Bloomington-raised poet, photographer talks Midwest stories for TEDx

Is ‘flyover country’ an appropriate moniker for the Midwestern U.S., or other overlooked places in the world? Through photography & poetry, this talk explores that question through inspection of the overlooked or the avoided: rust; thunderstorms; work; everyday people doing everyday things; politics; social class; et cetera.

A lifelong Midwesterner, Justin Hamm is the author of four poetry collections, two poetry chapbooks, and a book of photographs. His most recent book is Drinking Guinness With the Dead: Poems 2007-2021 (Spartan Press 2022) . . .

BLOOMINGTON — Most Midwesterners, like Justin Hamm, can say they once had childhood dreams of leaving their hometowns for somewhere “things are really happening.”

Now 42, Hamm is speaking about how he changed his perspective on life in the Midwest through the power of poetry and lens of a camera. The 1998 graduate of Normal West Community High School was featured in a TEDxOshkosh talk published Wednesday on YouTube, titled, “The American Midwest: A Story in Poems & Photographs.”

Bloomington-native Justin Hamm, in Mexico, Missouri, holds a stack of his poetry books in this provided photo from 2022. He was recently featured in a TEDxOshkosh talk.

Hamm, who mainly grew up in Bloomington, theorized before listeners in November 2022 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, that “there really is no such place as nowhere.

Everywhere is somewhere, and everywhere has a story to (it) we can uncover if you learn to use the poet’s or the photographer’s eye.”

Pushing back against negative stereotypes about the region, like the “flyover country” label, he said the Midwest has kept him artistically busy and interested. Some of the prose recited by Hamm told of the beauty of a rust, “the mysteries of barn wood” and forgetting his jockstrap for a double-header baseball game.

Read this Wednesday, June 10, 1998 file story covering a Normal West High School baseball game against Olney High School, including quotes by then-catcher Justin Hamm.

The former catcher for the Normal Wildcats chanted verses of “Until Death Do Us Part,” as photo slides showing the exterior of Keller’s Iron Skillet & Catering in Bloomington were displayed. He drew parallels in his poem “Rust — Or Perhaps Fine Art” between decay and impressionist painting.

In a Friday interview with The Pantagraph, he said he tries to take photographs that would make good poems: “Quiet little scenes that illustrate something about the region.”

Watch now: Normal West student, ‘train fanatic’ publishes book in ‘Images of Rail’ series

“Experience another life.”

Hamm explained the title of his latest poetry book, “Drinking Guinness with the Dead.” Drawing from three other previously released books, it was released in March 2022 by Spartan Press, and contains material dated between 2007 and 2021. Hamm said it also has a “book’s worth” of new poems to go with it.

He said one meaning of the title refers to having a few beverages before revising older material. It was weird reading back in time, and he didn’t seem to care or relate to it at first. But Hamm said he didn’t want that to be the case.

He said going back also made him realize he wasn’t doing enough to publicize that work.

Reflecting on his piece titled “A real team effort,” he said he hoped to capture awfully embarrassing moments of adolescence and bring them to life. Hamm said many have told him they can relate.

Poet-photographer and former Bloomington resident Justin Hamm is shown in this 2021 self-portrait.

“They get to experience another life for a while,” he said.

That teleportation also extends to his photography work. Showing stills of rusted-out cars, he said countless people have told them that model was the first they owned.

At another poetry reading and photography showing, Hamm said two farmers lectured him about why a particular style of corn crib was built in Central Illinois but not in South Dakota, because of the immigrants who settled in those regions.

Shown in this 2019 photo provided by poet and photographer Justin Hamm, formerly of Bloomington, is a Central Illinois barn.

See with different eyes

Hamm said he never left the Midwest. He said he got married and went to school in the region, and moved to Mexico, Missouri, where he currently works as a librarian for Eugene Fields Elementary School. He’s a husband to his wife Mel Hamm, and father to two daughters: Abbey, 13, and 9-year-old Sophie Hamm.

He attended MacMurray College in Jacksonville to play baseball, also where he met his wife, and said he got more involved in the English department after hurting his arm. Hamm also explored fiction writing, but said he knew he “was always a poet at heart.”

