Seattle Photography Committee Featured Member - August 2018

With everyone having a busy summer, it's been hard to get anyone to commit to being a featured member, so I made the decision to reluctantly feature myself this month.
Anita Elder Anita Elder
Seattle Photography Committee Chair
August 01, 2018
Seattle Photography Committee Featured Member - August 2018

Name: Anita L. Elder
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Member Since: 2007
Occupation: Freelance Graphic Designer
Favorite Things to Photograph: Landscapes, animals, nature, and old architecture


I got involved with The Mountaineers Photography Committee after taking a photo composition class from Ray Pfortner of Vashon Island. In that class, he told us about The Mountaineers and how they had classes to help improve photography skills. I went to a potluck (at the old club house at Queen Anne), then signed up for a field trip. Sunny Walter led the field trip at Discovery Park. Herb Johnson was also on that trip and his humor really made him memorable and fun to be with.

When the next Basic Photography Course came up the following year, I took it. Back then, cellphones didn't have good cameras, so everyone was still excited and wanting to learn more about taking good photos. These days, sadly, people take photos on their phone and think they don't need a class.

I have always loved being outdoors! Even as a teen, I would purchase the Kodak Instacameras and take pictures of what I was seeing and experiencing. After joining The Mountaineers, my knees became an obstacle, so I didn't go on many field trips (unless they didn't involve much walking). Thankfully, I'm now able to hike again. When I see photos that friends like Suzanne Gerber, Kristina Ciari, and Tess Wendel post of their adventures outdoors, I get inspired to see these places and take more photographs. I may never get to the peaks that these ladies do, but I do get to see and photograph some incredible views.


My favorite memory of The Mountaineers was when we were still at the old clubhouse on Queen Anne and Helen Thayer was speaking at a dinner event about her travels on the Gobi Desert. One of my favorite books was written by Helen (Three Among the Wolves), so I was excited to hear her speak and to see her photos documenting her trip.

I think that my strength when it comes to photography is that I don't let my physical limitations (being fat and out of shape) stop me from getting outside and taking photos. If I really want to photograph something, I really make an effort to make it happen!

I don't really enter photo contests, but I did have one of my photographs picked as one of the daily dozen by National Geographic (pictured below & seen here). I also got an honorable mention from the NW Council of Camera Clubs during their annual convention (the bobcat photo).


When asked if I'm a leader or a follower, I'd have to say that I'm a reluctant leader. I'm not as comfortable leading as I am following, but in many cases, I step in when nobody else wants to. I also lead a lot of photography field trips...not so much to get others involved, but if I know others are counting on me, I can't make an excuse and bail on the trip!

I'm currently the chair of the Seattle Photography Committee. It's not something I really wanted to do, but I knew that somebody needed to step up and try and breath new life into the committee. It's been a real struggle to get more people involved with the committee (participant or volunteer) and I really want to see more younger people join us. I also try and lead by example, so you will often see me leading a lot of field trips.

Besides being a part of the Photography Committee at The Mountaineers, I have helped design various pins and badges for the club. I also am getting more involved with the Naturalists committee. I became a hike leader, mainly because nobody else was leading shorter, easier hikes (I find that most day hikers go too fast for me). One of these days, I hope to take the sailing course and maybe even get a kayak and join that committee.

I enjoy being a member of The Mountaineers and have gotten my son and granddaughters involved (the girls are currently attending Mountaineers summer camp).



Attend our monthly potluck, which is the third Wednesday of each month. We socialize and share food, then we have announcements and show photos of what we have seen during the past month or year.


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James Lorentson
James Lorentson says:
Aug 02, 2018 04:21 PM

Cheers, Anita! Interesting story and you definitely deserve a shout-out for all of the work you have done with the committee. Hope all is well.