Today was the last meeting of the Austin Photographic Society. For 8 years, my friend Alex has curated speakers for this monthly photographic meeting. 11 times a year (the November and December meetings were always combined) for 8 years. He’s only missed a few meetings during that time. Quite an accomplishment, especially in this age where things come and go so quickly. Heck he has probably outlasted many businesses, especially the startup variety.
There’s a companion Facebook group which now boasts 2000+ members, alas the meetings themselves only pulled in a small subset. That’s too bad, because the caliber of speakers he’s gotten over the years have been impressive, present company excluded (I gave a talk on HDR two years ago). Perhaps the bulk of the FaceBook members are only casual photographers, not really interested in the true craft of photography.
I’m saddened by ending of the group. But it was inevitable. Attendance has decreased over the years and the amount of time Alex spent on its organization, probably, no longer made sense. Alex and my photography friends talked about this. It was a labor of love for him, as it is for me with this blog. At some point, your enthusiasm dries up and continuing no longer makes sense. We live in busy times, with many competing priorities, after all. The thing is, the online community and social media, while valuable, is a poor substitute for meeting people in person.
The colorful photograph is from El Mercado, a Tex-Mex restaurant we frequented, after the meetings. There we continued talking to the guest speaker and our friends in a more informal setting. We concluded our last meeting tonight, over margaritas, chips and queso. A tasty Tex-Mex meal with good friends.
A big thank you to Alex for all his work on the Austin Photographic Society.
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