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Poll - Is there a future for camera clubs?

Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Chrissie_Lay, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. Chrissie_Lay

    Chrissie_Lay AP Editor's PA

  2. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    Here are two quotes that sum up my opinion of this question...

    "Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge. "
    --Lao Tzu, 6th Century BC

    "I always avoid prophesying beforehand because it is much better to prophesy after the event has already taken place. "
    --Winston Churchill

    There will be a future for camera clubs and when we get there, we'll know what it was.

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  3. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    It's a question which I believe can only be answered with a review of ones personal circumstances.

    I have constantly changing shifts, for instance. One week I can be working 7am-3pm, the next 2pm-10pm... However someone else at work has more stable shifts and is able to attend the camera club in the next town over every week.

    For me it's a non-starter, for my colleague its a weekly fixture... I don't think camera clubs are going to die out as such, but a lot of people will have trouble getting to venue X for time Z these days and something more convenient, such as the Web running all hours, may be their preferred method of proceeding.

    That is the worry really, is the Web killing camera clubs...?

    The interweb itself has has assisted a lot with having a virtual 27/7 hub for camera clubs to organise themselves around a-la-facebook, and it has been commented by many that favoured groups on Flickr die off with little fanfare - looking at it with this in mind the web is not a replacement for camera clubs, it is just a different way of doing things... Whether that different way of doing things proves to be more popular due to personal circumstances robbing people of the time to go to a village hall at 7pm on a Wednesday etc... That is well and truly out of anyones hands, even those who would otherwise like to attend clubs.

    So, yes, there is a definite future for camera clubs, even if it's a retired weatherman and his mate hanging out in a pub having a couple of pints with a couple of prints or camera screen when they have the time to meet up ;)

    EDIT -

    Incidentally, I did a long while back attend a creative writing group in town too. It was heralded with great attention in the local paper the new "Writing Group" getting over 50 people for the first night... A lot of them, however, appeared uncomfortable and did not return for the next week. The organisers appeared a little put out, however one of the returners piped up: "Think about it, what did you call the group?" "Writers Group" the organiser replied "And where would you go if you had trouble writing..." came the response.

    So maybe Camera clubs could be feeling the iPhone effect too. Why do I need to go to a camera club to learn how to use my camera? You push the button, the camera* does the rest...

    Maybe, maybe.

    *phone or otherwise.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  4. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    Considering that in the last five years at least three new camera clubs have formed within a five mile radius of where I live I guess the answer for me is 'yes'.

    Digital photography has increased the number of people interested in taking pictures ten fold over film days. If only a small percentage of these people then become interested in photography then camera clubs have a future.
  5. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    I think so. Both my clubs are doing OK, one has a waiting list as it's maxed out on allowable membership while the other has a much larger membership than it had when I first joined some years back. Even better is that the active membership - those who attend on a more ore less weekly basis - has grown considerably at both clubs.

    Clubs of any type don't necessarily appeal to all and I suspect membership tends to cycle pretty much in line with various social trends. Over the last ten years or so both my clubs have benefited from digital as people have tended to join to learn about this new-fangled digital lark and while some don't stay quite a few have remained to enhance the numbers.

    Personally I feel the internet is less of an issue than finding venues for meetings that are the right size, the right price and available on a fixed day every week. Both my clubs have had to change venues at least once in recent times and on both occasions finding somewhere suitable was a struggle which I don't honestly see getting any better in future.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  6. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    There will certainly be some sort of future for camera clubs.
    It might be a better one if they were photographic clubs,
  7. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    I'm not going to mention the questions.


    Yes, there obviously is. And one Poll question option could, perhaps should have added, ' ... the British are very good at it.'. But I'm not going to point out inadequacies in the Poll questions. Again. Much.

    Much agonising is done in the media every time 'Dave' spouts about British values. One obvious one that never seems to get mentioned in the quest to work out what are British values is that we are, despite 20th/21st century 'screen isolation' {ie. TV, PC, pad/tablet & now smart-phone}, a very clubbable nation.

    I remember when hang gliding got started in the UK. The first gliders had been in the UK only about three weeks and a club was being formed! I may be exaggerating slightly but am fairly certain I'm not far out on timings there. It was certainly within three months.

    Atavar makes a good point about the changing nature of employment. I remember the first time I missed a club meeting due to work pressures. There was a gradual change through the mid-80s and being able to leave my desk for certain at 5.30 or 6pm to get to the club for a 6.30pm start was no longer guaranteed. Then, the 'must deal with this tonight' occurrences were no longer once or twice a year but once or twice a quarter.

    Clubs will need to adapt to cater for people in those circumstances. To an extent, that has already happened via some of the internet facilitated groups with flexible programmes and meet times.

    Photography can be a good 'bolt-on' activity, too, to other groups such as cyclists, walkers, retirement groups, Community Centres, Libraries and so on.
  8. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I clicked "I don't know", because, I don't know.

    I have never belonged to a camera club; time and timetabling haven't allowed it but additionally it has never really appealed. A local friend belonged and everything he told me about it put me off. I think the overriding impression that I came away with was 'staid and snippy'. I might be utterly wrong but as I say, my own schedule meant that I never got to find out. I'm sure the club is still going along quite nicely without me however so obviously there is an audience for that sort of thing.
  9. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    Same happened to me. I joined club and just got settled then they had to move, and then again, then again. Last time they ended up in the back room of a pub. Then there seemed more interest in pints than photography. I left.
  10. Ffolrord

    Ffolrord Well-Known Member

    I shall join my first shortly. I'm looking forward to it. All this online friends, like, forums, etc is all well and good but I still like talking to fellow geeks. And I don't mind beer either.
  11. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Probably, yes. The real damper is the drink-drive laws unless you live within walking distance.


  12. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    I can't see why that should be a problem. There are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages to drink during a meeting, plus public transport for those who won't do without.
  13. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    Photographic clubs I went to didn't serve booze. :confused: It was tea or coffee and a biscuit.
  14. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    I've only ever been a member for any significant time with one club. That was in B.A. Primary reason was that there was a great darkroom and opportunities for using premises for a studio. Nice trips away too to interesting places abroad.

    I tried one here, once, but didn't return.

    It's a bit like the Forum. There is a core set of members who do things their way and that way is the right way. So be it, but it's hard to be a newcomer and fit in, let alone have different ideas of how things might/could change!
    I'm sure there are good clubs and bad clubs - no surprise there. It's all compromise.
    Future? Don't really think so, the way photography is going.
  15. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Roger,

    I always found the best bit of camera clubs to be going to the pub afterwards. There, people talked about photography rather than cameras, and there wasn't that awful artificial imposition of competition.


  16. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Hi Roger, Woolwich Photographic Society was really Woolwich Drinking (& sometimes Photographic) Society. :) But they did meet in premises that had a Licensed Bar. Cheers, Oly
  17. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    I think this is a good point, although I don't see anything wrong with "... Camera Club" or "... Photographic Club". In fact my club is a "Camera Club".

    I think "... Photographic Society" tends to put newcomers and beginners off. It doesn't have that welcoming sound to it.

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