Frank Turner Award Winner 2015: Dan & Gail Takahashi

By | May 30, 2015

The Frank Turner Trophy is the most prestigious award given by the VCC. This award was created to honour Frank Turner, a long-time member of the club. Frank Turner was an accomplished photographer who won many awards for his art, but he was also an important and vital member of this club. He served on the executive of the Club in several positions including President over a number of years and also taught and shared his passion and talent for photography selflessly with other members. When he passed away, his Pentax camera was made into the trophy that honours both him and his remarkable contributions to the club.

The selection committee, the last three recipients of this award, had little difficulty agreeing on this year’s recipients, Gail and Dan Takahashi.

Gail joined the Victoria Camera Club in 2008. At the second club meeting that she attended she asked if she could do anything to help. She was taken to the kitchen to help with the refreshments and is still making the coffee. In her second season with the club Gail and Dan met on one of the club field trips (thank you Richard James)and Dan began helping in the kitchen. In 2012 they were married. They enjoy doing the refreshments as it gives them a chance to say hello to everyone as they get their coffee. Gail estimates that she has made 12,075 cups of coffee/tea, served 24,150 cookies and Dan has washed 12,075 cups over the last seven years. Whew!

Gail said that she can honestly say that when she joined the club she didn’t know what an f-stop was. She began entering the club competitions the second year and found out that she has a very competitive spirit. She has been entering competitions for the last six years starting in novice, working her way through intermediate and is now among the top-ranking advanced photographers in digital imagery.

Gail enters prints in our Club print shows. In September2014 she had five prints hanging in The Bay Centre Gallery as part of the Ballet Victoria display.

For the past three years she has been one of the coordinators of the Creative SIG. For those that haven’t been to one of the meetings yet, members bring in some images and share with the group the techniques and inspiration used to achieve the image. By diving into Photoshop it enabled her to expand her imagination and creativity.

Gail does not want to become complacent so she continually challenges herself to try different forms of photography. From the abstract photography that she started with, to nature/landscape, creative and now to dancers and people.

Dan’s photography started back in the age of film, in the 1960s, with a Minolta SRT 101 in California. Throughout those years, he dabbled with a few weddings, art projects in Laguna Beach, CA, and industrial photographs in Los Angeles. Not taking it too seriously, he dropped away until the age of Digital came into its own.

He joined the Nikonians world-wide club and signed up for quite a few week-long workshops. He was learning from professionals and honed into landscapes and HDR. He took early retirement, bought a motor-home and Jeep and traveled. Photography became a passion.

The beauty of Vancouver Island brought Dan here and some health issues helped keep him here.

Dan joined the VCC in 2010 and immersed himself into everything the club had to offer. It was very active and he wanted to absorb everything. As Gail said, it was on a field trip that they met, fell head over heels in love and got married.

Dan now tries to give back to others in the Club by leading some workshops and assisting in others. He has passed on some knowledge in HDR, Long Exposure, Night Exposure, Beginners 101, and freely offers advice when asked.

He is currently the longest-serving member of the Competition Committee and has seen three, going on four different web servers to accommodate the competition photo uploads. Organizing the annual year-end judging and show is challenging and rewarding.

Dan has shown and sold his work in the Sooke and Sidney Fine Art Shows. His work has been in most of the VCC print shows, the Greater Victoria Arts Council show in the Bay Centre and The Ballet Victoria Art Gallery in the Bay Center.

He also shoots professional Real Estate photographs for ReMax, DFH, and Newport Realty.

Dan has been learning and pushing himself into any and all the diversities of photography, birds, landscapes, macro, waterfalls, sunsets, portraits, nudes, still life and creative.

For the past year they have both been part of the organizing committee for the Lighting SIG. Being part of the committee has been a great learning experience in setting up lighting equipment, working with models and most importantly working with light. Barbara Burns and Scott Laird have been very generous in sharing their knowledge with them.

Dan and Gail have also been involved in the Ballet Victoria Arts Program for the past year. A group of photographers are invited into the ballet studio to photograph the dancers during their rehearsals and ended with photographing the technical dress rehearsal in the theatre. In February 2015, Ballet Victoria asked Dan and Gail to take over (from Herman Surkis) as the organizers of the program for them. They were thrilled and honoured. It’s been a great learning experience to capture the art of dance as well as being able to lead other photographers through this learning process. It’s been a very fulfilling experience to help the arts community in Victoria.

In March they participated in the Figure Photography workshop put on by Gregg Eligh for the Victoria Camera Club. Photographing the human form intrigued them so much they are currently taking Gregg’s course “Faces, Fashion and Figures” at Camosun College.

By being involved in the Creative SIG, the Lighting SIG, the Competition Committee, Workshops, and Refreshments they are trying to give back to the Club some of what the Club has given to them over the years.