Carroll Camera Club embraces technology with new exhibition

Carroll Camera Club embraces technology with new exhibition
Jim Crist hangs photography for the Carroll County Camera Club at the Carroll Arts Center, in Westminster. (KEN KOONSSTAFF PHOTO, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Since its establishment in the early 1960s, the Carroll Camera Club and its members have had to deal with a changing photographic and technological landscape.

"When we started, it was still very traditional. We had a lot of nature photographers, and it was actually mostly men at the time," said club President Allen Arnold. "Things have changed drastically over the years, particularly with the coming of the digital age, which everybody swore would never happen."


The Carroll Camera Club will host their annual exhibition "Lens Flair" at the Carroll Arts Center starting Thursday and running until Feb. 28. The exhibition features photography from the group's 38 members and families, with subjects including nature photography, still-lifes, abstract images and landscapes.

The club will host a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday as an opportunity for the public to meet the photographers and take in their work.

Arnold said the annual exhibition is a great way for the photographers to show their work outside of their small photography community.

"The whole point of photography is to show your work to others," he said. "I don't have enough room in my house for all of them, so we head out here."

The photography club meets monthly to discuss its work and exhibit photographs. Arnold said over the years, the group has evolved with the changing times.

"I still remember bringing in my three-megapixel camera, and I told them how it was going to replace film one day," Arnold said. "They started coming after me with pitchforks. It's amazing how fast digital took over. We still have one or two members who still dabble in film, but on the whole, it's digital."

Richard Hull, a nature photographer from Manchester who will be exhibiting in the show, said he began taking pictures in the mid-'80s when he became involved with underwater photography. When he bought his first digital camera in 2005, he had trouble with the new technology, though soon embraced the tech wholeheartedly.

"I'm not a computer guy, so to learn computers and the programs was pretty tough," Hull said. "In my opinion, it really is superior a lot of the time, even though there are people who would hate to hear me say it."

Cathy Gilleland, of Finksburg, said her interest in photography is directly related to her passion for technology. Gilleland, who teaches a course in Photoshop image manipulation, said she first discovered the program 20 years ago and immediately took to it. She said learning Photoshop opened doors for her artistic expression.

"My parents were both painters, but I could never paint," Gilleland said. "I'm not into waiting and trying to find a perfect shot. A lot of these guys love the tech. For me, it's all about getting a shot I like enough to work on it and turn it into something I love."

Reach staff writer Jacob deNobel at 410-857-7890 or

If you go

What: "Lens Flair" reception

When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22


Where: Carroll Arts Center, 91 W. Main St., Westminster

For more information: Visit or call 410-848-7272.