Tucker drew on Bloomington-Normal ties for his science fiction, mysteries

Coming back to poetry over time, he said he found success. He did his masters of fine arts degree at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and followed another Bloomington native who was coaching wrestling in Mexico, Missouri.

Knowing his best friend “Martin” would be there and his wife liked the school district, he said it was a good landing destination. Hamm said they haven’t found any reason to relocate since they moved there in 2005.

Hamm also edited his startup literary magazine, Museum of Americana, for 10 years. Then in 2019, his poem “Goodbye, Sancho Panza“ was studied by 50,000 students worldwide through the World Scholar’s Cup curriculum.

Bloomington couple hope book, school visits improve birthmark awareness

Around 2009, Hamm said his mother died and he had his first child. That’s when he said he realized his roots are in the Midwest, and leaving was not a certainty. Hamm said he thought he’d better start trying to see things with different eyes.

“Everything that happens in this region is a microcosm of the biggest conflicts and struggles, and also the most beautiful things in the world,” he said.

He said these experiences teach us lessons in human psychology, social interactions and the dichotomy of rural versus urban. There are many different perspectives to view through stories and images, he said, like immigrant experiences and sights of beautiful landscapes.

“When I started to stop and pay attention, I realized how deep that history really is,” said Hamm.

To keep up with Hamm, and read or purchase his work, go to

Contact Brendan Denison at (309) 820-3238. Follow Brendan Denison on Twitter: @BrendanDenison

Jaya Hunn uses passion for plant and animal conservation to win 2022 Landcare Junior photography competition

Jaya Hunn was at home sick when he learned his picture of a sundew plant had won a national photography competition hosted by Landcare Australia.

The 11-year-old Canberra boy’s passion for conservation and plant life was recognised for the image of the plant glistening with dew at Umbagong District Park in Canberra’s north.

It was one of two national winners in Landcare Junior’s “What’s in your backyard?” 2022 photography competition.

“Sticky sundews” by Jaya Hunn won the 2022 Landcare Junior “What’s in your backyard?” photography competition.(Supplied: Jaya Hunn)

“[A sundew] is a carnivorous plant that traps flies and insects,” Jaya said.

“They smell the sweet smell of the tips of the tentacles, and when the flies land on them they get stuck there and digested by the plant.

“I like them because other plants tend to move not at all while carnivorous plants have some of the highest plant move speed of all the plants.”

He said it was very exciting to find out his photo had won the national prize and was a personal favourite of celebrity judge Costa Georgiadis, especially since Jaya hadn’t even set out to enter the contest.

“I’ve been doing some land care down the Umbagong Park with Landcare group and then I just took this photo of a sundew because we found out when we were weeding,” he said.

“Then when I heard about the competition, I decided to enter it.”

‘No conservation, no plants, no life’

Jaya’s mother Di Hunn said her family have always loved being in the garden, but their love of tending to the great outdoors really took off during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Di Hunn says she and Jaya became more involved in local conservation during lockdown.(ABC News: Matt Roberts)

“With the lockdown, and the schools being shut in particularly, we were just so lucky to have this local reserve,” she said.

“We were really keen to start helping look after this lovely place, so we started going to Landcare.

“Rosemary, who leads it, has been so encouraging of Jaya. She was the one that suggested he started taking photos for the group.”

Di and Jaya got involved with the Umbagong Landcare Group in Latham and began learning more about their local plants and animals from other members.

Jaya took to discovering more about his natural surrounds and now he is passionate about conservation in Canberra and beyond.

“No conservation, no plants, no life,” he said.

“That’s basically the end for humankind so you have to keep every tiny bit of natural parks clean and safe, and that’s basically contributing to the life of all mankind.”

Nurturing the land ‘from the word go’

Jaya is hopeful the notoriety from winning the photography contest could help him do more for Landcare’s conservation effort.

“I want to maybe make a website, starting small and maybe ending up in protests to help nature survive,” he said.

“I want to take the national acknowledgement – a lot of people know me now – and try to make lots of people go into Landcare to make national parks and nature reserves a bit more beautiful.

“They’ve got rubbish all over them and the Landcare groups help to get rid of some of the rubbish.”

