A fellow member of the photography ministry at my church told me about the Bowie-Crofton Camera Club, which holds meetings every Monday in Bowie at 7:30 pm, and the first meeting of the year was coming up. I wish my friends and I (wink, wink) would start our own camera club but until that happens, I’ll try this one. So last night, I went to their first annual meeting.

The meetings are held at All Saints Lutheran Church in Bowie, MD (at the corner of Mount Oak Rd. and 301), a nice, modest-sized church. As soon as I walked into the lobby, I quickly discovered two things: that annual membership dues are $25, and the Bowie-Crofton Camera Club could easily be mistaken for the AARP (or the Senior Citizens Ministry).

This is the only picture I could sneak, with my camera phone (I was a visitor after all, didn’t want to stick out by taking pictures!) and it is a good representation of the 50+ people who showed up to the meeting.

After I got over the geriatrics of the membership, the meeting got on its way, with the current club secretary welcoming everyone back for a new year, introducing new members and visitors (where I had to say my name and tell how I heard about the club), and giving out awards from the previous seasons photos and slides, via plaques and pins. This club has a lot of field trips, and there is one coming up on Saturday at the Bowie Skateboard Park near Allen Pond, after which, everyone is eating at DuClaw and then possibly going to shoot a re-enactment scene of the Revolutionary War at Newton Mansion. Some people might think that’s boring, but I think it’s Interesting. I’m actually wondering why more younger people aren’t in this club.

Then, the night’s featured guest speaker was up to present that night’s topic: Fine Art Nudes and Landscapes. At first, I thought this guy was going to exhibit some fine art nudes (which I thought was funny in a church, but ok, it’s art, right?) and landscapes, but no, his work consisted of fine art nudes within landscape shots. Some of his work was very artistic, but others were naked-chick-on-a-tree-stump style. Imagine a scene like this, with a naked model, blending in, somewhere (sometimes you had to look for them).

If you weren’t sure, the male members made it clear they were intrigued. For instance, there was an exhibit of one nude model shot showing five still dance poses, and the sequence was called “Dancing Alone”. The photographer, Bert Pasquale, even captioned this particular work with a poetic anecdote on the bottom border of the photo, referencing the woman’s lost lover, and how “in the end, she’ll be dancing alone.” The silence was quickly broken by one of the oldest and most outspoken member in the front row, exclaiming, “With a body like that, she won’t be alone for long!” illiciting laughs from everyone. Geesh. They’re a fun bunch though. Old people say whatever comes to mind, whether it’s funny or not. They’ve gotten over nobody laughing years ago.

Oh!! One of the great things about this club is that much of it is about competition, and they compete against at least 20 other clubs, some of them international. Next week’s meeting is all about competition and new rules…and I just might be there.

UPDATE: Find Bert Pasquale’s photos here: