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Dekker: Foresters Camera Club celebrates successes

Julie Dekker

Julie Dekker

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Updated: February 20, 2014 6:12AM



Photography has really grown in popularity in recent years, aided by the evolving technology available today that enables you to take pretty good pictures from your cellphone.

Then there are those who take photography to the next level, such as the members of the Foresters Camera Club. For 30 years, this local camera club has helped its members improve their knowledge and skills of photography through workshops, field trips, group critiques and mentoring.

The group consists of serious amateur to professional photographers. You may have seen some of its members’ work. It regularly appears in our local newspapers and publications, on vehicle stickers, village Christmas cards and even network television weather reports.

The Foresters are an active group. They meet at 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of the month from September through May at Palos United Methodist Church, 12101 Harlem Ave., Palos Heights.

I recently spent some time with the club president, Tinley Park resident Bob Dietz, to find out more about the club. Dietz’s passion for photography and the Foresters was evident.

“To say that the Foresters had a banner year in 2013 would be a gross understatement,” he said with pride.

The club achieved many successes as well as awards during 2013. It took first place in the small pictorial color category at the Chicago Area Camera Club Association, which encompasses 38 clubs in northern Illinois and northwest Indiana. The Foresters also finished third in the Digital Projected Image category, elevating it to the upper echelon of clubs in our region.

Another major award for the club went to their webmaster, Tinley Park resident Kelly Johnson, who received first-place honors for the club’s website from the Photographic Society of America, a nationwide organization of camera clubs.

Dietz also heads up the club’s “Weekend Warriors” field trips, where members travel just about anywhere to capture images. I asked him why he loves photography so much.

“With my photos, I get to share what I see with others, and I hope that the people who see them get joy from them as well,” he said. “I also do it to record events for posterity.”

Dietz’s passion is really just the tip of the iceberg. I have met many members of the Foresters Camera Club and have had the privilege of exhibiting their work at the Vogt Visual Arts Center. They continually produce stunning photography. The quality and creativity in their photos is most impressive.

I encourage you to check out the club’s award-winning website at www.ForestersCameraClub.org, where you can view galleries of the members’ photos and learn more about club membership, events and more.

During March, you will be able to see a selection of Foresters Camera Club members’ photos during the annual open photography show at the Vogt Visual Arts Center, 17420 S. 67th Court, Tinley Park.

Photographers of all ages and skill levels are invited to participate. The show is not juried, and there are no fees. Space is still available for up to three pieces per artist. If you are interested in participating, call (708) 309-4371 for more information.

Groups such as the Foresters Camera Club have helped to make photography the art form it has become.

Garden Gallery unusual art

Through January, Garden Gallery and Studio, 17459 Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park, will continue to exhibit some truly unusual artwork by a woman known as the “Peace Prophet.” She is homeless and lives and creates her art on the streets of the East Loop, including Michigan Avenue and Millennium Park in Chicago.

The artist is a very private person who rarely communicates with others, but she speaks loudly through her artwork. This is a rare chance to see art through eyes that are much different from our own. I think you will find her story and artwork most thought provoking.

For information and hours, call (708) 407-8666 or visit www.GardenGalleryandStudio.com.



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