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O.K I am thinking of joining my local group,i niped in to see what they got up to and was made very welcome,but i am not too sure what i will get out of it,and if i will enjoy it so are any of the member's on here member's of local groups and do you like what you get out of you'r club.
All the best,Ian
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Why not check out our club website www.adaps.org.uk and you'll find an active and friendly community. We have all sorts of events all year round and the emphasis is very much "hands on" and intended to improve all our photograhy.
Being a club member, entering competitions and seeing the work of others have all contributed to improving my own photography over the years.
The only way to find out though is to join in and see how it goes. You have little to lose and much to gain.
I was very unsure, even after the first meeting - thought it was far too focussed on competitions and there seemed to be a very established membership. The committee tried to be helpful on the first night but were understandably preoccupied. But I decided I had nothing to lose by joining and glad I did - the talks have been interesting; the members friendly, and there are other newer/younger members that have come in on the back of the digital route, like me (I was actually hoping to get some dark room practice, but it turns out that all but a very few have gone primarily digital now!) I get the feeling that as it is a large group, the 'rules and regulations' have to be a little more formal, and perhaps restrictive, but that is the price for a group with a high standard and long waiting list to get in! The other local group was equally friendly and I'm hoping to get to some of their meetings but as it's 'pay as you attend' I don't have to join.
I'm sure you will get a lot of conflicting opinions about camera clubs so for what it's worth here are a few thoughts of mine:
I have been a member of several clubs, first started when I was about 19. I was the youngest member there. I'm 53 now and still the youngest. This may bother some people but the simple truth is, in our club (Derby) the membership is getting older and we are finding it more and more difficult to attract younger members. We are not alone in this.
It's a pity because I still beleive that camera clubs have a lot to offer. I have made some very good friends through life at camera clubs and it's fair to say that some of the best people I have ever met have beem photographers.
Yes clubs can be very compatition orientated. I think our club has it about right with one a month. They are good ways of getting other peoples opinions of your pictures. Some judges are total twats. Some are very good. Don't be put off by bad judges, they are in the minority and over the years I have found their comments very helpfull and have improved my photoography. In the same way as it's interesting to get peoples comments on EPZ. If you are competitive there is also the opportunity to enter national compatitions on behalf of your club.
There are good and bad speakers too. It's becomming more difficult to get new ones and some of the existing are past their best. BUT there are a lot of very good ones. I used to be one before working shifts put an end to it. I am sure I sent lots of people to sleep but most times I was made very welcome by the host club and enjoyed my visit.
In answer to wether you should join, I would say certainly yes. Look around though and try to find a club that suits you as they are all different.
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