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Síle
04-27-2007, 09:04 AM
Having never taken the plunge.. I found myself lately considering joining my local camera club.
After reading yesterdays thread "Interesting-off-hand-comment" regarding the lack of community around photographers since the decline in the usage of film.. I have been led to ponder the idea once more..
But is a camera club the answer? Or have they too been taken over by predominately d*g*t*l users?
Or am I simply looking for an answer in all the wrong places?


Síle

reellis67
04-27-2007, 09:07 AM
It depends on the people in the group. In my experience there is a *great* deal of variance in the quality of groups from one to the other. Spend the time needed to find the right group for you. Be prepared to find a lot of competitive focus, strong egos, good-ol'-boys, and other non-sense, but if you look around you may find a group that is worthwhile for you. Also, don't let a small group of members set the tone for the entire group. I found that if you talk to many people you may find that there is a sub-set of the larger group that suits your interests even if the main group does not.

- Randy

thebanana
04-27-2007, 09:39 AM
I agree with everyting Randy said, and would add that you are more likely to find like-minded people by taking a photo/darkroom course at a local community college or art gallery. Good Luck, and have fun!

John

Jean Noire
04-27-2007, 09:54 AM
Having never taken the plunge.. I found myself lately considering joining my local camera club.
After reading yesterdays thread "Interesting-off-hand-comment" regarding the lack of community around photographers since the decline in the usage of film.. I have been led to ponder the idea once more..
But is a camera club the answer? Or have they too been taken over by predominately d*g*t*l users?
Or am I simply looking for an answer in all the wrong places?


Síle

In my experience only digital users are catered for nowadays, lucky to find two or three members that use film.
I have been a member of two clubs over the past few years and have given both up due to complete lack of interest in film.
The only benefit is that you may get an opportunity to have your work considered for one of the federation shows, if you can handle all the digital flack and smile politely when the looks of amazement arise when you present your b/w hand printed images from film.
Good luck,
John

copake_ham
04-27-2007, 09:54 AM
In answer to part of your query, I am not a member of a camera club - but I did get to see one in action last year while shooting some pics with my F3 in downtown Tucson.

Two vans pulled up and out popped a dozen or so "seniors" (all men) who proceeded to snap away madly with their top-of-the-line digi SLRs all the while bragging that "mine's better 'n yours"....

After 10 minutes they rushed back into their vans and drove off - probably headed for the "early bird special" at a local chain restaurant.

The scene kind of put me off the idea of "camera clubs".

On course this was in Tucson, AZ and YMMV in Ireland.

reellis67
04-27-2007, 10:13 AM
I've seen some of what John and George mentioned myself. One of the clubs that I looked into was making the transition to all-digital and everything that was shown had to be digitized - no prints at all. Another, much larger group like to do the invasion/blaze/bolt routine that George mentioned, so it's not isolated to Arizona.

I participate in a group that is based two and half hours from where I live because they are the only ones that had anything to offer me. I have no interest in competitions (almost all clubs are competition based), have no interest in working in crowds of people making time lapse movies (holding down the shutter for minutes on end), and I have no interest in d*g*t*l cameras. I had to search for years to find the small group that I shoot with (no more than 5 or 6 on any given trip) who were not interested in these things.

Don't give up off hand though. I didn't think that I would like participating in a group, but once I found the right bunch of people I found that I really enjoyed it. Try asking around your regional group here on APUG to see if there are any people in your area that may have some experience with local clubs or who might be interested in starting a group with similar interests.

- Randy

Steve Smith
04-27-2007, 10:20 AM
The club in Ryde on the Isle of Wight has two members who use film (one is me, obviously).

Although the club is mainly competition based, which is not of much interest to me, they do have interesting evenings with guest speakers. The last one I went to was a magic lantern slideshow which was very interesting.

Generally though, it is very much 'my camera has more resolution than yours' digital nonsense.

I only really go for a cup of tea and a biscuit in the interval.... And the fact that my father is the treasurer and was the founder chairman twenty years ago when it was 100% film!

Steve.

Joe Lipka
04-27-2007, 10:43 AM
Redefine your quest. If you join a "camera" club, the emphasis will be on "camera" related topics - hardware oriented. If that is what you want, that is fine. It might be more rewarding to find a group that is interested in photography. You might start a thread here for Irish photographers. There are more than a few that frequent this site.

Tom Kershaw
04-27-2007, 10:44 AM
Steve,

Does this mean the average age is around seventy at your club?

Tom.

jp80874
04-27-2007, 10:53 AM
Two vans pulled up and out popped a dozen or so "seniors" (all men) who proceeded to snap away madly with their top-of-the-line digi SLRs all the while bragging that "mine's better 'n yours"....

After 10 minutes they rushed back into their vans and drove off - probably headed for the "early bird special" at a local chain restaurant.


Some times the answer comes from an unexpected source. My wife a water colorist and I were visiting Acadia National Park, an island park off the coast of Maine. We had found a beautiful marsh with mountain behind and decided to go there the next morning to catch the light. She set up her easel and I my 8x10, when suddenly five SUVs and vans arrived. Men and women piled out, set up easels and began to sketch and paint, all politely careful of everyone's view. We learned it was a class from the local water color workshop. We had found a group that worked at the same speed, consideration and enjoyment as we did. There was not a digital camera or a rushed movement to be seen. A month later we were in the mountains of North Carolina and after politely asking permission, we set up between two oil painters beside an interesting cliff. Everyone was enjoying the scene and occasionally we spoke about the light or angle of things. Perhaps it is not the tools but the similar appreciation of the scene that drew us together. No long term relationship evolved, but it gave me some thoughts as to who might be more simpatico.

