A recent gala showcased between 300 and 400 photographs by local photographers.
The Port Orange Camera Club brings together people from different walks of life that have one thing in common — A love for capturing the world from a new perspective.
The club recently celebrated it members works of art at a gala at the Lakeside Center in Port Orange, showcasing between 300 and 400 prints of all sizes at the Lakeside Center.
"It was jam-packed," said club president Bill Watson.
Founded in 1972 by Winston Belgrave and Richard Boylan, the club is open to people of all ages and skill levels.
“Some people don’t even have a camera yet, but they come because they want to learn,” said Watson, who also is one the club's first members.
Watson, a Port Orange resident, said he got into photography about 60 years ago. He became a staff photographer for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he worked for 48 years.
He said he remembers when the speedway attempted to photograph in color.
Later, when his daughter’s job brought her to Port Orange, they visited and fell in love.
Shortly after moving to the city, Watson sought out the photo club.
He said he has joined other photography clubs, but stuck with the Port Orange club because of the members’ willingness to help each other grow in their hobbies by sharing tips.
“A photographer never knows everything,” he said.
Watson said members come from all walks of life and see the world uniquely through their own camera lenses.
For this reason, the club’s second monthly meeting is dedicated to competition. Everyone is assigned the same subject — nature, architecture, cars and more — and they submit their prints.
Outside judges chose winners from each skill levels, totalling 36 winners each month. Judges also provide feedback for contestants.
Also, each month, the club hosts a guest speaker for the first meeting of the month so members can learn something new. The group also enjoys regular field trips organized by members, an annual Christmas party and a showcase.
“It’s just a fun and sharing group,” he said.