Sorry about that Baxter I made a mess of trying to quote you.
But I did check out your site and have come to the conclusion you are into making money from your hobby. This I believe sets you apart from the the majority of camera club members who are there for the enjoyment and sharing of their hobby.
I've no problem with people making money but you must admit you photograph what will sell, while camera club members photograph what will do well for them in competitions.
It's no surprise to me that you do not have a shared vision with camera club members.
Good luck in your photographic career.
I need to correct you Vincent, you have made presumptions which are simply not true and I feel that I ought to set the record straight.
It actually was the above 'competitive photography' moment when I decided that I didn't really want to please anyone else, such as a judge. I was pleased to have sold a few pictures, albeit very cheaply, prior to this comment.
It gave me the motivation and courage to go out to make pictures which I like rather than trying to second guess what someone else will like. Yes, there have been a couple of occasions where I have tried to do the competent but clicheed shot. They are forever devoid of emotion, so I have stopped.
Thus I am effectively 'amateur' in that I take shots to please myself. I am very appreciative that others like them too and choose to put them on their walls. So I suppose I 'owe' that judge for saying what he did.
Furthermore I am able to enjoy my photography as I choose where to go and what to shoot. As for the sharing, as has been pointed out by others on this thread, different avenues exist.
I'm not sure that statement holds completely unless one is referring to generically styled stock photography or "photography" for tabloid newspapers. Some varying degree of style and vision must surely be an attractive feature of a certain portion of both commercial and fine art photography.
To give a practical local example: I could go and photograph generic views of the Norfolk broads, windmills, sunsets, reeds, boats etc, which may very well not reflect my particular take on the subject matter; and therefore why pay attention to that individual photograph. In a different scenario I could go and make photographs that reflect something of my own photographic style, and then leave it up to others as to whether they want to look or not.
This is my 2nd year in my local club. I enjoy it overall - the club has been around for 76 years, so is known in the local photographic community. The quality of presenters they get is very good - I'm quite surprised at the variety and quality of local photographers, everything from specialists in food photography to wedding photographers to travel/landscape/"calendar" photographers.
Using film I am in the minority, although I don't get much flak for it - most members I talk to consider it a valid choice, although I get the usual comments sometimes, in particular "Isn't it expensive?" coming from someone who spent $2,000+ on a digital camera, lenses, and Photoshop :) There are a few of us who shoot film (almost) exclusively, including a couple who shoot 4x5 or larger - they don't show their images much, but I'm trying to encourage them to change that :)
As with others' comments, competitions are quite subjective - in our club the monthly judging is done by an invited trio - a local pro, a local (usually) non-photographic artist, and a senior member of the club. They always begin by actually saying it's very subjective, so that's how I look at it. It has been interesting to see what others consider important or "good" in photography, and it usually boils down to the basics - eg, how the main subject is framed or highlighted, any distracting elements, everything that should be in focus is actually in focus.
The funny part is, the competitions often highlight the "rules" - eg, rule of thirds, focus, straight horizons, etc - but the pros who present on other nights tend to bend or break those rules an awful lot :)
And yes, there aren't too many people under 40 (which I am), but I'm OK with that - it's nice to meet people of all age groups with a common interest. There are a couple of other less formal groups in town as well, so I've started hanging out with one of them as well - also an effort to meet other local photographers.
One of the larger clubs in the Birmingham (UK) area has its own darkroom and apparently non-members can make use of it. I've been debating for years about doing this but have always avoided it because firstly a relative is a fairly senior member and I didn't want to have my photos compared to his, and secondly I don't fancy the competition bias which does seem to exist in this club. I think I may just take the plunge and go along to one of the nights the darkroom facilities are available and see. Then I can always decide whether to go again.
Have filled in the form on the Marches group website, sounds my cup of tea. I'll go and see your exhibition at the Gateway too. In case anyone is local there's one about War Graves at The Gateway from 3rd to 21st November.Quote:
We're based in Shropshire around Shrewsbury, so if anyone is based in Shropshire, Powis etc. and is interested then give me a pm.
I was in a club in MA that is doing some great sounding meetings on composition and lighting that I wish I could be there for. They used to put a lot of emphasis on competition, but also had interesting presentations as well as image study nights. I think they're putting a much bigger emphasis on shooting great shots now, not just for competition.
The club I joined here is not quite what I want, but I joined mostly because I hoped I would meet other photographers I could shoot with and who could introduce me to places to shoot. I've gotten some of that out of it, but I'm totally disappointed with how they do competitions and the lack of image study/critique. In the club in MA, they brought in outside judges who gave comments regarding how they arrived at the score. In the club here, club members do the judging and there's very little feedback on the scores. No one wants to say someone's shot sucks, so little is said. It's also very easy to know whose shot is whose. That's their excuse for not doing image study, but I'd bet I can pick out who shot which photo 75% of the time anyway.
I'd guess that about 10% - 15% of this club still shoots film, but they dropped slide competition this year (keeping prints and projected digital). The group in MA may have fewer film shooters, but still competes slides. The ones who give me a hard time about film are the ones who are diehard gearheads anyway and they aren't that bad.