Just a quick (oh, maybe not!!) update regarding the ECC - I will not be renewing my membership. They have gone 100% digital, which I knew going into it, however, they are not remotely open (or friendly) to me being a film shooter.
Originally Posted by toro_mike
This is my opinion only and I don't intend to badmouth this group. As a fan of analog, I'm sharing my observations with you all. Since this shows up on the first page of Google, I figured I'd better state that fact. If you are 100% digital and are a big fan of computer manipulation, you will get a lot more out of this group than I did (for the record, I am very experience in Photoshop and digital graphics design - it's a big part of my career).
* On day 1, new members were asked to introduce themselves. I became an instant outcast by stating I was a primarily B&W film shooter with a wet darkroom. Folks actually avoided talking to me... and, as those on here who know me can attest (I would hope), I am a very friendly and open person. I did not present myself as a film snob at all - I'm not, in fact, I do both film and digital and I stated this fact.
* A month didn't seem to go by when somebody wasn't complaining about how horrid it was during the film era. The key message - digital is the best thing ever to happen to photography. Yes, film is "harder" I guess, but it is not horrid.
* They won't bring in pros anymore to give talks/slideshows/presentations, but will instead focus on providing digital seminars (primarily Photoshop, Lightroom, and Silver Efex - or whatever software program or plug-in is hot that week).
* Finally, the format of the competitions. It is a silent affair, where the judge speaks only and after judging, most folks grab their stuff and leave. There is very, very little discussion on the good and bad points of the photographs and therefore, very little growth for me as a photographer, which was my primary goal.
Overall, it wasn't a wasted membership. I did come out with a heap of darkroom gear (for free) on two separate occasions. However, I came out very depressed that I couldn't find any kinship in a hobby that I love with this group. Be it digital or analog, there is still a lot of common ground. There may have been other factors at work, but I definitely did not feel welcomed nor did I gain anything photographically or personally.