APC Featured Photographer of the Month – Jennifer Lalla

Ajax Photography Club

Looking for some photographic inspiration? Well, look no further than the current members of the Ajax Photography Club. Each month a different APC member will be featured and we will provide a glimpse into their photographic life.

This month, the featured photographer is APC member, Jennifer Lalla.


Photography has always been an interest of mine, and has developed even more since digital cameras came on the market.  While I was growing up, my family always had a camera and taking photos was regular occurrence.

My first digital camera was a Lumix purchased back in 2010, which introduced me to selective focus – I was hooked!  My DSLR was purchased in 2014, but I was in the middle of my professional designation program and didn’t have time to learn to use it in any mode except auto.

In early 2016, my designation program was ending, so I decided to join the Ajax Photography Club to be around like-minded people and to learn more about photography.  Since joining the club, I have learned that there is so much more than landscape photography!  Learning new styles and skills has transformed the way I look at the world – now I see potential photos everywhere I look.

  • How would you describe your photographic style?
    I definitely fall under the “work in progress” level of photography and am still defining my style.  Currently I would describe my style as Big – as in I like to take macro shots to make small things look big, and I love using my ultra wide-angle lens to take big photos of landscapes.  This will likely evolve as I continue to learn new skills and enjoy new techniques.
  • Which photographer is your biggest inspiration?
    This is a tough question.  I don’t follow a lot of photographers, but I do enjoy discovering those who present at the Ajax Photo Club meetings.  One of the more influential photographers for me has been Don Komarechka because he piqued my interest in macro photography enough that I bought a proper lens and gave up the extension tubes.
  • How long have you been interested in photography?
    I’ve been interested in photography since I was a teenager, but I would honestly say that it never really became a true interest until late 2014.  Having the proper equipment makes a big difference.
  • What was your first camera?
    My first camera was a little point and shoot 35 mm that I received as a Christmas gift in my early teens.  I spent a lot of money buying and developing film.
  • What is your dream photo trip?
    I have two dream photo trips that I would like to take – New Zealand and Africa.  However, I would also love to re-visit some previous destinations and re-take photos with my new skills.  Sometimes I look back at photos and think “if only I had used this setting, or framed the shot in this way”.

You can view more of Jennifer’s work on our Meetup site HERE

APC Featured Photographer of the Month – Michelle Cleland

Ajax Photography Club

Looking for some photographic inspiration? Well, look no further than the current members of the Ajax Photography Club. Each month a different APC member will be featured and we will provide a glimpse into their photographic life.

This month, the featured photographer is APC member, Michelle Cleland.


Last year I made an important decision to join the Ajax Photography Club. Becoming a member of this group has had such a positive impact on my photography in many ways. I have enjoyed learning about many different styles of photography from so many of the talented members. The speakers at our monthly meetings have been so inspirational and the weekly educational sessions have been outstanding. I have a deeper understanding of exposure techniques, composition, and developing my own photographic style.

I am a nurse and I currently work part-time in an intensive care unit. My other love is teaching. Twenty years ago I started a nursing education company and it is still going strong. I have a passion for teaching and I love learning and sharing what I have learned with others.

This year my two passions of teaching and photography came together for the first time. I was asked by the APC executive to facilitate a class on landscape photography. I had so much fun sharing what I have learned over the years of chasing the sun’s golden hour in an attempt to take that perfect landscape image. I have not achieved the perfect image yet but I have had lots of fun trying.

Photography is my meditation. It forces me to slow down and focus on what is literally in front of me. When I can become quiet in the moment my creative side can come out and play. I begin to see the scene in a new way. This allows me to capture images in ways that I might not have taken if I had not taken the time to slow down and be present in the moment. Photography has been great therapy for me. It heals my soul.

