A mission pastor who travels throughout different countries soon will share his detailed photographs at a Fort Smith event. 

The Photographic Alliance of Fort Smith will host a free presentation by travel photographer Scott Ward at 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Fort Smith Trolley Museum, 100 S. Fourth St. Ward, who is a former missionary in east Africa, specializes in landscape and wildlife photography and will be the latest person to present a program that is part of the Photographic Alliance of Fort Smith's "4th Thursday" program, said Matt Disch, president for the alliance.

"It seems that Scott Ward is traveling every week, every month to a different country," he said. "Scott Ward takes photographs of the landscapes, the wildlife and the people of those countries. Everything that is there for him to photograph, Scott takes photographs, and he will have some of his large prints on display for our event."

Ward will cover topics such as what equipment is best for optimizing lightweight travel, Photoshop flow and more, Disch said.

"Scott Ward will talk about the whole process, from starting at home and planning the trip, to how to pack the gear, how to arrange for local guides and how to find the right time of day for the right shots," he said.

"He'll also talk about taking the photo and processing the photo after it is done," Disch added. "It's great that he will talk about the whole aspect of the trip and the photography."

Between 30 and 40 people are expected to attend the event, he said.

"This event is good for photographers of all ages and all skill levels, and it's a good thing for people who love to travel and see great photographs," Disch said. "We are flexible in anything we do, and it's always for anyone who is interested."

Deborah Brauser, one of the alliance's members, said the event will be "exciting" and educational for all who attend.

"I am looking forward to what Scott Ward will present, with his work in Africa and with the tips he will give that any traveler can use," she said. "Weight is such a problem with traveling photographers. What do you take? Tripod? Lenses? Scott will talk about how you do that."

Formed in the 1970s, the Photographic Alliance of Fort Smith includes about 40 active members who call digital photography a hobby and passion, Disch said. The alliance holds its meetings at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month at the Fort Smith Public Library, 3201 Rogers Ave.

Annual membership fees for the alliance are $30 per person and $45 per family, Disch said.

"People can just show up for the event; it's a club meeting and it's open to any visitors who would like to join," he said. "We try to tailor to people's needs if someone has something they want to learn. If someone is interested in sports photography, we try to  have a top sports photographer come in and teach.

"And we are having my father, Greg Disch, do a presentation at 7 p.m. (tonight) at the Fort Smith Public Library," Disch added. "He will do a program on selecting the right tripod, and it will be exciting because he does workshops all over the country."

For Matt Disch and many others, the socializing that happens at the alliance's meetings and field trips might be the most rewarding aspect.

"A lot of photographers stick to themselves, but when you get in a group, you can see different viewpoints," he said. "A photo can be taken 100 different ways by different photographers, and it's exciting to see that and learn.

"We take group trips to the same place and have photographers shoot," Disch added. "They all have different pictures, and that can open up all kinds of possibilities and different viewpoints."

Those seeking information on the alliance and its events can visit pafsac.com. Information on Ward can be found at ScottWardPhotoArt.com and the Scott Ward Photography Facebook page.

"The Photographic Alliance of Fort Smith is for anybody; we have some people who shoot with cell phones," Disch said. "The principals for photography are the same, and that doesn't change with the camera, whether that's a digital cameras or cellphone camera. We have professionals and we've had teenagers compete in our contests in the past. It's for everyone."