Rosemary Blemmings says many young people are enthusiastic about nature conservation.(ABC News: Peter Lusted)

Rosemary Blemmings has volunteered with Landcare for about 30 years and said Jaya’s enthusiasm isn’t uncommon for someone his age.

“Young people have always been interested because they’re at a level where they can see these things,” she said.

“The trick of course is how to send over the message of how to treat other species.”

Rosemary said while more people have become more conscious of nature protection, the group’s work is far from done and could even use more pairs of hands.

“Just putting the suburbs in has done enormous damage to the habitats of animals and plants, and to the shape of the land,” she said.

“It’s important to have [land care groups] nurturing them right from the word go.”

‘Photography Passion Helps Understanding Western Tragopan H…

(MENAFN- IANS) By Vishal Gulati

Kullu (Himachal Pradesh), Jan 11 (IANS) For him wildlife photography in the western Himalayas is a passion that helped understanding the habitat of the brilliantly coloured western tragopan, an elusive bird listed in the Red Data Book of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a compendium of species facing extinction.

He’s Vinay Kumar Singh, posted in the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as a forest guard.

His two extensive documentaries on western tragopans shot in the GHNP are assisting park authorities and scientists in determining where this species is found, how they interact with their surroundings and potential threats to them.

‘The documentation can help researchers to improve knowledge about this elusive species that is hard to see as they reside in the higher elevations of the Himalayas,’ Kumar, who loves filming wild animals while performing the duty, told IANS.

He trekked rugged and inaccessible areas of the Sainj Valley several times by remaining separated from home and family for weeks for wildlife photography.

One of his documentaries, ‘Story of the Western Tragopan’, was made to jury selection last month in the Nature in Focus Films Award under the Emerging Talent (Natural History) category.

Kumar said he was getting the chance to visit the Sainj Valley, the habitat of the western tragopan, and some unexplored areas of the GHNP continuously for the past few years.

‘During my duty, I got the opportunity to come across some rare creatures. Some of them I manage to capture on my camera.’

The park, known for its significant size of 1,171 sq. km, is untouched by a road network and has four valleys — Tirthan, Sainj, Jiwa Nal and Parvati.

For him, seeing them in their natural habitat is a life-time experience.

‘Due to extreme tough topography, it is not easy to spot the wildlife in nature as the habitat of some of the mammals is high rocky cliffs, while some are found in dense forests. I keep on trekking in the interiors of the GHNP along with Khem Raj, who lives in the eco-zone of the national park and has interest in seeing the wildlife in forests. In this way, together we were able to spot many species in the GHNP,’ an elated Kumar told IANS.

Both Kumar and Khem Raj have photographed about 150 of the 209 bird species found in the GHNP.

The bird that attracted their attention most was the western tragopan, which was the least studied bird in the world owing to the tough topography of its habitat and being a shy bird.

Kumar said spotting the western tragopan in nature is not easy as its population is naturally less compared to other bird species.

‘You can see Himalayan monal flying here and there. Other pheasant species like koklass, white-crested kalij and cheer can also be heard and seen in the forest, but not the western tragopan that lives in a special habitat compared to all these. We have to locate special places where it lives,’ he said.

Human disturbances during the western tragopan breeding season are one of the main threats to the western tragopan, identified by their black plumage with white spots and a colourful head.

In the local language, the western tragopan is called Jujurana or king of birds. It is the state bird of Himachal Pradesh and belongs to the family Phasianidae, which also includes the peafowl and the red jungle fowl.

Wildlife experts attribute the downfall of the western tragopan to habitat degradation, hunting and extensive grazing of the forest by livestock.

The Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Sarahan in Shimla district, and the Great Himalayan National Park are the potential western tragopan habitats.

According to the 2022 survey conducted by the national park authorities, the population of the western tragopan is on the rise.

They are annually surveying the GHNP during its breeding season (April-May).

It inhabits upper temperate forests between 2,400 and 3,600 m during summer, and in winter, dense coniferous and broad-leaved forest between 2,000 to 2,800 m elevations.

Call counts and line transects are used to assess current abundances and gather information on the characteristics of this species in the wild. Tragopan males began their breeding calls in late April and continued through May.

Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Nishant Mandhotra, who is in-charge of GHNP, told IANS that the presence of the western tragopan could now be felt more clearly in the national park with its numbers multiplying, and so has its sightings.

He said the density of the western tragopan in the park was four birds per station in last year’s census. Eighteen stations in the Tirthan, Sainj and Jiwa Nal ranges were shortlisted for recording call counts.

The GHNP, notified in 1999, is home to 209 bird species.

One of the richest biodiversity sites in the western Himalayas, the park supports the snow leopard, the Tibetan wolf, the Himalayan brown and black bear, the Himalayan blue sheep, the Asiatic ibex, the red fox, the weasel and the yellow throated marten.

The small mammals include the grey shrew, a small mouse-like mammal with a long snout, royal mountain vole, Indian pika, giant Indian flying squirrel, porcupine and the Himalayan palm civet, besides nine amphibians and 125 insects.

(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at )



$31+ Billion Worldwide Computational Photography Industry

Dublin, Jan. 06, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The “Computational Photography Global Market Report 2022” report has been added to’s offering.

This report provides the strategists, marketers and senior management with the critical information they need to assess the global computational photography market.

This report focuses on computational photography market which is experiencing strong growth. The report gives a guide to the computational photography market which will be shaping and changing our lives over the next ten years and beyond, including the markets response to the challenge of the global pandemic.

The global computational photography market is expected to grow from $10.97 billion in 2021 to $13.4 billion in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.1%. The computational photography market is expected to grow to $31.93 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 24.2%.

Reasons to Purchase

  • Gain a truly global perspective with the most comprehensive report available on this market covering 12+ geographies.
  • Understand how the market is being affected by the coronavirus and how it is likely to emerge and grow as the impact of the virus abates.
  • Create regional and country strategies on the basis of local data and analysis.
  • Identify growth segments for investment.
  • Outperform competitors using forecast data and the drivers and trends shaping the market.
  • Understand customers based on the latest market research findings.
  • Benchmark performance against key competitors.
  • Utilize the relationships between key data sets for superior strategizing.
  • Suitable for supporting your internal and external presentations with reliable high quality data and analysis

Major players in the computational photography market are Apple, Light, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, Adobe, Nikon, Sony Corporation, LG Corp, Canon, Algolux, Almalence Inc, HTC, Xperi Corporation, Lytro, Pelican, Movidius, Oppo, Intel, Corephotonics LTD, Leica Camera AG, and Raytrix.

The computational photography market consists of sales of computational photography by entities (organizations, sole traders, and partnerships) that refer to the use of digital software to enhance the photos clicked by the camera.

Computational photography is used in digital cameras, particularly in smartphones by automating settings to make for better shooting abilities. Computational photography helps in improving the clarity of images by reducing motion blur and adding simulated depth of field, improving color, light range, and contrast by using image processing algorithms.

The main types of computational photography are single- and dual-lens cameras, 16- lens cameras, and other types. The single-lens camera uses a prism system and a mirror that allows the photographer to see through the lens and know what exactly is being captured whereas a dual-lens camera offers two sensors that help in capturing high-quality pictures as well as adds more elements.

Computational photography is offered in camera modules and software in smartphone cameras, standalone cameras, and machine vision cameras that have various applications such as 3d imaging, augmented reality imaging, virtual reality imaging, mixed reality imaging, digital imaging, other applications.

North America was the largest region in the computational photography market in 2021. Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing region in the forecast period. The regions covered in the computational photography market report are Asia-Pacific, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, South America, Middle East, and Africa.

The growth of the smartphone market is expected to propel the growth of the computational photography market in the forecast period. Computational photography is increasing due to rapid improvements in the smartphone cameras such as photo-taking capabilities using 3D technology sensors for high quality.

According to the India Brand Equity Foundation blog (IBEF), an Indian Government export promotion agency, as per the National Electronics Policy (NEP), the domestic smartphones market is estimated to reach $ 80 billion by 2025-26, from $ 25.1 billion in 2018-19. Therefore, the growth of the smartphone market will drive the growth of the computational photography market.

Technological advancements are shaping the computational photography market. Technological advancements are being made in the computational photography market to sustain the competition as this market is driven by innovation.

