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  1. #1
    delphine's Avatar
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    Are you an RPS member?

    I am based in the East end of London and I am considering joining the RPS, mostly because I have not found a local camera club in my borough.

    When I flicked through their website, I noticed that a lot of the workshops were geared towards digi. Also, in the special interest section, apart from the historian one, I did not see any that I felt I would fit in as no one is targeted at the art of wet printing & film photography in particular.

    Are some of you members of the RPS? what is your experience of it?

  2. #2
    Justin Cormack's Avatar
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    No, not a member. But I havent found any camera clubs in London either apart from www.thecameraclub.co.uk - are there any? Which borough are you? I live in Camden, work in Hackney, would join an east end camera club if it was film centric...

  3. #3
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    Google "camera clubs" this will give you quite a few leads, as in:

    http://cameraclubs.photopro.co.uk/PostCodeSearch.asp

    If there are less than 20 within 10 miles of you I will be surprised.

    It is true that the has been a headlong rush into digital within camera clubs and therefore the RPS, but that's the same the world over, so don't expect to find a club specialising in wet work. That doesn't mean to say that there isn't anyone within the RPS doing wet work of course, just that there isn't many of them.

    You could easily start one though.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  4. #4
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by delphine View Post
    I am based in the East end of London and I am considering joining the RPS, mostly because I have not found a local camera club in my borough.

    When I flicked through their website, I noticed that a lot of the workshops were geared towards digi. Also, in the special interest section, apart from the historian one, I did not see any that I felt I would fit in as no one is targeted at the art of wet printing & film photography in particular.

    Are some of you members of the RPS? what is your experience of it?
    I am a member (Associate) of the RPS (ARPS), a distinction which I obtained by exemption (I already had a degree in photography). I joined because it seemed like the only national organization that even came close to covering some of my interests. I have been infuriated by the RPS on many occasions, I now tell myself to regard it as the "camera club of camera clubs" and not worry about it.

    There are many special interest groups, which vary very widely in quality - the photojournalism group, for example, I understand has a very high proportion of members who are practising in the industry, unfortunately the meetings are in Central London so I never go. The scientific and alternative-process people are also good (people such as Tim Rudman and Mike Ware). There is also a group called visual art, it used to be called pictorial which was an accurate description since it contains people who are dedicated to achieving technical excellence in the pictorial style which has developed over the last 100 years or more - their understanding of the cutting-edge art photography you will find in the trendy galleries is zero.

    In my view the contemporary group is the worst by far - it is based on devotees of the English photographer Ray Moore, a god to some for his work in the 1970s, to me the most depressed man who ever pressed a shutter release, and someone whose work is largely forgotten (I think rightly) and totally out of line with the real contemporary work being done today. The contemporary group members are by and large totally undistinguished and their claim to spearhead today's art photography can only be described as laughable. Sadly, from your point of view, I would say that the most creative group by far is the digital imaging group!

    In short, I find enough in the RPS to justify a subscription of over £100, but the decision to renew is always a close call!

    YMMV!

    Regards,

    David

  5. #5
    roy
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    I do not know in which part of the East End you live but after reading your posting, I "googled" the area in which I used to live in my youth, Wanstead. The result indicated the Woodford and Wanstead Photographic Society. I had no idea that it existed so I would suggest that you 'target' some of the districts within your reach to see what is out there.
    Roy Groombridge.

    Cogito, ergo sum.
    (Descartes)

  6. #6

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    Like David I am an ARPS (also by exemption) and like David I have mixed feelings about renewing my subscription (now due). I think it excels through their Distinctions at encouraging people starting out in photography, and encouraging people on their photographic journey who want set goals & recognition of achieving them, but who aren't able to or don't wish to do it in a more mainstream way. I feel it also lets a lot of people down. There is very little indeed happening in London, and yes, the workshops appear to be totally digitally-oriented - certainly ones I have any chance of getting to. For these reasons I think it very unlikely I will renew my subscription. £90 is a lot to find. I could have investigated the Special Interest Groups more (but it costs extra to join each group for a year, so you can't really explore many different ones) but I was also surprised when I joined that the RPS to discover that it is, in fact, a glorified camera club, with some of the implied connotations - I thought it would offer a lot more than that. I still think it possibly does but if so it is painfully hard to tap into it.
    Last edited by catem; 12-01-2007 at 06:33 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7
    Sandeha Lynch's Avatar
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    Delphine, I met a whole bunch of photographers in my area by checking through the Flickr groups. I joined one group with a geographic focus and for the past year a bunch of members have gone out shooting together every month. 99% of them (some 370 members now) are digicam operators, but they are a keen and lively bunch and several are published.

    There is also a famously old camera club in the area ... but I can't bring myself to comment on that.

  8. #8
    delphine's Avatar
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    Thank you

    Thank you all for your comprehensive input.

    Sandeha - I am already a member of lpmg, which is a social photographic group here in London. 98% of the members use digi. That's why I am wanting to make additional connections, if possible film focused, to help me process on my "photographic journey", using Catem's words.
    Therefore I am not sure flicker is the answer.

    Dave - I had already tried that camera club search that you referred to. None of the camera club are locals as such. And if I was to travel, then I'd do so for a film centric group only.

    David - Honest and entertaining note. Interesting. I think that I will give myself time to think about registering. I like the structured approach to demonstrating/validating acquired skills.
    As Catem pointed out, this seem to be the best benefit of the registration.

    This said, I feel that photography is like a big sea, it can be a big journey too, and I am sorry if the RPS is not able to cater for all its fishes.

    Justin - Hola ! *Delphine waves her flag* I am based in Limehouse, so not far at all from Camden and even closer to Hackney.

    Best

    Delphine

  9. #9
    Justin Cormack's Avatar
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    Hola! I like to visit Limehouse in my wanderings around London, its just down the canal...

    There really dont appear to be any camera clubs in east London...

    I go to some London flickr meetups and there are some film users. There are a few uk based film groups eg http://www.flickr.com/groups/ishootfilmuk/ and there seems to be quite a bit of interest, not entirely drowned by digital.

  10. #10
    delphine's Avatar
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    I did not know of the UKfilm flicker group. Thank you Justin.

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