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The View through the Lens

The Associated Photography of Lake Oconee Club

By George Dissmeyer

The Associated Photography of Lake Oconee Club, locally known as APLO, has served the Georgia Lake Country for 13 years. The club is open to anyone interested in photography.

The membership includes novice, serious amateur, semi-professional and professional photographers, as well as artists. They use a variety of cameras: point and shoot, smart phones, and advanced digital cameras. The club provides its members the opportunity to interact with other photographers, to present their photography, and to learn or improve photography skills.

In 2009, I looked for a photography club in the area but none existed. Fortunately, I found a few people interested in forming a club: Antonio Garcia and Rick Spors. Soon, Jane and Russ Cartmill joined the effort. This team developed the club’s basic purposes and organization. Initially, the membership was eight. The first meeting was February, 2010.

During the COVID pandemic, the Athens, Atlanta and Macon clubs were unable to continue meeting. APLO remained active by using our club website, so our club gained members from those former clubs. In addition to our local members, we have folks from Covington, Macon, Milledgeville, Oxford, Watkinsville, and Washington, Georgia. The active membership varies between 30 to 40 photographers. APLO is now a regional club.

Before our APLO meetings, there is a social time from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. The social time provides the opportunity for members to interact with other photographers and get help from more experienced photographers. Our regular meetings start at 7:00 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m. APLO meets the fourth Thursday of each month (except in November, it is the third). In place of our December meeting, the club has a Christmas Party.

For each month’s program, the speakers alternate between outside photographers (often professionals) and members. Occasionally, the speaker will display their printed photos on canvas, glass, metal, acrylic and wood. There are monthly photo assignments, with each member sharing their photos at the next club meeting. We have photography rambles and social activities. A monthly newsletter keeps the members up to date on all activities, plus photography tips.

Our programs are often instructive, ranging from basic camera settings, composition, macro photography, photographing children, lighting for portraits, landscapes, etc.

For example, Jim and Roxy Stone, of Tytan Pictures, taught the lighting basics for portrait photography. Jim provided the lighting and a couple of models for the club to shoot portraits.

Last fall, we had a program showing how three different exposures can be blended together to reveal more detail and color in an image. The process is called High Dynamic Range. This example, above, is an HDR photo of a sunset over Rock Eagle Lake.

The local Dual Vision project combines photography with art. The club provides a wide variety of photography for the Artisans Village Art Guild members to select and use to create art. Pictured above, Debbie Payne is exploring some of the available photos.

Above is an example of one of the Dual Vision projects. Artist Jim Barton painted this Great Egret from one of my photos.

The club has a wide range of monthly assignments, for example, “Birds.” Each member was asked to submit two bird photos to be discussed in the next meeting. We learn a lot by viewing and discussing these images.

Cherry Leverette captured this beautiful flock of blue birds in her bird bath. From the photo, we learned the need for a good story and composition.

The club takes group field trips, called “Rambles.” Over the past few years, our rambles included Ocmulgee Indian Celebration in Macon, Atlanta Botanical Gardens, St. Joseph Catholic Church in Macon, Vince Dooley’s Gardens, and George L. Smith State Park. Our most recent ramble was to historical churches in Hancock and Taliaferro counties.

Eight members went on the church ramble. David Waters captured two members of our group photographing Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church in Hancock County.

If you love photography and have a desire to learn more, you are invited to attend a meeting or check us out at There you will find our newsletters, articles and other information. The annual dues are $25 per member, with the money used to maintain our equipment and to pay for our website. For further information, contact us by email at

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Published in the January-February 2023 issue of Lakelife magazine. May not be reproduced or copied without permission from the publisher.


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