For instance, in 2020, Qualcomm Technologies, a subsidiary of Qualcomm based in the US that creates semiconductors, software, and services related to wireless technology., launched Qualcomm QCS610 and Qualcomm QCS410 system-on-chips. These QCS610 and QCS410 are unique as they are designed to bring premium camera technology that includes powerful artificial intelligence and machine learning into mid-tier camera segments.

The countries covered in the computational photography market report are Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, South Korea, UK, USA.

Report Attribute Details
No. of Pages 175
Forecast Period 2022 – 2026
Estimated Market Value (USD) in 2022 $13.4 billion
Forecasted Market Value (USD) by 2026 $31.93 billion
Compound Annual Growth Rate 24.2%
Regions Covered Global

Key Topics Covered:

1. Executive Summary

2. Computational Photography Market Characteristics

3. Computational Photography Market Trends And Strategies

4. Impact Of COVID-19 On Computational Photography

5. Computational Photography Market Size And Growth
5.1. Global Computational Photography Historic Market, 2016-2021, $ Billion
5.1.1. Drivers Of The Market
5.1.2. Restraints On The Market
5.2. Global Computational Photography Forecast Market, 2021-2026F, 2031F, $ Billion
5.2.1. Drivers Of The Market
5.2.2. Restraints On the Market

6. Computational Photography Market Segmentation
6.1. Global Computational Photography Market, Segmentation By Type, Historic and Forecast, 2016-2021, 2021-2026F, 2031F, $ Billion

  • Single And Dual Lens Camera
  • 16 Lens Camera
  • Other Types

6.2. Global Computational Photography Market, Segmentation By Offering, Historic and Forecast, 2016-2021, 2021-2026F, 2031F, $ Billion

6.3. Global Computational Photography Market, Segmentation By Product, Historic and Forecast, 2016-2021, 2021-2026F, 2031F, $ Billion

  • Smartphone Cameras
  • Standalone Cameras
  • Machine Vision Cameras

6.4. Global Computational Photography Market, Segmentation By Application, Historic and Forecast, 2016-2021, 2021-2026F, 2031F, $ Billion
3D Imaging

  • Augmented Reality Imaging
  • Virtual Reality Imaging
  • Mixed Reality Imaging
  • Digital Imaging
  • Other Applications

7. Computational Photography Market Regional And Country Analysis
7.1. Global Computational Photography Market, Split By Region, Historic and Forecast, 2016-2021, 2021-2026F, 2031F, $ Billion
7.2. Global Computational Photography Market, Split By Country, Historic and Forecast, 2016-2021, 2021-2026F, 2031F, $ Billion

For more information about this report visit

  • Global Computational Photography Market


Camera club meeting will feature astrophotography | Arts

To start off the new year the Land of Waterfalls Camera Club will present a program featuring “The Fundamentals of Astrophotography” at its monthly meeting Thursday, Jan. 19. Starting promptly at 7 p.m., “live” via Zoom, the evening will conclude with the popular Shoot & Show activity.

For thousands of years people on earth have gazed into the night sky with awe and with questions. They have tried to capture and record what they could see with the naked eye. The German 3,600-year-old Nebra Sky Disk shows the first known depiction of the cosmos on a disk.

Opportunities to see the cosmic phenomenon increased drastically with the invention of the telescope early in the 1600s. Galileo saw the potential for the telescope and improved it drastically. He was then able to make many observations which he recorded in text and sketches.

Appropriately, it was an astronomer who coined the term photography in 1839, when Johann Heinrich von Madler combined “photo” (from the Greek word for “light”) and “graphy” (“to write). In that same year the French photography pioneer Daguerre himself is believed to be the first person to take a photograph of the moon, using his daguerreotype process. A year later John William Draper, an American doctor and chemist, took his own daguerreotype of the moon. By that time both astronomers and photographers realized that they could capture and document images that had eluded star gazers for centuries.

In 1850 Draper collaborated with astronomer William Bond to produce a daguerreotype of the star Vega. Henry Draper’s 1880 photograph of the Orion Nebula was the first ever taken.