  • How would you describe your photographic style?
    If I could sum up my style in one statement I would say “I am drawn to capturing the beauty of this world.” This could be a beautiful sunset, a grand landscape, a waterfall, a beautiful animal or a small flower. I enjoy both capturing the moment with my camera as well as enhancing the beauty of the image with post processing methods. Looking at my portfolio I see that I have mostly landscape images with a few pictures of animals from the zoo included in the group. I post process my images by adding contrast and enhancing the colour of the scene. I like images that are bright, bold and colourful.
  • Which photographer is your biggest inspiration?
    Ansel Adams is, of course, a master of masters in the field of landscape photography. His tremendous eye for composition in the natural world is inspiring. For more contemporary inspiration I use Instagram for daily motivation. My Instagram feed is filled with many talented photographers that artfully capture beauty in nature. My two favourite Instagram photographers are Johan Lolos (@johanlolos) from Belgium and Argen Elezi (@argenel) from Toronto. APC was very lucky to have Argen come speak to us about his photography at our October meeting. His style of photography really speaks to me.
  • How long have you been interested in photography?
    I purchased my first point and shoot digital camera in 2004. I wanted to capture some memories on our first big trip to Hawaii. I am so grateful that my first opportunity to take pictures happened to be in one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is hard not to take a good picture in Hawaii. The beaches, palm trees, volcanoes, luscious vegetation and beautiful sunsets were awe-inspiring and I could not stop trying to capture it all with my camera. I was hooked.
  • What was your first camera?
    My first DSLR was a Nikon D90. I was at first intimidated with all of the functions of the camera. I initially stayed in automatic mode on the camera for more than a year until I felt a little more adventurous. I studied photography books and videos and eventually the technical side of photography began to sink in. I became more willing to take risks and learn new things.
  • What is your dream photo trip?
    I would love to travel to Africa to go on a safari. To capture many of the animals in their natural habitats would be a dream come true for me. I have travelled and photographed all across Canada from the east to the west coasts. To complete the experience I would like to travel to northern Canada and photograph the northern lights.

You can view more of Michelle’s work at https://500px.com/michellecleland and https://pictureserenity.smugmug.com/Art-Photos.

APC Featured Photographer of the Month – Mara Holdenried

Ajax Photography Club

With the start of the new APC season in full swing, we are excited for the return of our Featured Photographer of the Month.

Looking for some photographic inspiration? Well, look no further than the current members of the Ajax Photography Club. Each month a different APC member will be featured and we will provide a glimpse into their photographic life.

This month, the featured photographer is APC member, Mara Holdenried.


Memories of my father always include a camera and photographs. He photographed/documented our family’s life in Latvia, Germany and Canada. I remember him being a member of a camera club in Niagara Falls. His joy in sharing photos and his passion for learning has made a powerful impression on my life. I have inherited that bug for documenting life…. my family’s and my organization, NYAD.

I studied commercial art at OCA (OCAD now) and photography classes were part of the courses. I remember wandering the streets of Toronto… photographing scenes and people, developing film and printing b&w photos. On graduation in 1969, my first job was at a photographer’s studio. A number of years later I achieved a diploma in Early Childhood Education and am still working at NYAD (Not Your Average Daycare) at this time. Since 1979, I have use my photographic abilities to document the children, the teachers and activities taking place in our child care centres. For family and friends I have created photographic books and DVDs of travels and happy times throughout the years.

Joining the Ajax Photography Club has given me the opportunity to learn, to share, and given me the incentive to get out and take photographs of the subjects I love and challenge me… birds and animals.


  • How would you describe your photographic style?
    Through my photography style, I try to tell a story. This is always not through just one photo but through a series of photos, a few or more.
  • Which photographer is your biggest inspiration?
    I loved the portraits of Karsh, the landscapes of Ansel Adams and of course the works of Annie Leibovitz. My library is filled with many photographic books of horses and African animals taken by so many fantastic photographers.
  • How long have you been interested in photography?
    Photography followed naturally on my love for drawing and writing in my younger years. Now, while still working, the camera and nature are my passion and challenge.
  • What was your first camera?
    My first camera, which I still have, is a little Baby Brownie Special. At OCA I had a Mamiya film camera.
  • What is your dream photo trip?
    I have travelled through many parts of beautiful Canada, a little of USA and Europe but my dream trip would be to get back to Africa. I was in Kenya & Tanzania in 2006 and South Africa in 2011. Since childhood Africa has always called to me. I am not sure where I would go now. Several countries call to me and the big cats.

You can view more of Mara’s work on our Meetup site.

Upcoming APC workshops and classes

APC - Meetup

The APC continues to provided great educational and creative workshops/events to take your photography to the next level. The following is a list of upcoming classes available to our APC members.

For more info or to RSVP, please click visit the corresponding links below. All links will direct you to our members only Meetup site .

APC Class: Creative Landscape Photography with Michelle


Rotary Park Pavilion
177 Lake Driveway West, Ajax, ON



This introductory course is designed to improve your skills as a landscape photographer.


This course will explore the world of landscape photography. We will review recommended gear and camera settings to improve our landscape images. We will start with reviewing some basic techniques and then discuss how to handle some special landscape challenges. 


