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Bay Weekly’s Guide to ­Shooting Better Pictures

Photoplay for the 21st century

Young Elkie photographers, Kinsey Helmly (kneeling), Hannah Dove (far left), Holly Lanzaron (in red), Skylar Dunlap (in tie-dye), Brianna Horvath (back left), Le'Nae Mooring (looking through camera), Samantha Reese and Shelby Williams (far right).

Ever since people could snap pictures, we have.
    Brownies (1900-1960) … Polaroids (1948-1998) … disposables (1986) … digitals (since the mid-1990s) … cell-phones (since 2000) …
    Technology by technology, we’ve covered our lives, our vacations and the world around us as determinedly as one-man, woman- and child- Life and Look Magazines (if you know what I mean). Those grand photographic page-throughs of our world published once a week. Smart phones in hand, we today publish instantly in the universally accessible life-stream of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.
    So maybe it’s time to learn how to take good pictures.
    In our pages this week, you’ll learn just that.
    We’ve taken advantage of Chesapeake Country’s dynamic photographic corps to tell and show us how. The place we call home has long been blessed with visionary photographers. Nowadays, shooters like Jay Fleming and Mark Hendricks and the photographers of Muddy Creek Artists Guild — plus many more — have stepped into the supersized shoes of greats like Marion Warren and Aubrey Bodine.
    Making his first appearance in our pages this week is Mark Hendricks. You’ll learn from his Take the Best Pictures Ever. And you’ll see why he’s worth learning from in my review of his first book, Natural Wonders of Assateague. Because summer is vacation time, and because Assateague, our own barrier island, lures so many of us (me included) to vacation amid its wonders, Hendricks has focused on taking pictures on vacation. His tips, he assures us, work just as well any time, any place, any subject.
    Already in our pages you’ve met Jay Fleming, introduced to us along with his first book, Working the Water, by Mick Blackistone a couple of months back (www.bayweekly.com/JayFleming-051817). When Fleming taught a class this month, our aspiring shooter Audrey Broomfield attended. In this issue, Audrey shares key lessons she learned from Fleming in shooting on the water. With plenty of that all around us, these lessons (like carry lots of lens wipes) are especially apt.
    In How I Learned to Take Photos: Confessions of a Jay Fleming Pupil, you’ll also see a couple of Audrey’s shots.
    Other aspiring photographers show us the world as they’re learning to see it. They are the Elkies, eight middle-school photographers equipped under a grant from the Deale Elks Club and mentored by Muddy Creek Artist Guild photographers. The Secret Story of Photos showcases the group’s experience and images. This week’s Creature Feature is based on a photo by one of the Elkie girls, Holly Lanzaron, who snuck up on a bird nesting in one odd place.
    I know you’ll enjoy the images made by all these shooters. I hope you’ll learn a few lessons on taking better pictures, too. Send us your results, along with a sentence or two about how you amended your shooting, for publication in these pages.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher
email editor@bayweekly.com, www.sandraolivettimartin.com