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Do camera clubs cramp a photographer's style?

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GeorgeBuchan
16 Feb 2013 - 11:07 PM


Quote: My short experience at being a member of a camera club is that competitions were all that was available really.

I can remember one member who'd been at the club for decades saying to me that he knew all the judges in the circuit and what their photographic preferences were and he took and submitted images to suit individual judges.

I left after the first year.

Ken


Quote: My short experience at being a member of a camera club is that competitions were all that was available really.

I can remember one member who'd been at the club for decades saying to me that he knew all the judges in the circuit and what their photographic preferences were and he took and submitted images to suit individual judges.

I left after the first year.

Ken

I have had the same experiance with my local club, it actually really put me off photography for a while. The same old guys managed to get all the awards, even when the pictures in my eyes were technically not that good, ie wonky horizon, blown highlights etc. It wasn't untill I mentioned it to a photographer that used to go to the club and he told me thats why he left. These older guys knew every judge personally and it was a fix just to help them get there RPs recognition.

Ive never been back since, and im back to loving photography.

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steve_p
steve_p  81094 forum posts England
17 Feb 2013 - 8:47 AM

I was a member of my local camera club for a couple of years. 60% was competitions and 30% was guest speakers holiday photos! The other 10% was useful practical stuff. In the competitions it was always the same two or three members who won!
I didn't think it was worth the 40+ yearly fees, especially as I can see a large variety of shots on EPZ! And you get helpful advice on here too! Some members can be a bit nasty with their posts but they can be ignored!

fentiger
fentiger e2 Member 13915 forum postsfentiger vcard England22 Constructive Critique Points
17 Feb 2013 - 9:07 AM

It is not necessarily the Club that cramps one's style but paying too much regard to Judges' comments. Many judges have a mindset on what has to be criticised and as soon as they see something in an image that falls within that mindset they concentrate on that almost to the exclusion of everything else. Creativity is largely stifled if you want to please the judge! But of course many of the criticisms mentioned above of Camera Clubs can also be applied to this site the subject of which has raised its head many times in this forum.

thewilliam
17 Feb 2013 - 9:55 AM

The usefulness of a camera club really depends on its members. Many have a group within the club that concentrates on image-making and artistic growth and this group can teach you much.

At my old camera club, we had a sub-group that met informally at a member's house to discuss the pictures that people took along. Participants would take a bottle and the host provided nibbles so it was very convivial as well as useful and the folk who reached FRPS were all members of this group.

Some people find that it's time to move on.

p12owe
p12owe  1101 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
17 Feb 2013 - 4:36 PM

One of the biggest advantages of club photography for me is that you do not always hear what you want to hear about your images. Everyone likes to think that their images are the best and with the competition element it can sometimes be hard when someone else wins. Of course if you only wanted nice comments all the time you would just join a "click clique" here or any similar site, but to improve, sometimes you have to hear comments that are not so pleasing. I really struggled in my first year at club level, and like many of the comments above wondered why certain people always did really well compared to me. The simple truth was that my images were not good enough.

There will always be good clubs and bad clubs, good judges and bad judges. In my experience though, they do improve many peoples photography skills and most importantly give added incentive to talk about photography and get out and about with a camera.

lawbert
lawbert  71696 forum posts England15 Constructive Critique Points
17 Feb 2013 - 5:44 PM


Quote: Of course if you only wanted nice comments all the time you would just join a "click clique" here or any similar site, but to improve, sometimes you have to hear comments that are not so pleasing.

Having had a look at your PF you havent posted any of your images into the critique gallery to get an honest appraisal of your images which this site and its members do very honestly.

