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Poll - Are you in a camera club?

Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Damien_Demolder, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Damien_Demolder

    Damien_Demolder Well-Known Member

    Civilisation is the sum of individuals joining to learn from, and to help, each other and to progress together. We’ve been doing it for some time, yet it still isn’t mastered. We forget we gain from sharing and from being open to ideas, and often turn inwards to protect what we think is ours.

    We’ve held a lot of events this year, and classes where photographers work together at the same subject. It always amazes me that even when five are facing the same subject it’s possible to get five completely different images, with distinct style and emphasis. When we compare and discuss, it isn’t just my students who discover something new or a fresh approach to familiar themes. Everyone benefits from sharing and from seeing a new way for the first time.

    This is why camera clubs are important. Without clubs we’d be individuals working blinkered and blind to what we have yet to see. When photographers come together, they learn and progress. The greater the range of age, gender, nationality or interest, the more there is to gain. Yet I still hear of less-than-warm welcomes for folk who don’t ‘fit in’. The square pegs miss out as much as the round ones, and the loss is to progress, enjoyment and satisfaction

    Take part in this week's poll Are you in a camera club? by clicking on the link.

  2. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    I was once but I drifted away (for about 25 years) when I had a company to start. Now I have more time again but I doubt that I will go back to the club scene, as I do enjoy just sharing my photography with my friends and family

  3. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I nearly joined one when I first started, but as a spotty youth, I felt very unwelcome indeed. As a spotty youth with a Zenit, even more so. The university one was a lot better, but dominated by two cliques, the photojournalists and the technicians - not unpleasant or deliberately unwelcoming, but I never felt completely at home, and it could be difficult getting in the darkroom as the two groups duopolised it. When I started work, I went to a session at another club, but it was beyond boring, so haven't bothered for the last 25 years. I don't really like taking pictures in groups, but a few times a year I end up taking pictures with friends. For the rest, I think this place does me a lot better than any more formal club.
  4. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    No. At first because I wasn't confident enough to join one, and lately because I haven't liked what I've heard about them. I may have gleaned entirely the wrong impression from my reading but they seem a bit formulaic, a bit stuck in a rut and a bit not for me. Which is a pity because other than Facebook and Flickr I have no real means of sharing my work with anyone and I'm not sure how useful they are in terms of getting honest feedback and improving what I'm currently doing.
  5. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Yes, 2 in fact. I enjoy going to both and I do feel that I have got a lot of benefit from them both from the lectures/talk by visiting speakers and from the competitions and the judges comments therein. That said I don't think club photography or clubs are necessarily suited to everyone but if you feel you want to give it a try I'd say go ahead and give it a season. Don't be put off by negative comments on forums like this as those who are dissatisfied can often be more vocal than those who are content and you may get a distorted view of the reality of club photography.

    Naturally there are some downsides to photography clubs but the same issues occurs in some form or another to almost every area of society where individuals come to together for pretty much any purpose and photo-clubs are no worse than any other. Yes you will find cliques in clubs, sometimes overpowerful ones which can lead to a generally unwelcoming feel which is a shame as often these clubs struggle to survive on the inevitably limited membership they tend to have.

    One thing I have noticed that does seem to be fairly universal is that clubs don't seem to have many younger members and the average age is quite high. This seems still to be the case even though the club world has pretty much gone totally digital. Not entirely sure why this should be - I don't think most clubs are actually anti-youth - so I guess it must be down to a sort of self sustaining conservative inertia perpetuated by the high average age, young members don't stay on long enough in large enough numbers to bring down the average age and break the cycle...
  6. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    I used to be in a photography club.

    But when I moved, it was too far away to visit. The place had got very political by that time :(
  7. gollum

    gollum Well-Known Member

    No.........but I did visit one fairly recently, My daughter a university student does some modelling in her spare time to earn a little extra cash, on her last modelling session which was for a local camera club. I was invited to come along as a guest, I spent most of my evening observing and listening to various conversations. It occurred to me that all of those conversation were dominated by talk of equipment, One conversation evolved around the purchase of a Leica 50mm f0.95 lens, the person in question was bemoaning the fact that he was having to wait for it because it was on back order, he apparently already possessed a 50mm f1.4. I left the conversation wondering if the £7500 asking price for less than half a stop was really going to make that much difference to his photography. :)
    I left with my daughter and a smile on my face as the thoughts of John Berger's words came into my mind 'we see, we buy, we collect' ;)
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    It's actually a bit over a stop, but that doesn't alter the validity of your observation. ;)
  9. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    Yes, but I am a very irregular attendee. My problem is that there is too much time spent on competitions; the club has 8 competitions and 3 battles per season of 9 months or so, which IMHO is too many. My main reason for attendance is for the talks by professional photographers and these I mostly enjoy.