• Camera gear for the landscape photographer
• Common camera settings
• How to choose a location
• Using a polarizing filter
• Shooting panoramas
• Using a neutral density filter
• Composition tips
• Bracketing for increased tonal range
• Special considerations
o Waterfalls
o Mountains
o Snow
o Beach
o Lakes
o Sunny day
o Cloudy day


•  Camera Basics: Participants should be comfortable with the functions of the camera.

• Exposure &  Composition : Participants should have basic knowledge of the Exposure Triangle and Landscape Composition

• EQUIPMENT NEEDED:  Camera (DSLR, Mirrorless or Point and Shoot), Tripod, Shutter Release (if not you can use your 2sec self timer), Filters (Circular Polarizer or Graduated optional), Fresh Batteries and Memory Cards.

• With time permitting we will spend more time on Composition, Trouble shooting, Lenses,  Where to focus?  Hyper-focal distance, Tips and Tricks

APC Class: Creative Landscape HDR & Panoramic Photography Capture & Post

TUESDAY OCTOBER 10TH, 2017 – 6:45 PM

Audley Recreation Centre 
1955 Audley Rd, Ajax, ON, Pickering, ON


Learning How to Capture and Create Basic HDR and Panoramic Landscapes:


Objective: To understand how to expose and create interesting and colourful landscape images,  in camera and in the digital darkroom using Lightroom.

Outline:  Concept, Capture and Create

• Understanding the principles and concepts of High Dynamic Range and Panoramic imaging

• Learning to set and take Bracketing images with Camera

• Learning to expose multiple images in a horizontal plane (and vertical) using a tripod

• Importing images into Lightroom

• Using Lightroom to compile bracketed images into HDR composite images

• Using Lightroom to combine multi-planar imagines into one stitched panoramic image

• Editing these images in Lightroom, ( Photomatix & Aurora HDR)

• Looking at Masters,  Trey Radcliffe – HDR, Lois Conner – panoramic photos,   Ansel Adams,  and Edward Weston

Suggested Prerequisites: Creative Landscape Class, Comfortable with using camera features such as bracketing, Basic Composition, General knowledge of Lightroom

Equipment:  Camera (DSLR, Mirrorless, Point and Shoot)  Tripod, Shutter Release, Memory Cards and fresh Batteries,  Pen and Paper,  Laptops if you have with Lightroom installed

You can download a 30 day trail version of Lightroom from Adobe.com.

We will go for a short walk and practice a few HDR shots, and Panoramic captures, for those that do not have laptops are welcome to follow along with others and take notes.

APC September Meeting – New season and we welcome back, Michael Willems.

The start of the 2017/2018 APC season is just around the corner, and we are excited to have one of our favourite presenters back to kick off the new season. Michael Willems will be presenting his topic, “DEVELOPING YOUR STYLE”

Tuesday, SEPTEMBER 26th, 2017 at 7:00 PM
Ajax Community Centre – HMS Room
75 Centennial Rd., Ajax, ON
Doors open at 6:30 PM

Michael will be discussing the following;

BASICS: Why style? What is behind your style? Who else has a recognizable style? Being Recognizable. Elements of style

CREATING YOUR STYLE: Knowing the basics. Breaking the rules. Can you choose your style? Defining your style. Refining your style.

AND THEN FINALLY… Squaring the circle: Style, development, and change.

If you’ve ever seen one of Michael’s presentations, you know this is one you don’t want to miss out on.

Please note: Membership signup and renewals will also take place before our guest speaker, so be sure to arrive early.

For more info on Michael’s photography please visit his website at www.michaelwillems.ca

APC members can RSVP to this meeting via our members only Meetup site HERE

Please note: There is a $10.00 guest fee for all non members attending this event.

(Volunteers to help clean up after the meeting is greatly appreciated)

APC Featured Photographer of the Month – Highlights

Ajax Photography Club

Looking for some photographic inspiration? Well, look no further than the current members of the Ajax Photography Club. Each month a different APC member is featured and we will provide a glimpse into their photographic life. This month, we decided to take a look back at all the great images shared by some of our members. Visit the link below to be inspired.


Note: The featured photographer of the month returns in September. Have a safe summer and don’t forget your camera!


APC May / June Newsletter

The May / June newsletter is now available for download. It has everything you need to keep you up to date on the APC season news and events.
You can download the newsletter from the link below. Feel free to share it with anyone interested.

APC May / June Newsletter PDF

The APC would like to thank newsletter editor, Laurie Taylor and everyone who contributed for their great work.