Then physicists Jean Bernard Leon Foucault and Armand Fizeau improved the process sufficiently to photograph the Sun in sufficient detail that sunspots could be seen for the first time.

 Over a century both telescopes and cameras continued to improve the science of documenting the heavens. Professional applications got bigger, better and more expensive. The science belonged to those with giant observatories and special cameras. But the amateur photographers and astronomers really got their first break with the more recent introduction of digital photography. The digital camera gear and the software processing created limitless possibilities for the amateur Astro Photographer.

Night photography isn’t the easiest genre to master. There are so many things to consider. On top of your usual composition and exposure, you have to deal with noise, shadow detail, preserving highlights and camera gear considerations for night lovers.

Being out alone in the dark isn’t for the faint-hearted, but astrophotographers have learned to handle any fear of the dark when conditions are favorable. Some night images take a lot of planning: full moon and milky way images with specific foreground, for example. Interestingly, there are very few photographers who specialize solely in astro photography. The majority are versatile and shoot various types of landscape images.

Astro Photographer James S. Mack’s presentation of “The Fundamentals of Astro Photography” will be geared to enlighten and entertain photographers of all levels of proficiency (beginner to experienced pro). With a lifetime interest in the sciences and nature, 34 years as a graphic artist, 50 years of photographic experience (which includes over 25 years of astro photography with digital equipment), he will pass on tips and other valuable information about what common equipment to use and how to use it.

Mack has six telescopes and is a member of the SCSG – Suncoast Stargazers, LGDSO – Local Group of Deepsky Observers and WAS – West Jersey Astronomical Society.

Following the astro photography program the fast paced “Shoot and Show” activity will showcase the latest photographic achievements of local members. It will be a good example of what local photographers can accomplish.

These open-to-the-public monthly meetings will be “live” on-line with Zoom until the health crisis subsides. Club members and guests are encouraged to sign in at least 10 minutes early (6:50 p.m.). Non-member guests are encouraged to go to for invitation and access information at least a day prior to the meeting.

The Land of Waterfalls Camera Club welcomes participation from those interested in becoming a photographer, to novices who need fundamental skills, to photographers who enjoy sharing with others, as well as experienced pros. No special equipment or software is necessary.

To offer more focused forums for small group participatory learning and sharing the club features two Special Interest Groups (SIGs). The Capture SIG concentrates on how to take the best picture and meets from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. on the third Monday of the month in the community room of the United Community Bank in Straus Park or by Zoom. Please consult the website for the latest schedules. The Post Processing SIG features the developing/control of the digital image into the final photograph and continues to meet via Zoom at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of the month.

For more information, visit the Land of Waterfalls Camera Club website at

North Augusta resident self publishes photography book | Community

Turning a hobby into a self-published book, North Augustan Bob Pyle took his camera to showcase the landscape of the Augusta area.

Pyle found his way to landscape photography in the 1970s. He decided to focus on his hobby and spent 13 years collecting images to share in his new book Georgialina Images, which features nature landmarks in North Augusta, Augusta and Aiken. 

“I kind of like having the idea of something to publish with your name on it, it’s kind of neat,” Pyle said.

Pyle photographed a variety of locations including Aiken’s Hopelands Gardens, Brick Pond Park in North Augusta and the Augusta River Canal in Georgia. Small paragraphs detail the history and impacts of the properties.

Pyle worked on the project for 18 months and published over 100 images from the region. He wanted to share some of the beauty with his loved ones.

“I think this will have mainly regional and local appeal,” he said. “What I am really trying to do is get the book out there and let people see it and enjoy it.”

The book can be purchased for $32 at four locations throughout the region: North Augusta Arts and Heritage Center, The Morris Museum of Art, Sacred Heart Cultural Center and Augusta Canal.

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Handpicked by our editor, as well as breaking news, business profiles, and government recaps from North Augusta.

Samantha Winn covers the cities of North Augusta and Augusta, with a focus on community oriented business and events. Follow her on Twitter: @samanthamwinn and on Facebook and Instagram: @swinnnews. 

Discovering the joy of photography in west Belfast

BUDDING photographers in west Belfast have displayed their work for the first time in public for a new exhibition.

