Jean Maure's photos display versatility

 ... a case of learning by watching the leader ...

from the SilverStringers

Jean's rock wall, wooden fence and greenery.

Jean Maure of Melrose is one of those almost-SilverStringers. She kind-of belongs, but is not really obligated. That is, she writes like a SilverStringer, she photographs like a SilverStringer, and she sometimes thinks like a SilverStringer.

The trouble is, like many modern seniors, she is a busy person -- busy with grandchildren, with projects here and there, writing -- and so it is hard to fit another program into her schedule.

Nature's own floral arrangement.

She also took part in a writing course produced by SilverStringer Jackie Wattenberg, who encouraged Jean to submit her "thesis" to the Stringers for publication. That was about a year ago, and her story ran in the Mirror, augmented by half a dozen photos from her scrapbook. She got an "A".

She also took part in a proposed series of lessons on photography, again at the Milano Senior Center, which never came about for lack of enough students. But from that one class, it was enough to provide the Stringers with new list of potential new members.

What happened was that Louise Fennell -- herself a relative newcomer on the Mirror staff -- initiated a photo group this past summer, opening enrollment to anyone who wished to participate. Jean joined us.

Her son's 5000-year old fossil.

Her camera is a simple Olympus automatic that does most everything for you -- except pay the bill for developing. It reads the light, sets the shutter speed and aperture, and even rolls the film to the next frame. It's one of the many good point-and-shoot cameras on the market today.

The difference is that project-leader, Louise Fennell, who has been shooting New England quite successfully for many years, set the pace for this informal class by being very selective where she pointed her Nikon 950 digital. She has an eye for beauty in color and line, a combination that brings her photos to a level of skill envied by many professionals.

And so Jean (along with half a dozen other class shooters) learned not only what to photograph, how to approach a scene, and then how to present it to her camera -- but how to see the potential for beauty in the nature that surrounds us.

And Louise did this without uttering hardly a word. No lecture, no stratified class, no pointer or chalkboard, but teaching by example. It is an unconventional way, and the students have to be really receptive, observant and quick to study what the teacher is doing.

... and the flowers she nursed to bloom.

And so the Stringers bring you a sample of Jean's work -- which includes photos taken during our weekly walks about town, but also some that Jean shot before associating with the Stringer photo project.

One further note: As is the case with many Sunday shooters, he/she sees the potential for a good photo, but fails to crop her scene tightly, or cants the camera off-angle, or includes extraneous material. It then becomes an editor's job to scan the photos, delete the unnecessary baggage and enhance their beauty.

And so it is with Jean Maure's photos that we present here. They have been cropped, color and contrast have been adjusted, and some have edits of objects that are superfluous to the scene -- that is, they have been edited to make the best presentation possible.

In the meantime, the Stringers' photo group continues, people come in and leave, they take part in the shooting sessions and the computer sessions as well, and, through the Mirror, we all benefit from this talent pool. The group is open to anyone who can get up at 5 a.m. -- in summer -- or late afternoons in the fall and spring. There are no requirements for equipment, bring what you have, either digital or standard film camera.

The Stringers meet every Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 at the Milano Center. Details on the photo group and its schedule are available from either Louise or Don Norris, there. All are welcome.

... and finally, an approaching storm.

October 4, 2002

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