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Camera Clubs what are they for?

steve_p 12 1.2k England
3 Oct 2007 4:54PM
Its now the time of year for the camera clubs to start their season again.
I was a member of my local club last year having previously been a member for a few years, with a gap of a few years in between.
I went to a meeting the other night in which judging was taking place for pictures to enter into inter club competions. There was a prospective member there who volunteered his pics. I was embarrassed because the " select few" tore his efforts to shreds.
I doubt he will attend again. However I found that there had been outings in the summer which i had not been told about. I was virtually ignored by the self appointed committee. I have entered some pics for the club league competion- I will go and see what comments are made but I will not go after that. I can think of a better way of spending 40,!!
The club is suffering declining numbers and I now see why.
It seems to me most clubs only run competitions and if you dont enter you are frowned upon, or aren't incuded properly.
Is this usual for clubs ?
Sorry about the long post but I felt I needed to get it off my chest.


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strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2007 5:05PM
Not for all
dcash29 12 2.3k England
3 Oct 2007 5:06PM
I'm a member of a photographic society. I wouldnt say people are frowned upon if they dont enter competitions as others are busy sorting themselves out.

What i would say is that if this persons pictures were bad what should the judges say? It does depend of course how they pulled the pictures apart?
With you being a member of that particular club and with feeling so strong i think you should voice your concern and point out the potential harming to the club, as the person might not return plus you are thinking of leaving with their attitude.
Barbaraj 11 450 England
3 Oct 2007 5:19PM
I'm a local camera club member and at first it was frosty . Then they warmed to the fact I was staying. There are about 6 women and 30 men or more. now I have been a member for 3 years i'm enjoying it and we have recently done some press releases to get in new members with open digital evenings for all. So new faces are there in the group.

competiotions are for those who want to join in and the interclub photo entries are decided by the committee. But there is a lot of extras hapeening we are all told about.
I'm enjoying it so will stay, and befriend the newcomer.
BigCol 17 1.8k 1 Scotland
3 Oct 2007 5:20PM
I'm a member of three clubs, not counting ePz Wink each has it's own little niche in my life but at the end of the day you only get out of camera clubs, as with most things in life, what you are prepared to put in.
The members of all three clubs are friendly, in their own way, but the key is to get involved.
Any club where the 'members' treat new members, or potential new members, the way you've described deserve all they get.
If it's not for you then go elsewhere, but you should let them know why.

Quote:I can think of a better way of spending 40,!!
E2 Membership?
mattw 14 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2007 5:21PM
Not all clubs are fixated on competitions.

Edit: agree with Col
BigCol 17 1.8k 1 Scotland
3 Oct 2007 5:22PM
Oh yes, and committees really shouldn't be self appointed, therein lies a whole other can of worms!
As a club that charges membership I'm sure that there should be some sort of club constitution in place and a procedure whereby the committee is elected by the membership.

And continuing the meetings in the pub afterwards is always a good way to vent your splein about the P!$$ poor judge that night or to just chew the cud with like minded individuals, which doesn't always happen at the clubs!
John_Frid 12 514 57 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2007 5:51PM
I suspect that camera clubs come in all shapes and sizes and each one has its pro's and con's.

I only have experience of my own club (which I joined last year). It is fair to say that at 45 I am one of the younger members. The club is fairly well supported with circa 60 members and it runs a full year sylabus.

Whilst we have a focus on competitions, we dont put pressure on people to enter. Our problem is usually that we have too many entries rather than not enough (at least for print competitions), so this takes some of the pressure off.

For print competions we run a beginners section which allows less experienced members enter a class with other novices and the judges take this into consideration when giving comments. By and large judges try to give constructive advice. Rather than tear something to shreds they look for something positive to say, whilst offering advice to help improve the weaker areas.

Generally if a club doesn't meet your needs then try another club. Eventually you will find one that works for you. Failing that you could try starting your own - several new clubs have sprung up round my way recently - no doubt started by people who culdn't find what they wanted elsewhere.
Just Jas Plus
16 26.2k 1 England
3 Oct 2007 6:06PM

Quote:I can think of a better way of spending 40,!!

Quote:E2 Membership?

steve_p 12 1.2k England
3 Oct 2007 9:30PM
I agree clubs do differ enormously, I must admit that I at first thought I had gone to the wrong one, because there wasn't much evidence last year of this "select few" business. The poor new man I mentioned earlier must have been quite surprised because the criticism was not very constructive!
As I said before I will see what happens next week before making a decision.
The other local club to me has about 30 members of which 50% are professionals! I tried that one first and really felt inferior !!
kaybee 14 5.8k 25 Scotland
3 Oct 2007 9:38PM
The way to change the club is from the inside - not leaving and shouting about it.

As has been said - clubs are not for everyone, but if you were a member and it suited but has changed since you returned - why not stay and make your mark
MeanGreeny 12 3.7k England
4 Oct 2007 10:00AM

Quote:The way to change the club is from the inside - not leaving and shouting about it.

I agree, it's the best way that the UK could think of to shaft the EU.
steve_p 12 1.2k England
12 Oct 2007 4:18PM
Just a small update, I went to my local club again this week. The guy I mentioned before was there, and was asked if he was submitting anything for the nights competition. He said he wouldnt after the previous weeks comments.
He said to me is this all that goes on -competitions? I said yes mostly. He didnt think he was coming again.
I agreed especially after the evenings proceedings were over, and the usual two people won all the top places.
Someone asked why don't more people enter, and was told by someone else that you can't win anyway so why bother.
The nett result is I am saving my subscription and not going again !!
Hanners Plus
12 875 10 Ireland
12 Oct 2007 4:20PM
good decision
steve_p 12 1.2k England
12 Oct 2007 4:31PM
Just another point about the competition I mentioned previously- The evenings judge commented on nearly all the pictures by saying you could have done this or that in Photoshop-yes do some improvements on exposure etc but he was talking about large changes such as removing a stray tree or completely changing the sky.
Does it mean the camera now tells lies quite seriously!

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