It seems that you have aired your images at your local club and then gone point hunting hereWinkTongue

I have had incredible amounts of help from the critique gallery and has worldwide participation which is far greater than any Camera ClubWink

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade e2 Member 1014749 forum postsade_mcfade vcard England216 Constructive Critique Points
17 Feb 2013 - 7:02 PM

My only involvement at clubs is as a guest speaker

From what I gathered, they were very keen to have more speakers who "taught" things - which surprised me, as I assumed (when writing the talks) that you were supposed to teach them things in these talks... apparently not. They're all battling it out and showing each other's holiday snaps.

my HDR and painting with light sessions in west yorks were the exception

Sarw
Sarw  3 United Kingdom
17 Feb 2013 - 7:20 PM

I have just been, first time for camera club, the talk by a member, on black and white photography, next week is a practical session on still life. I am looking forward to that, before I have tried two clubs and this one is alot better. I shall give it a try and then make my mind up. The last one I went to, the same people entered the same photos to every competition.

p12owe
p12owe  1101 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
17 Feb 2013 - 8:40 PM


Quote: Of course if you only wanted nice comments all the time you would just join a "click clique" here or any similar site, but to improve, sometimes you have to hear comments that are not so pleasing.

Having had a look at your PF you havent posted any of your images into the critique gallery to get an honest appraisal of your images which this site and its members do very honestly.

It seems that you have aired your images at your local club and then gone point hunting hereWinkTongue

I have had incredible amounts of help from the critique gallery and has worldwide participation which is far greater than any Camera ClubWink

Well I assume that this is just a pretty low, personal and rather cheap shot at my own PF, clearly your own images are far superior to my humble efforts, but of course you also insult the majority of other users who similarly do not post in the critique gallery. I am very new to this site, and there are many features that I do not use or haven't even discovered yet. I do value members opinions, and genuine votes. I do not "air my images at the club then go point hunting" (exactly the reverse in fact!). Whilst you may not like clubs yourself, I have to say that I have personally found them to be inspiring, encouraging and friendly, something that regretfully I do not always find here.

keithh
keithh e2 Member 1022822 forum postskeithh vcard Wallis and Futuna29 Constructive Critique Points
17 Feb 2013 - 9:47 PM

Don't forget that CC Judges were bred in captivity and are only allowed on competition nights. Very few of them have even seen a camera much less used one.


Or so it would seem when you read some of these threads.

And yes, I have judged at camera clubs and nobody ever trained me.

Ade_Osman
Ade_Osman e2 Member 114484 forum postsAde_Osman vcard England36 Constructive Critique Points
17 Feb 2013 - 9:53 PM


Quote: Don't forget that CC Judges were bred in captivity and are only allowed on competition nights. Very few of them have even seen a camera much less used one.

Never a truer statement than that I think Keith, some of my local clubs still won't entertain images created using digital cameras, or dictate that the images made using such equipment have to be judged in a category of their own. I'm not sure if this was just down to film snobbery or a lack of intellect, but either way I didn't hang around long enough to find out.

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1314996 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
18 Feb 2013 - 12:14 AM


Quote: Do camera clubs cramp a photographer's style

I don`t see how they can unless your trying to please others.

lawbert
lawbert  71696 forum posts England15 Constructive Critique Points
18 Feb 2013 - 6:08 PM


Quote:
Well I assume that this is just a pretty low, personal and rather cheap shot at my own PF

Nope, Im flattered that you think it isSmile


Quote: clearly your own images are far superior to my humble efforts

Nope, We both cover very different genre's of photography and both are reasonably accomplished at what we do with a huge scope for improvement,
Thats why I enjoy photography, theres no such thing as the perfect pic and every time I pick up the camera I try to improve and learn as I hope you do.


Quote: but of course you also insult the majority of other users who similarly do not post in the critique gallery.

Nope, The critique gallery is there to help with photographic and post processing issues that any member may have, and as I said I have had huge amounts of help from people that love and enjoy sharing their knowledge in photography.

I have yet to get help from anyone that can remove a chip on the shoulder though even though there some cloning experts thereTongueTongueWinkWink

JackAllTog
JackAllTog e2 Member 53548 forum postsJackAllTog vcard United Kingdom58 Constructive Critique Points
19 Feb 2013 - 1:33 PM

Not all clubs are bad, My last one - Laleham Camera Club in Middlesex is great, super bunch of people and they don't do too many competitions - I'd still be there if i'd not moved to far away. I'd rejoin if i won the lottery as i'd have more time and decent car to travel to it.

Rather than cramp me i'd say they allowed me to find new ways to express my photography.

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade e2 Member 1014749 forum postsade_mcfade vcard England216 Constructive Critique Points
19 Feb 2013 - 1:35 PM

just get a few regular photo friends and go out taking photos.... who needs a club?

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