John Powers

thefizz
04-27-2007, 01:02 PM
I joined a camera club about ten or twelve years ago when all the members used film. I didn't stay a member too long as the night they met clashed with something else I was doing.

Recently I met a girl who is in this same camera club now and she told me that she and her friends are still trying to convert the last few film users to the big D.

To me camera clubs are like photography forums where a mixture of film users and digital users just doesn't work. Theres always someone saying "ah you should shoot Digital". If I wanted to shoot digital I would, but I don't.

If you can find a group of people with the same interest as you (be it film or Digital) then great as you all have the same interest. Apug is great because when you ask a film question, your not answered with a "go digital answer".

Peter

Steve Smith
04-27-2007, 01:09 PM
Camera clubs have not changed much really. Before the film or digital debates, it was arguments over Nikon or Canon being the best.

Steve.

colrehogan
04-27-2007, 01:23 PM
I joined a camera club about ten or twelve years ago when all the members used film. I didn't stay a member too long as the night they met clashed with something else I was doing.

Recently I met a girl who is in this same camera club now and she told me that she and her friends are still trying to convert the last few film users to the big D.

To me camera clubs are like photography forums where a mixture of film users and digital users just doesn't work. Theres always someone saying "ah you should shoot Digital". If I wanted to shoot digital I would, but I don't.

If you can find a group of people with the same interest as you (be it film or Digital) then great as you all have the same interest. Apug is great because when you ask a film question, your not answered with a "go digital answer".

Peter

If you get a chance, tell her and her friends to stop trying to 'convert' the film users.

Okay, I am in a camera club in which I am the only person still regularly shooting film. On our last outing, I had taken two of my LF cameras and despite my concern that I was 'taking too long' we all had fun. Our club is not a competition based club. We merely get together because we enjoy photography.

reellis67
04-27-2007, 03:15 PM
Camera clubs have not changed much really. Before the film or digital debates, it was arguments over Nikon or Canon being the best.

Steve.

Quite so...

- R

copake_ham
04-27-2007, 03:24 PM
I guess to some extent there were camera club debates in the past such as RF v. SLR and, as already mentioned, Canon v. Nikon etc. But I think the D v. F one is of a different sort.

The fact that we use the term "convert to digital" means we've all been up against that Messianic fervor. That is further spiced up with the attitude that if you prefer film you're an old fart and not "with it".

Who needs that crap? I have a couple of dSLRs and a digi P&S and am quite familiar with the technology. That said, I find I continue to prefer film photography - and that's all there is to "the debate" as far as I'm concerned. So, as you can imagine, I have less than zero interest in any camera club - unless I find one that firmly adheres to the principles that inform this website!

Travis Nunn
04-27-2007, 03:51 PM
I'm a member of a photo club and I'm the only film shooter. I can honestly say that I've not been told once that I should convert to digital. The fact that every member seems to be in competition on who had the most exotic, exciting photo trip this past year is what bugs the $hit out of me.

jmdavis
04-27-2007, 04:46 PM
Travis,


I didn't even know that there was a camera club around here. I've tried repeatedly to interest people from VCU, but so far, there are no takers.

It's funny considering the fact that I know more local people on here and the LF forums that shoot film than I do in the city as a whole (and that includes photo classes at VCU).


Mike

Robert Brummitt
04-27-2007, 06:46 PM
Hello Siles
I operate Portland Photographers Forum in Oregon. Id say we're about 80% analog. Most of the members are large format/black and white photographers. But, we do have a growing numbers in digital. It's mostly the digital printing side verses digital cameras. What PPF does is offer the members to show and discuss their photography and that's what you should look for in a group.
We don't compete or compare equipment. Both, analog and digital photographers are after the same thing... Expressing themselves and how they see their world with their photography. PPF offers lectures by local photographers, print viewing of members and other fun activites.
What I would suggest is that you study what APUG offers and if you don't see clubs or groups that operate much like it then start forming your own. You'll find that many others around you may have the same interests.
Case in point, in Southern Oregon, a new group is forming because many of the local photographers there couldn't or didn't find a organization that fit their beliefs or interests. So they are banding togther.
I'm sure you'll find others like you.:) :)

Dave Miller
04-28-2007, 02:26 AM
Síle, Camera clubs, as all things vary greatly. I suggest that you make a list of those accessible to you, and take your time visiting them. If there is one you feel comfortable with over a couple of months, consider joining.
You have nothing much to lose; except other peoples prejudices.

Fintan
04-28-2007, 05:33 AM
OK Síle, bearing in mind I've a hangover and pounding headache :o, so this may not make sense.

Since it would be an irish club you are thinking of joining, heres an irish perspective.

All the irish photography clubs are affiliated to the IPF who in turn are affilliated to the FIAP. I started such a club in laois about 4-5 years ago. The percentage of digital snappers in these clubs is huge. Themes and competitions are set in the clubs every few weeks and the speedy turnover makes digital attractive to the masses. I'm the only darkroom user in my club. 2 others use labs, the other 15 people are solely digital now.

There are however still plenty of film users in these clubs, the numbers will obviously vary from club to club. Digital is not new anymore so the encouragement to "go digital" is well past its sell by date.

The question is really for you and what you want out of a club. Is it social interaction with other photographers, is it knowledge you want to aquire or compete, gain awards and distinctions?

Whatever it is, I would recommend you find your nearest club and see for yourself.

And you know while it will take a while to get off the ground, theres an analog club starting right here in apug.org/ireland
See http://www.apug.org/forums/forum237/38525-things-do-ireland-regional-group.html for more info.