    I have had a couple of sabbaticals over the past 22 years, but I always seem to go back; with its faults, it is still good value at £20 a year, and I can choose what I want to see.
  10. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    I belong to the finest photography club there is......I'm here right now:D
  11. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Tried it for a few months. Actually planning to go back in Sept as there are fresh members.

    Plus going in for comp this time for a laugh. :)

    I let you know how it goes.
  12. attack_donut

    attack_donut Well-Known Member

    I was for a little bit, until it got taken over by folks with waaaaaay more money than talent (I'm talking people who dropped 10k on gear) who got snooty with the rest of us about not being up to par with our gear, and I left.
  13. AlecM

    AlecM MiniMe

    I don't care to be part of any club that will have me as a member!

    In all seriousness, I did look around at one time, but never really saw myself fitting in. I'm a little sceptical about the politics too.

    I answered that I would like to be, but what I mean is I prefer the idea of meeting up with others on a shoot to share ideas and learn together. Can be a good experience, sharing with others.

    Regular commitments are not easy for me at present, with the demands of family and work :(

    So, if you are in the South East and fancy meeting up over the summer (you know, the bit when it stops raining!!)...... PM me.
  14. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    You're a member here:eek: It's close enough to a club for me too:cool:

    Never been to a camera club as a member but do occasionally get roped into going along with a portfolio of macro shots to talk about.
  15. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Not since the 1970's
  16. lisadb

    lisadb Well-Known Member

    Yes, Leek Photographic Society (we still call it the camera club). Always found the folks very welcoming but as has been said the age group tends to be highish. Young folks come along expecting to be taught how to use a camera, which doesn't seem an odd expectation but when we hold extra training nights, few actually attend. As has also been said, there are a lot of competitions but that is what the members want as they enjoy seeing other members images. Very good value for a small annual payment and a drink in the pub afterwards. Where else apart from here and similar forum could you go and discuss cameras/photography ad nauseum ?? ;) :D
  17. velocette

    velocette Well-Known Member

    I've tried for a couple of years and although the people themselves are very nice there's just too much emphasis on competitions for me and like many clubs it seems to revolve around what to me is artificial photography. The only time you get to actually chat to others is during the summer break or the occasional outing.
  18. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    I think JB had the mental image in mind when he said that ... but there again ... maybe not!

    Yep. It is ridiculous, isn't it? Especially when a significant proportion of the world's population go to bed hungry at night (still, albeit reduced in number from 20 years ago, possibly helped by pictures made on Leicas ... :confused:) or would take several years work to earn £7500. There are times when I look at the kit cupboard and think and ... ;)

    Having said all that ...
    1. Well-heeled folk laying out that sort of money {or passionate enthusiasts impoverishing themselves in other ways} have kept Leica going to benefit the world of photography in general, and,
    2. A Noctilux, with skilled hands and eyes, can make wonderful images - for everyone to enjoy - that strangely, are different to those from, say, a Summilux would produce, and,
    3. Talking about kit rather than pictures may be not a priority for you and me (although a lot of that goes on here in these Forums) but why not derive any extra possible enjoyment from photography even via the hardware?

    That last point is one of the intangibles why people buy Leicas and why the designers, craftsmen, technicians and engineers at Wetzlar & Solms put a lot of the extra effort and went to certain lengths in building their products. They wanted the kit to be well engineered to do the job (priority) and to do it well but also to provide pleasure (secondary) in ownership: engineering, feel, looks, etc.
  19. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Oh ... yes! {Churchill Boxer voice} :)
  20. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    I know one club that was wonderful for a couple of years and quite unlike any other - it was sort of Last of the Summer Wine with cameras. It was full of old people, mostly men. The kit AND the photography were (almost) secondary. It has changed, dramatically, as it has acquired some younger members!

    Another that I know really well has been, for a quarter of a century, unlike any other club that I have encountered - the City of London & Cripplegate Photographic Society. Some of the 'peculiarities' have changed in that time and it may exhibit some of those in other groups but as a group they still have a defineable, tangible difference.

    But I've known others that fit all the stereotypes (good and bad) and then some, yet are still interesting or fun or have something to offer or are a pleasure to visit. In number, in my experience, they vastly outweigh any of the clubs providing less good experiences.

    Yes, I've been to a few - very few - where I have had to suppress a groan ... :rolleyes::eek:

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