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Message from the President
January 2011

2011 HPS President John Kleb

The new year is in full swing for us now. All of the New Year resolutions and projects we’ve thought up for ourselves over the Christmas season now require us to actually work on them. I’m sure some of you, like me, have some photography-related goals in mind for this year. One of mine is to send out a short message or some thoughts about HPS or photography each month.

When Don built the new website, he mentioned that he wanted to have a “message from the president” type of space on it. I guess I took the hint. I’m an even worse writer than I am a photographer, so be kind fair readers. Luckily, for all of you, it’s not a monthly singing telegram.

One thing that struck me at the meeting last night is the realization that we’re starting on the 64th year of HPS. I’ve done a little digging today and I think we may be the second oldest, continuously operating, amateur photography club in Texas; and the oldest in Houston. That’s saying a lot in these days of failed or bought out legacy companies, rapidly changing technology, and the Internet bringing the world into your home (or anywhere else with a smart phone).

It really sunk in how long ago that was when I realized my father was one year old in 1947, and I’ll be a grandfather later this year. It was only two years after WWII and 14 years before we put our astronaut in space. It’s taken some good people through the years to keep HPS going strong. Without members willing to step up and dedicate their time and energy there wouldn’t be an HPS today. Thank you to all of you who helped over the years to make HPS what it is today.

Throughout all the changes over the years — in both the club and the world around it — the simple act of coming together to share in knowledge and camaraderie is the heart of HPS. At the December Party this year, I noticed the lifelong friendships some of our members have made here. Organizations like HPS were the original social network, where friends are made with shared passions, friendly debate, and a laugh or two. You just don’t get that by clicking a button. Those friendships and shared experiences have also served as a catalyst in raising the quality of our work into to something to be proud of. Personally, without the culture of HPS and it’s members, my own photography wouldn’t be where it is today.

We often hear from our visiting judges how impressed they are with the amount of high quality work they see at the print competitions. Those are compliments we should all be proud of, and realize that each of us contribute to that level of quality.

Getting to help with the year end judging brought that home to me. More than 100 prints were laid out for the judges to see, and they asked to give more awards because there were too many good prints to choose from. Quality photographs are a cornerstone of HPS. I challenge y’all to make it even harder for this year’s judges.

So, like Kodachrome, 2010 is behind us. It was a good year, a successful year, and an enjoyable year to be at HPS. But, 2011 looks even brighter.

So, get off the computer and go make some photographs. :)

~ John Kleb, 2011 HPS President

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