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Camera Clubs

dynexclick 12 19 1 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2012 10:24PM
Has anyone found camera clubs to be funny, and sometimes snooty places?

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22 Oct 2012 10:35PM
I have never been part of a camera club, but i have been invited to talk and exhibit at some. Lets just say it never really encouraged me to join Wink
Dave_Canon 11 1.4k United Kingdom
22 Oct 2012 10:52PM
By funny do you mean amusing? If yes then they can be same as any other social club. As for snooty, I think not but then I have not been to all of them. A lot of these stereotype ideas of Clubs do have roots in the past.

My present club is nearly 150 years old and for its first few years only gentlemen could join. They eventually allowed ladies but, of course, they used separate darkrooms. In my Club even 15-20 years ago, most members had addresses in the wealthier parts of town but this just reflects that these were the people who could afford an expensive hobby. However, during the 1990's all Clubs were shrinking and many clubs closed. The digital age was a huge boost as this brought the hobby to many more people as the new equipment was relatively more affordable. At my Club now we have members from all over the town and membership has doubled since the late 90's. While many (probably most) members use DSLR's, we also have members who use Bridge cameras and compact cameras. Nobody seems to have a problem with this.

dynexclick 12 19 1 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2012 10:58PM
Well I can't name the society, but its in North Sheffield.
Members are plesent enough, but they got the huff that I wasn't willing to join and only turned up for the portrait night that had been cancelled at a moments notice. Instead they spent 2 hours doing critque on the Yorkshire League photo comp winners. It was one of those nod yourself to sleep meetings. When asked why I didn't want to join, I explained that the club wasn't open through the photography seasons (summer/spring), sorry but I don't do bad weather photography if I can help it.

Seems to be the norm that clubs follow a school style time table.
brian1208 Plus
14 11.3k 12 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2012 11:09PM

Quote:Has anyone found camera clubs to be funny, and sometimes snooty places?

When I was looking for a club locally the first one I visited was a set of cliques dotted about a large room. When I eventually found someone who was able to talk to me the first thing they asked was what camera I used, secondly they explained that they won all the area competitions and finally that I would need to submit a portfolio of work so that they could assess if I was good enough to join them

Needless to say I didn't join

The club I did join was totally different, more like a social club where the common interest is people first and photography second. In the years I have belonged we have gone from being around 17 people to now full at 50, still in the same small location - so there ain't room for cliques! Grin

We've also gone from being the club that others liked to meet and beat in the inter-club comps to one of the top 3 (and we still don't really care what kit people use)

Eccentric - yes, Snooty - no way (we even had a judge from another more prestgious club leave his old club to join us after his first visit as a judge, because he like the atmosphere so much)
KevSB 14 1.5k 5 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2012 11:20PM
The reason the clubs close during that period is most members go away on holiday and numbers are a lot smaller, it makes perfect sense for them to use that time to have a break in the season, many members in these clubs will meet on an informal basis, photo clubs are are like any body, you get out what you put in.
cantona43 Plus
12 925 4 England
22 Oct 2012 11:31PM
I went along to my local club and sat while they had a club knockout night with interest, then I was told the week after they had a guest speaker who was going to talk about her girl guide work in India that did it for me I did not join and waste 30 and after looking at their program for the year I could not see how they justified 30 membership
kodachrome 6 701
23 Oct 2012 7:26AM
I guess all clubs are on a similar basis, some may have different agendas, expectations and standards. I was a member of a club in the 35-mm days and it was a very equipment snooty club. Those with Leica's, Contaxe's, Rollie's were the club elite. You stood a slight chance of going up the ranks if you had a Nikon or a Canon.

