54 County Weekly News * Thursday, November 22, 2012

MIKE WOODALL

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* PERSIAN & ORIENTAL RUGS BOUGHT & SOLD * CLEANING, RESTORATION, APPRAISALS, FREE PICKUP, DELIVERY Local photographer Phil Norton leads the new Photography & Fitness program. "Photography & Fitness" is a new program to get people active outside and improve their camera skills. Th e twicea-week outings this fall have taken participants to several Quinte Conservation Areas, Sandbanks Park, the cemetery in Picton and downtown Belleville by night. Coming up this month is an excursion into a cave near Napanee and moonrise over the Bay of Quinte in Trenton. There will also be three indoor workshops before Christmas using the big screen at St. Andrew's Church in Picton. Prince Edward County photographer Phil Norton says he has been taking such walks with his camera at least twice a week on his own. He thought why not invite others to come along. Participants pay $10 that includes uploading their best images to the growing online gallery: www.countyphotographers. com . Since mid-September, the intrepid followers have ventured into woodlands, tramped along shorelines and lugged their tripods to ridgetops, day and night, rain and shine. Norton is quick to share his mantra: "Don't wait for sunny, blue-sky days to go out with your camera; some of the best pictures are made in inclement weather." He has been carrying a camera with him everywhere he goes for decades and was always known by his stock photo agency for his "grab shots". Each outing lasts two hours with hands-on shooting lessons in varied lighting situations and environments. The format is informal and interactive. Participants range from eight to 78 some with only a phone camera, others with the latest, greatest DSLR's and lenses. Some participants come for the walk without a camera. "It's become a social gathering as much as anything," Norton said. "The participants are now exchanging their photos with each other on Facebook." On the web gallery you can see the view from Macaulay Mountain, time exposures of the Vanderwater rapids on the Moira River, the boardwalk through the Frink Centre marsh and bird banding by the lighthouse at Long Point. "If you commit to going out on a regular basis you are guaranteed to encounter wonderful sky shows and encounters with wildlife and bump into interesting people to photograph," said Norton. A full schedule of upcoming events is online: www. countyphotographer.blogspot.ca . Since moving to Prince Edward County in 2007, Norton has explored the region by bicycle, kayak and on foot and has captured its many moods in photos which appear in local publications, websites and on his postcards. More of his work can be seen: www.princeedwardcounty.net Submitted photo

Photography & Fitness outings

Norton says the passion to take great pictures is what keeps him in shape, for example running up a mountain trail with 30 pounds of camera gear to shoot a sun and cloud phenomenon before it disappears. It is also a way to reconnect with nature and discover the rich heritage of the Quinte Region. Norton is no newcomer to leading nature and photography outings. In Quebec he taught "Local Ecology" for Continuing Education and he ran a high school journalism program where he led students on assignments to write and take photos for the weekly newspaper. Photographers, artists and naturalists are encouraged to get on the email list to receive updates on the "Photography & Fitness" program: phil@philnorton.com 613- 476-1167. Private lessons in advanced shooting and digital workflow are also available in English and French and as a holiday gift idea.

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