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June 2, 2012

Josh Drespling: I’ve been challenged

NEW CASTLE — I reluctantly consider myself a semi-pro photographer. Everyone who has a camera seems to think of themselves as the next Ansel Adams, Yousef Karsh, or even Neil Leifer (Google them if you must), but I have been lucky enough to have photos published in Rolling Stone, Country Music Weekly and used by CNN and Headline News. I've even had the New Castle News and several other local news outlets use some of my images.

I've captured images of sports legends, every imaginable rock star, numerous celebrities, presidents, and political hopefuls. I've been in the heat of the moment with riot police and protesters during the G20 summit and dodged tear gas at music festivals gone awry. On the contrary, I have captured precious and loving moments at wedding ceremonies and religious events.

Between these monumental events I've dabbled with still life and nature photography, but have often had my endeavors cut short by time constraints or lack of inspiration. I also let the desire slip away because of the lack of an outlet to display my work or garner genuine feedback. Sure, there is the online community, but the feedback there is usually scant at best and peppered with comments like “cool,” “good job,” or “you suck.”

This past weekend I attended the New Castle Arts Festival at Cascade Park, right here in glorious New Castle. I wandered about with my wife and daughter and was inspired by some of the artists peddling their wares and was equally frustrated by the lack of craftsmanship and creativity of others. I eventually stumbled upon the tent of the New Castle Camera Club and was greeted by several of the ladies working the tent in the hot, midday sun.

These women introduced me to the workings of the club and told me about their monthly shooting schedule (otherwise know as a contest).  Each month they hold an internal competition in different categories including Color, Monochrome, 4x6, Projected Images, and Creative Altered Reality.

Needless to say, they perked my interest and started my creative juices flowing. After walking away from the booth, my wife asked if I wanted to join. I paused and thought. This might just be the challenge and outlet I was lacking. The structure of the club and the once-per-month meetings seemed to be the perfect fit for my excessively busy schedule and my ADD-like attack to most projects.

Now I believe I will be spending the second Thursday of every month at the New Castle Camera Club. Hopefully, they will stimulate me to create and excel at something that I have let fall by the wayside for too long. Their next subject is “bubbles,” so I must cut this short and scour my daughter's room for some bubbles. I have so many ideas and so little time.

 

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