My local club which I have visited but not joined seem to be pixel fixated. Examining prints with a magnifier is a step to far in my book. You wouldn't look at a Monet that close, you would step back to get the whole ambience of the picture, not examining every brush stroke.
The one nice thing they do is present an exhibition in the local library of the 4 seasons as and when each season comes round, I think its a really positive thing the club does and it attracts lots of interest amongst the public.
RoyBoy 13 286 2 United Kingdom
23 Oct 2012 7:49AM
I belong to two clubs. One has around 120 members and the other 75. They are therefore of a reasonable size. Both are different in a number of ways but neither of them are snooty. Both provide a good mix of competitions, talks and such like. The larger of the two also has a studio section and a "beginners days" both of which meet approximately once a month.

They are both great, fun places to be at and welcoming to all, especially new, perhaps less experienced, members.

Maybe I am lucky but I guess there are good and bad in most things, photographic clubs being no exception.

dynexclick 12 19 1 United Kingdom
23 Oct 2012 8:27AM
I wouldn't say this club's members where equipment snobs. However, some could afford to go on exotic holidays to America, Africa and India. Instantly the subject matter is more interesting/different to what is available to others on a lesser budget. Hence new members work would be less likely to be chosen for inter club competitions.

I suppose I was a bit cruel to them by commenting that most camera clubs are obsessed with birds/insects on a stick and the insides of churches. Basically subjects to yawn at.

Don't think I can join a club somehow......
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
23 Oct 2012 10:37AM
I was taking photographs for over 50 years before I eventually joined a camera club.

I wish I had done it 50 years earlier.

It is the only camera club I have ever belonged to, so I can't comment on others - but the one I joined is certainly not snooty. It was very welcoming, in a nice informal way. Funny? Well, there are certainly plenty members with a great sense of humour.

For me, my belated discovery was that a camera club far exceeds any other method of learning about photography. You will learn hugely more from participating (and I stress the word "participating" - not merely attending) in a camera club than you will ever learn from books, videos, internet fora, etc., etc.

franken Plus
15 4.6k 4 United Kingdom
23 Oct 2012 10:43AM
Several years ago I thought I'd have a look at a club what at the time wasn't far from me. As the club season was drawing to an end I paid a visitors fee for the few remaining weeks. I was interested in the possibility of going on the advertised field trips.

Only one person spoke to me socially and I put it down to being new.

The following season I joined up for a year. I asked one of the members where to get mount boards locally. The reply was, "check on the web." I asked what size the boards need to be and the person pointed to one and said, "that size!"

Anyhow I got around that I submitted my first images to the monthly comp. The room sell silent as the judge announced one of my submissions as coming third. It went really quiet when the judge announced another as the winner of the month.

Shortly after a member walked towards me and I assumed I was going to be congratulated and how wrong I was as I got, "the majority of members have been here for a very long time and we don't like being shown up!"

I persevered for the rest of the season. Field trips came and went and they weren't announced and I wasn't invited. I was told by another member that despite the fact that I was winning the most monthly comps at the moment I wasn't going to win the overall yearly. Not being that bothered anyhow I came second. I'd already decided that I wasn't going to return next year anyhow. My last submission was for the yearly best of competition which was judged by a pro photographer.

I won the best landscape image and was presented with a trophy that I could keep for a year. I was once again approached by a member and was told, "keep it polished as I usually win the landscape of the year and I can't understand what the judge was thinking?" I returned the (polished) trophy a few months later and have never returned to the club.

crookymonsta Plus
10 837 10 England
23 Oct 2012 11:43AM
Camera clubs are a bit like people, they come in all shapes and sizes and a bad one can put people off for ever. The first one I tried was small and not particularly welcoming but I hit gold with the second. With 125+ members I thought it would be difficult to fit in but everyone was very friendly and encouraging and three years on I am Outings Secretary. We have a number of specialist groups open to all, run camera craft sessions for beginners and attract a wide age range. Largely due to that we are also one of the most successful clubs in the country in external competitions.
teepee 15 1.3k England
23 Oct 2012 11:51AM
I often find that people are people...............
lobsterboy Plus
14 14.9k 13 United Kingdom
23 Oct 2012 11:55AM
...So why should it be
that you and I should get along so awfully...

on dear I've been attacked by Depeche Mode

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