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Digital Photography Club members capture the world frame by frame

The art of photography is still worth mastering. And the Lakewood Ranch Digital Photography Club can help you do just that.

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 These days, it seems like everyone is a photographer. 

It used to be a painstaking art demanding an arcane knowledge of lenses, lighting and exposures. No instant gratification, either. Snapping the photo was merely the beginning of a long process. Developing film took time — not to mention the careful selection of which negative to print. 

Digital technology changed that. 

In the 1990s, it started with expensive point-and-shoot digital cameras with no film and no waiting. Over the years, the price tag on those cameras dropped. Then smartphones put a camera in nearly everybody’s pocket. 

Photography is cheap and crazy easy now. But that doesn’t mean that everyone snapping selfies is a true photographer. The art of photography is still worth mastering. And the Lakewood Ranch Digital Photography Club can help you do just that.

Since it was founded in 2003, the club has been open to photographers of all ages and skill levels. It offers a bounty of workshops, field trips, competitions, contests, critiques, feedback sessions and other events throughout the year. According to Jennifer Joy Walker, the club’s newly elected president, “We provide a wealth of opportunities for all photographers, from beginner to professional, and it is populated by a very generous group of enthusiasts who are eager to share what they know.”

Interested? The Lakewood Ranch Digital Photography Club meets on the third Wednesday of the month, via Zoom until further notice. Membership is $40 for a single membership; $60 for a couple. Residence in Lakewood Ranch is not required. For more information,


Jennifer Joy Walker

Jennifer Joy Walker’s first camera was a Pentax Spotmatic. The Vancouver native bought it when she was 15, before a school trip to Europe.  She’s been hooked ever since — on both photography and travel. Walker fondly remembers having “camera in hand” while her children were growing up and, these days, her husband and blended family of children and grandchildren give her “plenty of willing subjects.” Walker’s interest in sailing (she’s a member of the local Luffing Lassies women’s sunfish racing group) led to her role as official photographer for the 50th Annual Sunfish Worlds, an international event held at Sarasota’s Sailing Squadron. Walker joined the club in 2017 and has even taught a few courses.

  • Favorite cameras: Sony A7III and the Sony A6000.
  • Photographer heroes: “Greg Williams: I love his style and fashioned my photoshoot with Christine Alexander after one of his images. Foncie Pulice was a photographer in Vancouver who captured the life of the city from 1946 to 1979. Eyal Oren lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and takes gorgeous images of the picturesque town. Annie Griffiths is a photojournalist, and I love her book, ‘A Camera, Two Kids and a Camel,’ which describes her life as a National Geographic photographer.”
  • Secret to capturing action shots: “Shutter speed! For a sailboat race, I set my shutter to 1/1250 second. I want to freeze the splashes of water in the image.”
  • What’s next: “More documentary photography of people engaged in activities they care about, including work, volunteering and creating. I love to do portraits, especially family portraits, because I feel they are so precious. You are capturing a moment in time.”
  • Contact: [email protected]; 941-726-2331;


Reena Walkling

Reena Walkling bought her first “big” camera, a Nikon DSLR, in 2012 when she was 60, and “began viewing the world from another perspective.” She’s self-taught and continually learning the power of photography to capture reality and spark emotion. “I see man and nature at its best and worst,” Walkling says. “From my backyard to places across the seas, the world continues to amaze and delight me.”  Walkling joined the club in 2017. She lives in Lakewood Ranch and Rockport, Maine.

  • Favorite cameras: Nikon D850, Nikon Z 7II mirrorless, and iPhone 13 Pro.
  • Photographer heroes: Sean Bagshaw, Daniel Kordan and Michael Shainblum, “who all use nature, light and color in their stunning images.”
  • Special techniques to capture grand landscapes: “A tripod is an absolute necessity along with strong beautiful early morning or evening light.”
  • Post-production secrets: “Lightroom and Photoshop provide excellent tools for editing. Other programs, such as Topaz, NIK and Luminar software, provide additional tools in my editing process.”
  • Photographic secret she wishes she’d known from the start: “Being self-taught, I wish I’d have known all the techniques that I’ve learned in the last few years from other photographers and workshops. For example, I shot in JPEG format starting out, which is OK, but RAW provides higher quality of images, giving one more ability to tweak the final product.”
  • Why she loves photography: “It took many years to discover that capturing landscapes, and nature brought me the most joy. The solitary quietness of waiting for a sunrise or capturing the starry skies is most awe-inspiring.”
  • Contact: [email protected];


