging from smartphones to bridge cameras. Mastering Your Photo Techniques will appeal to those who wish to move beyond the basics and are using interchangeable lenses or other more advanced cameras. These classes have proven to be very popular in that they cover a wide range of topics and are sure to improve the photos of photographers at all levels. All classes meet on Tuesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Ceramics Room of the Cottonwood Country Club and are taught by Dan Dragoon. For more information, contact Dan at [email protected] or visit our website at

In addition to having access to formal classes, membership in a camera club also provides many hands-on opportunities to learn new techniques from members who have experience and expertise in a given area of photography. One such experience was provided to our members last month in the form of a field trip to Picketpost Mountain to take photos of the Milky Way, organized by member Tom Jones. Photographing the Milky Way is not particularly difficult or complicated, but does require some preplanning and knowledge of where and when optimal conditions will exist, as well as some technical knowledge pertaining to camera settings and photo techniques. The photo by member Janet Ballard is a fine example of the impressive results that can be obtained doing Milky Way photography.

Other such field trip experiences a bit further afield are on tap for later in the year and will include treks to the Grand Canyon, Bosque del Apache where members can try their hand at birds in flight photographic techniques, and White Sands National Park in New Mexico which offers a wide variety of compelling photographic subjects.

The Sun Lakes Camera Club (SLCC) meets 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. During the summer, the club meets on the first Thursday of each month in the Ceramics Room of the Cottonwood Country Club. For more information about the SLCC and its activities, call SLCC President Lynn Thompson at 480-734-0040, Vice-President Judy Daidone at 480-216-3062, or Past President Jan Ballard at 602-621-3344 and visit our website at