Friday, 20 March 2009

Camera Clubs - thoughts on them?

Ice on loch

Are all camera clubs full of retired men stuck on the rules of photography and taking cliched shots to win competitions?

I joined my local camera club a few years back and, although I met some really nice people, their activites and competitions left me feeling a bit numb. I decided to try it again this year and it has progressed since then with much more interesting talks and more digital acceptance. It can't be easy trying to run a club and please everybody. People take from it what they want and that can be frustrating for the organisers. I joined to try to learn more about the technical aspects of the camera, lights and printing. The print/slide/file competitions left me a bit unimpressed with cliche shots doing well and I thought, "well I suppose I could go out and take some shots to do well in the competitions." Thankfully I saw the error of that thinking right away. At the end of the day, going out to a camera club gets me out of the house, I forget work for a couple of hours, I make some contacts and occasionally, I get some hints and tips. So we shouldn't knock camera clubs. What's your views on camera clubs?

The shot I've posted today is of the last piece of ice on a loch. The water was very dark but I tweaked levels so that it was all dark. I love this shot but it would be met with puzzlement in some camera clubs and I wouldn't submit it in any competition. But maybe I'm the one that's got the closed mind.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you've posted this. I joined my local camera club but didn't renew my membership the following year.

They weren't all retired men, there were some retired women too :-) - there were also some younger people there - from a teenager right the way up to a lovely man aged 90.

It was quite good but I did come across the same issues as you. There was one section of the club that was pretty much anti digital. I heard one mutter 'why can't she just print it out' when we were struggling to set up the laptop to show the digital images - funny I didn't hear the same comments when the slides were being projected! I wasn't about to change my photography style though - what would be the point? I entered a couple of shots into the monthly competitions and received a reasonable amount of votes, but I heard that some people wouldn't vote on a pic if it had x, y, z in it, or if the subject was x colour.

I tried to get in touch with the Deeside club but never heard anything back so ended up not going. I guess the end of the season will be very soon (why DO camera clubs close when the days get longer?)

We set up an online camera club on Neeps but our geographical spread has meant that it's not done very much - we did have a lovely trip out though and it was lovely to go out with someone with an interest in photography rather than be moaned at by my OH because I've dared to stop and take 'yet another bloody photo'! We'll get another meet up soon, and I'm also hoping to go to the Flickr meet at Braemar next weekend.

James Dyas Davidson said...

Sounds like we go through similar experiences!

I think I learnt more from one Flickr meet than I did at the camera club a few years back.

Looks like I might to the Braemar meet as well.

Callie Grayson said...

Bettie Page would never have become the icon she is/was
on a serious note, I love watching all the people in the camera club by my home walking around taking photos!
Then they share ideas and give each other encouragement.
I think they are great!

welcome to blog world

James Dyas Davidson said...

Thanks Callie. I suppose the world would be a less intersting place without camera clubs.

Thanks for the comment and welcome. I've been really busy at work of late so the blog has been neglected a bit.