I introduced you as a speaker for your Sunday morning NECCC “Film is Alive” program, which I really enjoyed. I read with interest your perspective on the conference. Sad but true. Unfortunately, in camera clubs, Photoshop is where it’s at. I too get somewhat annoyed when former darkroom printers say they’ve gone entirely digital and would never go back. Hey, since artificial insemination was developed, does that mean they’ll never go back to sex??? That being said I always enjoy the conference. Over the last 40+ years I’ve been involved in photography and the 20 odd years I’ve worked at the conference I’ve seen a lot of changes. One thing remains the same however, and that is the wonderful people. I was glad to read that your overall impression of how the event was handled was positive. It takes a lot of volunteers and a lot of hours to put it all together.
Ironically the digital technology that threatens analog photography may be the same technology that brings together those of us who are interested in the enjoyment and exploration of all the traditional methods. Web sites, blogs and email can only be a plus for those who enjoy the total picture in the craft of photography (pun intended).
Incidentally I know Susan very well, and although she is not a co chairman for next years conference she still wields a very big stick. If you’re interested in doing a “how to” workshop I’ll talk to her about it. Personally I’d like to see one on the wet plate process but give it some thought and I’ll mention it to Susan.
PS: Sorry I missed you at the party. My room was just down the hall but I hit the sack at 11:00. Sounds like you could have used another film person there.
I keep hearing and seeing the same thing - I think it's sorta universal for camera clubs. What they don't get is how much they alienate people who would otherwise love to be more involved.
I think what the CC leadership and NECCC organizers fail to realize is the subtle 'vibe' that they are giving out to non-digital photographers. Much the same vibe in many of the internet photography forums. Everyone is welcome, but most, if not all, of the discussions is about digital. Another example is the 'loaner program' they had by Nikon and Canon. Guess how many film cameras there were for loaning? Throw in a couple folks who say things like: "You still shoot film?", "I completely switched and I don't understand why anyone would go back", "I went all digital and was so glad.", etc... and it really doesn't make for a welcoming environment for anyone that shoots film.
I'd try hard to make it if you get them to have any sort of alt process workshop next year.
That's a brilliant analogy! Welcome to APUG. You'll like it here.
Originally Posted by Nikon07
Art...you should have just brought out that big yellow Hassy...and they would have all converted (or reverted back) to film!
Originally Posted by gr82bart
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I admire your pluck to go into a place like that and preach the analog gospel, but that approach has always seemed a bit backwards to me. It's one thing if those people were looking some way of improving their images in a way that analog photography could help, but quite another to offer them something that is quite beside the point in their eyes. It's clear that what many people on this board consider photography and what people in those camera clubs consider photography are very different. Nothing wrong with that in my eyes, but we need to make sure that we don't project our sensibilities onto people that are enjoying themselves in a different way...
I had several people pick up a 35mm SLR part-way through a photo course I was teaching. The course was a basic one, we concentrated on taking pictures, not printing them. I allowed them to either use slide film in a 35mm slr or a digital SLR. I always used slides to demonstrate things I was talking about. In the 4 terms I taught, 2 or 3 people fell in love with slides and used them instead of the digital camera they started with. Of course I took a lot of pride in the fact that they were able to put down the digital and pick up a film camera and get good results with no problems. It sure made the teacher look good:-) My point was that they were able to see how analog photography could help them, most of the students did not. No biggie, they all enjoyed the class...
"camera" clubs and digital
As a member of a club in Ottawa I've been following this thread with interest; a few local comments/observations:
Everyone is referring to the clubs as camera clubs, for some reason the one I belong has called itself for many years a photo club - doesn't mean there isn't a fair amount of gearheadery though!
The widespread marketing and adoption by consumers of digital cameras (and printers) has led to a significant increase in membership for the club I belong to - as in a more than 100% increase in the last 5 years or so. This is a good thing in general for the club even though it has certainly been accompanied by a large drop in the number of members using film.
We have a darkroom facility which remains active, it is used by about 15% of the membership which is a proportion that has been fairly steady as the club has grown. What's interesting is that it seems to be younger members (20-30) who are most active in the darkroom. A facility we have that seems to get very use now is our scanning room (film and flatbed scanners), probaly because the slide shooters have all bought dslr's.
"Camera Clubs" don't have a sterling reputation for advancing photography since 1840.
Photoshop is just another way to figure out who gets ribbons and who doesn't.
"There ARE no standards"
Ouch!! camera/photo clubs certainly have their faults but I have enjoyed the fellowship of many other local photographers and been exposed to the work of many photographers through membership so I don't consider them all bad.
Originally Posted by df cardwell
Originally Posted by DaveOttawa
That is an interesting observation. I have seen a similar thing recently. In March my partner and I had the pleasure of working for 5 days with 5 of her students in Death Valley. Young men aged 15-18! They all came armed with decent digital cameras and used them, but what amused me was how they would lay claim to (and then monopolize) one of the 4x5s or a 120, especially once we were in location for the sunrise or sunset. They knew how to use them and the work that I've seen from the trip is pretty darn good.
There's hope in the younger generation!
"At either end of the social spectrum there lies a leisure class."