In recent weeks, a course for beginners was taught at Springhill Community House with award-winning Irish News photographer Mal McCann.

Those taking part were able to increase their knowledge of photography using mobile phones to capture landscapes such as Black Mountain, Titanic Quarter and the Bog Meadows.

The results are now on display at Conway Mill Theatre, with more than 20 framed photographs lining the walls of the once derelict mill which has been revitalised as a hub for arts, crafts, education, social enterprise and cultural expression.

Springhill Community House coordinator Ciaran Cahill said: “The exhibition was the first time our photographers, as well as their family and friends, saw their masterpieces on display, and they were literally lost for words.

“This project wasn’t just about learning new photography skills, it was about bringing people together, sharing experiences and exploring the beauty of nature that we have around us.”

Established in 1972 by Dr Desmond Wilson, the People’s School at Springhill Community House has been dedicated to empowering the local community through education. Many of those attending over the years have had a negative experience within school settings which discouraged them from returning to education. Through offering classes and training in a relaxed setting, the project puts participants at ease and acts as a stepping stone to other service providers.

As well as gaining formal qualifications, those taking part also build their self-esteem and enhance their quality of life.

The photography course will run again in the new year, with those interested asked to call Springhill Community House on 028 90326722.

Center for photography at Woodstock gets $1.5M grant

KINGSTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW) will be the recipient of a $1.5 million Restore NY grant that will enable it to begin rehabilitation of its future home. Its new hub, according to a press release, will be the historic Van Slyke & Horton cigar factory.

CPW is a community-based and artist-oriented organization dedicated to illuminating contemporary culture and society through photography, a spokesperson for the center said in a written statement. In late 2021, after 45 years in Woodstock, the nonprofit moved to a small gallery in Kingston.

In its larger city, CPW has begun expanding its exhibitions, programming, workshops, and digital lab services. But this new vision entails occupying more space, hence its bid to purchase the cigar factory.

Constructed in 1907, the four-story, red-brick Van Slyke & Horton building is a 40,000-square-foot industrial space in Kingston’s Midtown Arts District. It has open-floor plans, 12-foot ceilings, and windows on all four sides, with unobstructed views of the Catskills.

In its Kingston home, CPW aims to build a new model for photography and visual art organization that is an anti-museum, anti-gentrification space. CPW will do this by meeting the needs of emerging artistic voices, and by effecting social change through innovative public events, engaging online media, stimulating courses and workshops, and provocative exhibitions and publications, according to the release.

Once renovated, the space at 25 Dederick Street will be used for exhibition galleries, a digital media lab, classrooms, community meeting rooms, staff offices, a film screening theater, and a state-of-the-art collection storage vault.

“The intended uses will create a significant cultural hub in an economically distressed area targeted for revitalization in the City’s Arts and Culture Master Plan,” said Anna Van Lenten, a spokesperson for the center. “The building is located close to Kingston City Hall and the Kingston High School, and one block away from the Empire State Trail and the newly redesigned Broadway-Grand Street intersection, a key part of the City of Kingston’s recent business corridor improvements.”

Tinian ‘Astro Dad’ captures the magic of the night sky | Lifestyle

Tinian’s skies are an astronomy lovers’ dream. With the island’s absence of light pollution, the night sky lights up with constellations and glimpses of majestic beauty.

Since 2020, astrophotographer Joshua Brazzle has refined the art of capturing photos of space.

Joshua Brazzle is shown with his wife, Mary Hocog-Brazzle, and their daughter, Ke’alohi Lani Brazzle.

Brazzle had been interested in astronomy since childhood, but he took his passion to the next level after stumbling upon YouTube videos about astrophotography, which morphed into his lockdown hobby when the pandemic prompted the community to stick closer to home.

To create his photographs, Brazzle uses an Orion 8-inch Newtonian reflector telescope, and sky view pro-mount using a DSLR camera.

The mount “tracks the rotation of Earth once you switch it on,” Brazzle explained.

Using the DSLR camera, which is screwed on to the telescope’s eyepiece, Brazzle takes numerous photos.

“So what you’re doing is pretty much taking faint light, that’s millions of light years away, and then you have to take so many exposures,” he said.

