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Camara clubs

banditloon 15 10
4 Oct 2006 2:23PM
I went to a few meetings, last season at the Esher Photographic Society (posh in Surrey!!!). As the youngest photographer in the meeting hall, it was a bit daunting, but the members are all a friendly bunch, and a few were welcoming the digital age!!

I learnt a few tips for Photoshop from them and they have a seperate digital photography group. But now with the work commitments I have with the my motorsport photography, I haven't got the time to go to the club anymore. The only people I found to have the crass attitude were the RPS members rating the picture competitions.

Best advice IMO, pop along to your local club for a couple of meetings to see what the SP is, and then make up your mind.
digiman 19 12
11 Oct 2006 7:51PM
Helen there are good and bad in any photographic club. many have stayed in the dark ages and not moved with the times. My own club (hexham photographic Society) has a thriving and growing membership because we do what the members want. We have regular "assignment" days out with feedback on the pictures produced at a club night, we hold workshops on photography to explain basic and advanced photography (including digital). There are some competitions but these are not the be all and end all of the club and I run an interactive website on for our members. Find yourself an active club and your photoraphy will benefit enormously.

Bob Turner
nikon5700ite 17 1.8k
11 Oct 2006 8:22PM
different groups, different activities .. my club is probably 95% digital yet goes back to 1890 when many members built their own cameras Smile

and the best in those early days indulged in darkroom manipulation akin to what we do so easilly in editing today.
Skodster 15 902 Ireland
11 Oct 2006 9:37PM
Clubs eh?

My own experience of clubs, and not just camera clubs either, is that you will find two sections, the 'old stalwarts' and the 'new bods' with a clear division in between the two. A similarity can be drawn between staff and pupils at school.

There is always the established elite, either there through sheer bloody mindedness or driven by the promise of mass control that can be easily exercised in the club by the local megalomaniac! It is extremely difficult to be accepted by the elite and many members give up after a year or two of bullying and usury.

Upon first joining, you are a mystery, fresh meat, potentially someone who may be able to offer the ruling elite something for nothing, either knowledge, services or goodies. When they discover that you are just another skint member who enjoys the hobby, you are persona non grata, a zero, a nobody, a ghost. You feel obliged to volunteer for almost anything to gain acceptance by the elite, worried that your reluctance to participate will get you kicked out. The elite know this and prey upon your fear like a pack of slavering dogs. You roll over like a dog too.

When they eventually realise that you are no use to their little clique, you are largely ignored. At club night, they sit around the 'top table' sycophantically blowing smoke up each others ars*s. Attendance is by invitation only. You sit around the shadows with your fellow 'untermensch' all speaking in hushed tones whilst the 'top tablers' guffaw and roar at jokes that are quite frequently at you and your friends expense. Any hope of learning anything of the hobby that forms the basis of the club is dashed. You finally realise that the elite exist to guard such coveted information and they view their knowledge as power to be used to intimidate the less well informed. Any new members that dare to show knowledge are quickly absorbed or rejected according to the threat that they perceive.

Eventually, you strike up friendships and relationships with those of 'your kind', forming a ghetto of misfits and outsiders. Life becomes acceptable as you grow more confident. At some point a member of the committee, normally the 'core' of the elite notices that you have been regularly attending for the last year. You are appointed the poisoned chalice. You do all the jobs asked of you with little thanks from your peers. The only recognition you get from the committee is their awarding you even more tasks until you break and give up.

The Elite keep going, constantly on the prowl for fresh meat...............

Me? Synical?? (I see a little of this at EPZ too!!!!!)
RhysJ 15 1
12 Oct 2006 1:44PM
Solihull Photographic Society welcomes digital photographers, who are probably in the majority.
ajhollingbery 18 106 England
16 Oct 2006 12:30PM
I'm rather surprised that so many on this website are critical of camera clubs. After all, what is ePHOTOzine but a camera club? And like all clubs, most of the members are helpful and friendly but a few you could do without! Just ignore the one's you don't get along with.

Personally, I am a member of two clubs, Fosse Coop Camera Club which caters for film and digital users and East Midlands Audio Visual Group which, as the name implies, specialises in audiovisual work and again caters for digital and slide media.

My view is that the main difference between amateur and professional photographers is that the amateur has the time to ensure his work is as good as he can make it. The professional's is only as good as his customer will pay for and we all know that Joe Public has little idea of what makes a good picture.

Camera clubs are made up of amateurs - enough said.
Carabosse 18 41.8k 270 England
16 Oct 2006 1:15PM

Quote:After all, what is ePHOTOzine but a camera club?

