Sure Shot

Picture-perfect nature photos start here.
So you bought a fancy digital SLR camera, but you're no National Geographic photographer. Joining a club is a cheap way to learn where to find picturesque flowers or how to use natural light. "Photographers love to tell how they do stuff," says Jim Schmidt, president of Cuyahoga Valley Photographic Society. Get in on the conversation, and get outside with one of these groups.
Cuyahoga Valley Photographic Society

This club of about 200 is all about learning, whether from one another or from esteemed professionals during four-day workshops. "Everything we do is geared toward education," Schmidt explains. This month, the group will learn about Ohio's pristine habitats from author Gary Meszaros on July 15 and enjoy three to four hours of shooting tips on a July 24 photo walk led by photographer Jim Roetzel.

The Details Presentations are typically the third Thursday of each month, year-round from 7-9 p.m. at Happy Days Lodge, 500 W. Streetsboro Road, Peninsula.

The cost $55 per year (includes Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association membership)

The Nature Photography Club

The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes' photo group is as likely to chat about white balance and monitor calibration as they are to head to a heron rookery. The monthly meetings generally draw 15 to 20 people. "The small group allows for a lot of conversation," says Ted Woolbridge, who's been in the club for five years. On July 8, members will turn their lenses to either the Shaker Lakes property or Rockefeller Park.

The Details Meetings are the second Thursday of each month year-round from 7-9 p.m. at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, 2600 South Park Blvd., Cleveland.

The cost $45 per year (the price of membership to the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes)


Focus on Fall
If you can wait till September, these clubs will return from their summer hiatus, just in time to capture autumn colors.

Southwest Camera Club
Rocky River Nature Center, 24000 Valley Parkway, North Olmsted,; $20 per year 
Western Reserve Photographic Society
Penitentiary Glen Nature Center, 8668 Kirtland-Chardon Road, Kirtland,; $20 per year

Akron Camera Club
Cuyahoga Valley Art Center, 2131 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls,; $30 per year
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