Susan Beausang

Susan Beausang’s photographic journey began when her company needed photos of fashionable headscarves for women and girls with medical hair loss. After that? “I’m constantly looking for new places, people, food, new colors — just about anything and everything appeals to me through my lens. Everything around me looks different when I start to see the world as a photographer. I love to study the light and the composition and see how I can tell the story through the lens. Everyday objects can be exciting when I think of them as capturing a moment in time. As the lens opens to capture an image, so do my eyes.” Beausang, who lives in University Park, has been a member of the club for six years and served as its president for two years. She was awarded the Florida Excellence in Photographic Arts (F.E.P.A.) honor in 2020, which recognizes outstanding achievements in the Florida Camera Club Council.

  • What she shoots with: A Nikon D850 and Nikon D500.
  • Photographer heroes: Dina Belenko and Gray Malin.
  • How she captures motion: “Motion photography requires a studio setting with proper lighting.” 
  • Why still-life? “I enjoy the process of creating the image in my mind and then accomplishing the finished product. Still-life photography is very time-consuming but very rewarding. Sometimes, I can imagine the photo for days before I get ready to photograph it. Once I am happy with the composition, I experiment with lighting. It’s a process of trial and error and patience.” 
  • Post-production secrets: “I use both Lightroom and Photoshop. I do try to get the image right in the camera to avoid spending too much editing time. I almost always shoot with a tether cord attached to my laptop so I can make adjustments in my set-up as I go along. Some of my creative images are a combination of layers.”
  • When she got her first camera: “I’m a late bloomer when it comes to my photography. I got my first DSLR camera about eight years ago. My mother was a serious photographer. I wish I had spent more time learning from her before I started taking pictures.”
  • Why photography? “Photography is a great creative outlet. I often think people feel you need fancy equipment to take photos. Cell phones have advanced so much in their camera capabilities that it’s a great way to see if you like photography before making a huge investment in a camera.”
  • Contact: 215-421-9668;


Dick Foster

Dick Foster got his first camera when he was 26. His initial interest was in black-and-white photography, which led him to “building a cramped darkroom in an apartment bathroom” so he could develop his own rolls of film. After retiring to Florida, Foster took up photography again. He focused initially on photographing birds because of the “awesome variety of big birds in the area.” Foster also enjoys landscape photography and, most recently, macro/close-up photography. He joined the Lakewood Ranch Digital Photography Club in 2017 and says that “club members have a wide range of knowledge that they generously share through classes, field trips, photo critiques, presentations and more.”

  • Favorite cameras: A Nikon D850 and Nikon Z7ii.
  • Photographer hero: Ansel Adams.
  • Secrets to capturing birds and other wildlife: “A good camera, a telephoto lens and lots of practice! Understand your camera settings so you can quickly change shutter speed, aperture, focus point and other settings quickly.”
  • What special techniques he uses in macro and close-up photography: “It’s best to use a true macro lens. To get your entire subject in focus it is often necessary to use focus stacking with your camera mounted on a tripod. I’ve recently started taking extreme macro photos (four to five times lifesize) of insects using a microscope object mounted on my camera.”
  • How far away was “Sylvester the Cheetah” in the photo in these pages? “He was a few feet away when posing for photos, but he was on a leash. Sylvester was a goodwill ambassador for the Elephant Camp near Victoria Falls, South Africa. Sadly, he died a few months after the photo was taken. “
  • Post-production secrets? “I shoot in RAW format and use Lightroom and Photoshop to edit. For both programs, I use add-in presets, profiles and panels to simplify the editing process.”
  • Photographic secret he wishes he’d known from the start: “Understanding the importance that composition plays in creating a photo with impact.”
  • Contact:


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