Starry Starry Night: Christmas sky twinkles with starry ornaments

“There’s a setting on the DSLR, usually you can take that first photo up to one second or longer, as long as you want it. The longer you take the photo, the more light you’re sucking in. For example, if you take 15 seconds of 300 photos, whatever object you’re taking a photo of, a galaxy or a nebula, or a star cluster, and then you go to your computer and edit it. It becomes clearer in detail because all of those photos are pushed into one,” he said.

He usually takes the photos from his house in Carolina Heights, but occasionally will bring his astrophotography set-up to another location for a better vantage point, or when the occasion of a lunar eclipse calls for it.

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Of the many stunning photographs that Brazzle’s produced, his personal favorite targets to capture are the Orion Nebula and Andromeda Galaxy.

“If it’s a really dark area, like where I live, you can actually see it (the Orion Nebula) with the naked eye,” Brazzle shared.

For budding astrophotographers, Brazzle recommends using what you have — he started out using his cell phone.

“There’s certain apps and … phones are now developed to where you can do long exposures through it. For example, the iPhone, I think iPhone 11 to 14, if it’s lowlight, it’ll have a delay on it and it’ll say three second, ten second pause. It’s a similar process to long exposure, it’s sucking in more light. You just need a simple tripod and an iPhone,” he said.

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He urges everyone to take time to do some stargazing in a dark place. To fully appreciate the wonders of our island skies, Brazzle recommends downloading an app like Stellarium, an astronomy app which helps users to identify and search for certain targets.

Brazzle hopes to begin selling his photographs by 2023, and stargazers can keep up with his work by following him on Instagram at @tinianfitastrodad.

Jammu Tourism hosts bird watching, photography meet to promote the Gharana Wetland

Jammu, Dec 16 (UNI) With a motive to promote the Gharana Wetland—situated close to Indo-Pak International Border, the Jammu Tourism on Friday hosted bird watching and photography competition at the site in Suchetgarh area here.

A group of over 100 participants was flagged off by Joint Director Tourism, Jammu

Sunaina Sharma the events organised by the Directorate of Tourism, Jammu under the active guidance of Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary, Tourism Department, J&K.

Sunaina Sharma while flagging off the group said that that the motive of organizing Bird Watching and photography Competition was to promote Gharana wetland, which is home to more than 150 species of bird like bar-headed geese, gadwalls, common teals etc and is also an eco tourism paradise among potential travel markets.

Abdul Jabbar, Deputy Director Tourism (Publicity and Adventure) and Neha Mahajan, Deputy Director Tourism (Planning) from TRC, Jammu were also present on the occasion.

Sunaina Sharma further said that many more promotional events are in the pipeline especially in border destinations like the Nowshera Folk Festival, Frozen Fiesta in Poonch, Winter Carnival Sanasar and Patnitop etc in the coming days.

During the visit Guldev Raj, Head M/S Himalayan Avian and various experts from Wildlife Department and other institutions explained the participants regarding the time of arrival/departure of the migratory birds, Food habits, suitable climatic conditions and their role in maintaining the ecological balance.

The participants in the Bird Watching and Photography Competition were Wildlife experts, Researchers of wildlife, Photographers, bloggers/vloggers and other stakeholders of Travel Trade.

Abdul Jabbar, DDT Jammu, informed all the participants that there is a dire need to conserve the migratory birds’ habitats in the interest of biodiversity. While we enjoy the pleasant sight of various species of migratory bird from Central Asia, the event shall also encourage tourism activities in the region, said Dheeraj, a participant.

Later in the evening a musical evening was held at Octroi Post, Suchetgarh.

The chief Guest of the function was Vivek Srivastav, Commandant,165 BN, BSF, Octroi Post Suchetgarh.

The vibrant performances of the musical bonanza included local dance forms like jagarna, Geetru etc.

The whole ambience was festive and patriotic as both the Jawans as well as visiting tourists danced to the beats of bollywood songs.

Also present in the occasion were Sheena Sahni, Assistant Director, Tourism Jammu, Pradeep Sharma, Assistant Commandant, BSF, Suchetgarh Octroi Post besides other stakeholders of the Tourism Department and prominent citizens of the area