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I'm a newbie to this photography thing and i'm loving it. Being on this site is a BIG help and i'm grateful for all the help here. I have been thinking of maybe joining a local camera club and i was wondering what the members here think of such clubs ? Is it worth joining one or would it be better to stick with all the sites on the web ? Many thanks for your time
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Check out http://dawr6.wordpress.com and http://www.bangor-camera-club.co.uk.
Although we are located in Bangor in Northern Ireland and maybe not accessible to you, nevertheless reading the blog and our website might give you some idea of what our club do on Wednesday and Friday evenings throughout the year.
I have to say they are a mixed blessing, well worth a try though. They will teach you quite a bit and provide companionship and hopefully some good friendships.
The better ones are open to new ideas and are willing to experiment. The worst are dogmatic and set in their ways, some are friendly and welcoming others are not.
I belong to two and would not be without either, but there are times when they frustrate.
EPZ is a wonderful community but it will, by it's nature, lack the personal contact that you may require.
My advice? give a local club a trial, but stick with EPZ.
Like everything in life they can be good & bad. A lot depends on what you want from a club, most have lectures by people skilled in certain areas, and/or run beginners classes where you can learn new techniques & get practical feedback. Some clubs concentrate more on competitions; not always to some peoples taste but if you're lucky to get a good judge you can learn a lot from them.
Do an internet search for clubs within your travelling area then check out their websites & syllabi. Do they do the sort of things you are interested in.
If you do join one be aware that ( just like on here) there will be cliques and the occasional "know-it-all", you just have to live with it & ignore it as much as possible.
Try it for a short while, since most clubs finish around April time your only committing yourself to a few months if you find you don't like it. If you do like it you may find yourself making a complete set of new friends for life.
I joined my local club a few years back. I try and go every week, always display my work there, (haven't uploaded much on here for a long time) and have made some very good friends. Go along and try it out, what have you got to lose ?
Having only just got my first D-SLR i'm very much a novice and i think any help is good help. I have looked at two local clubs and i have joined the web site of one of them but there seems to little if any activity at all !! I am going to leave it till after the festive season now before i join one, if i do ?
Thanks for your advice guys
Camera clubs tend to be rather conservative sometimes stuffy and staid institutions (IMO) however they can be a great start to a tyro's photographic journey; I agree that they have their cliques and resident know alls, my own club is no exception.
Try and avoid the ones that are equipment obsessed; I have never come across them but reading epz and the like they do exist; in any case camera clubs will let you turn up for a couple of evenings FOC so as you can gauge your own reaction to the place.
The social aspect to many is invaluable; people are very rarely rude to you face to face as opposed to ..... erm .... a forum; actual reality is perhaps more meaningful than virtual.
It pays to have a look at each club in your area before you decide whether to take the plunge or not, that way you will get a feel for the club. For example, the first club I looked at was stuck in the 70's, everything was slide film and it was all very cold, unfriendly and rather uncomfortable for me. The next club I looked was totally different, in fact I don't think I've seen anyone there submit a slide although apparently there are facilities for slides! It was also a lot more friendly and had it's own bar!
Our one, LCC, is great. Good fun, good variety. And I've learnt much more than I expected.
Give a few a go. Well worth trying.
Quote: I am going to leave it till after the festive season now before i join one, if i do ?
We've finished for the season, so I guess other clubs have too. Leave it to Feb.
I think the idea that Quote: Camera clubs tend to be rather conservative sometimes stuffy and staid institutions
is a bit old. Our club consists of complete beginners, 50 year veterans, enthusiasts, ex-professionals, and is very laid back and fun.
our club is excellent for all ability levels, and as for stuffyness, ive never come across it it the last 30 years.
thats Bolsover cc in Derbyshire,
Worksop, Killamarsh, both the same
stuffiness is more a matter of perception
Here is a brief article that I wrote for the "Backchat" feature of Amateur Photographer earlier this year:
I first became an AP reader in 1958 when, at the age of 13, I sold my boyhood electric train set and invested the proceeds in my new “grown-up” interest in photography. It was to the advertisements in this magazine that I turned to research my proposed purchases. The resultant acquisition of a Halina A1 TLR and a Gnome Beta ll enlarger set me on a course that was to proceed, in fits and starts, to the present day. That was also my earliest appreciation of the creativity of oriental races; that Halina camera was “convertible” from a 2¼” square format to “35mm with a telephoto lens” by the insertion of 36x24mm masks in front of the film plane and in the waist-level viewfinder. I really thought it was the bee’s knees as I could take medium format negatives for printing and 35mm transparencies for projection.
For most of my adult life my photography was largely to provide illustrations for my articles in country sports magazines and for my books. Both subject matter and photographic techniques were largely dictated by the requirements of my publishers and most of my images were documentary rather than artistic. Then, with a belated partial conversion to digital about four years ago and the additional time available in retirement, I finally returned to a more creative approach to my hobby.
It was only last year that I first thought about joining a club and became a member of my local Camera Club. What a revelation that was. It really opened my eyes to a hugely wider perspective of the photographic art. Mixing with other amateurs from a great range of backgrounds and levels of experience (plus one or two professionals) finally persuaded me that a few hours spent in front of a PC in Lightroom and Photoshop was a viable alternative to having ones fingers constantly dipped in carcinogenic chemicals in the darkroom and, although my computer skills are fairly elementary, I am beginning to see results.
The other two big benefits of club membership are the specialist knowledge and fresh ideas gleaned from visiting speakers, every one an expert in their own field, and the stimulation provided by regular club competitions. The latter aspect has certainly been a great influence in pushing me to explore varying genres of photography, seek out different types of subject and experiment with new approaches to the craft. For the first time in my life I now have some of my own framed photographs hanging on my walls, plus a couple of the better ones hanging in the club gallery.
I really wish that I had joined a photographic club many years ago and I would certainly advise any keen amateur to seek out their own local society and to do it much earlier in life than I did.
I forgot quaint .. sorry
One of the events that my local club lays on are outings on an ad hoc basis; they are great occasions for socialising, getting to know fellow members, asking questions, trying out somebody's camera and generally sharing ideas whilst out taking photographs; do determine whether your proposed club offers such a facility though nothing wrong with you joining and organising an event.
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