Rather more than that I think! Most camera clubs don't have 4000 active members and all the various facilities on this website. Some of us even meet up from time to time!

Camera clubs were probably of more relevance before the dawn of the internet. They still have their place as social clubs with a bit of photography thrown in! Wink

(And there's nothing wrong with that, of course).
snapbandit 17 2.3k 3 Northern Ireland
16 Oct 2006 2:34PM

Quote:After all, what is ePHOTOzine but a camera club?

Rather more than that I think! Most camera clubs don't have 4000 active members and all the various facilities on this website. Some of us even meet up from time to time!

Camera clubs were probably of more relevance before the dawn of the internet. They still have their place as social clubs with a bit of photography thrown in! Wink

(And there's nothing wrong with that, of course).

sounds exactly like a camera club to me!!, OK more members, but a different set of facilities, some of which are not (to my knowledge) available here, many have permanent darkroom (both chemical and digital) & studio setups for the members to use, also some have club equpment which is available for the members to borrow (such as studio lights etc.). Some camera clubs meet up from time to time too, which is good for people to get their hands on other peoples gear (sounds a bit rude!!) & get 'hands on' tips from the more experienced members!!

"Social clubs with a bit of photography thrown in!" - sounds exactly like EPZ to me!! thats why I like it here!!

but it's not really any more than an on line club in my opinion (it's the large numbers which make it so active & useful for critique etc. or for those who feel the need for recognition (clicks) for their work!!

My 2p

Joe B
JohnHawthorne 16 1.7k 5 Scotland
16 Oct 2006 2:44PM

Quote:Some camera clubs meet up from time to time too

ePHOTOzine meets up too you know. Quite regularly in fact. The biggest meet this year (weekend away!) is about to happen in less than 3 weeks and I'm really looking forward to it!

My local camera club costs around 100 per year, with no weekend away and the 'year' only starts in October but ends in May!

A bit of photography thrown in?! We have a comprehensive gallery, techniques, articles, awards, competitions (with proper prizes!), book reviews and lots more. A bit of photography? What more do you want?
snapbandit 17 2.3k 3 Northern Ireland
16 Oct 2006 2:56PM

Quote:Some camera clubs meet up from time to time too

I realize that EPZ meets up regularly!!, the reply was to the previous posters point about the differences between EPZ & camera clubs, to make the point that camera clubs meet as well!!

My camera club has just put up their charges for family membership to 30 per year - so to me it's good value!! (& regular photo excursions to take pics)

A bit of photography thrown in, yes!! not everything on this site revolves around photography (just like a social camera club!!) I was not knocking EPZ, as I said I like it here (or I wouldnt renew my membership every year!)

I Don't think I said I wanted anything more???


Joe B
peterjones 19 5.2k 1 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2006 3:09PM
You get far more rows ermm I mean frank and meaningful exchange on epz in one evening than we have had at my camera club in the last ten years Smile
JohnHawthorne 16 1.7k 5 Scotland
16 Oct 2006 3:14PM
Oh, I see - sorry I misunderstood, my apologies. Sad

I think I have the raw end of the deal where I live with regards to camera clubs. As far as I know my local camera club goes on outings twice in the year! It looks like there's a lot of variation between different camera clubs. Mine is simply a rip-off (so I don't go).
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2006 3:43PM
My camera club costs a lot less than 100, and as for trips out, there are organised ones, as well as practical studio events. Plus, just like EPZ there are informal trips where one person says "I fancy going to place X anyone else interested?"

Both have plus and minus points, and both rely on the people involved to make it a good or bad thing. For example the Stourhead EPZ meet was like a camera club outing for me. A good day out.
brian1208 18 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2006 3:51PM
Interesting how clubs vary. Mine costs 18.00 / year, meets throughout the year, has both a Digital and studio sub-group and has members from 12 to 80+.

We are currently running a series of digital training courses to bring people up to speed and just about all members now use digital in one way or another (yet we also have some who still play with wet chamicals in their dark-rooms!)

I guess I'm just lucky Smile
Snapper_T 17 867 United Kingdom
19 Oct 2006 3:56PM

Quote:In my club we have members of all ages; quite a number of ladies; the membership couldn't give a stuff as to what equipment you wield;

It is like this at my club too.

I'd completely agree with Matt, but then I do go to the same club.

Relaxed attitude, wide range of experience and skills, film and digital, good social activities.

The previous club I attended felt completely different, so I'm glad I found this one.

Actually it sounds the same as the club Brian goes to but even cheaper, he he!


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