So are we.
First, how to navigate this website:- On a computer, hover your mouse / finger / pointing device over any main menu item at the top of the page to open drop-down menus.Then click on any item to open it, including the top of the page item. Don’t read it all. Save some for later. Click your browser’s back arrow to move back one page, or select another page from the menus. On a smartphone you may only see a single list of menus and just have to work up and down it.
If you have questions, click the “Contact us” menu for a blank message form.Someone will get back to you by email. The best way to get to know what goes on is to just come along and see. The first meeting is generally a get-together at which regular members cough up their annual membership fees and the president announces the new Master Plan. There may be nibbles. Don’t feel you have to decide to join on day one. Give it a couple of weeks. See what you think.
What does it cost? Annual membership is £30 and £20 for concessions. (Under 18, over 60) There is also a £2 charge per week collected at the meetings. That pays basic running costs, power, tea & biccies etc. ( A new bulb for a digital projector costs £100-200. Speakers on the club circuit need overnight accommodation, travel expenses and a fee, so can be costly. Judges have to be bribed… )
The club has been in existence for at least 65 years. So have many of the regulars, so we are keen to attract younger members, including those for whom the camera of choice is a smartphone. The best pictures are usually made with the camera you carry all the time. Come and teach us a trick or two. Minimum membership age is 16, unless accompanied by an adult.
If you do have a Gigapixel DSLR/mirrorless/system/superzoom/bridge camera, congratulations.
Have you read the manual? Didn’t think so. Neither has anyone else, but we will be happy to poke all the buttons to see if one goes “Bing!” We may even be able to explain how to work the thing. So if you just spent £500 on a camera with more buttons then the starship “Enterprise”, but can’t get photos as good as your old Instamatic, we feel your pain. We’ve all been there. Maybe we can help. Want to get it off “Auto”? Now you’re talking! Come and find out how.
So what do we actually do? Well, mostly we look at pictures, observe how much better we could have taken them had we only thought of it, drink tea, eat biscuits, play with cameras and grumble about blind, senile photographic competition judges. You will too. It’s catching.
Some people take photographs as a record of their life. Some are scientific, some artistic, others point n’ shoot. There is room for all. We do amuse ourselves with competitions , internal and UK-wide, which should not be taken too seriously, apart from obviously being a matter of life and death. Don’t feel you must compete, especially if your photos are really good. We oldies like to win.
Worried you’re not good enough? You sound like the ideal member. We don’t want newbies to be too good. It’s embarrassing. If you do happen to be a super whizz with cameras or computers you will rapidly find yourself so loaded down with requests for help or tutorials that you will have time for nowt else. If you don’t know a PC from a bacon slicer, we can probably explain how to edit a digital photo while retaining all your fingers – and how and where to find and use software to do it. Including free stuff. Be part of the great Photoshop v GIMP debate.
Do you shoot RAW or JPG? Do you know the difference? We do. We think. We know (vaguely) what PNG and TIFF stand for and we have schemes for storing, tagging and filing digital photos that we aim to catch up on this winter. No, really. But if you have a better idea…
If you have no idea what any of that stuff means- and you just want to learn how to take nice pictures , come along and say so loudly. It’s mostly very simple. We can bore you to tears with technicalities if you like, or we can show you what end to point forward and which button to press. All you need is an interest. Like all things, once you learn the basics, the complex stuff becomes interesting instead of incomprehensible.
We have lectures from members and outside speakers, some of whom actually seem to know their stuff. (Though we know better, or so we think in the pub). We have members’ nights when we bring cameras and try to figure out what all the knobs do – especially which ones go “Bing!”- and how to stop them from doing so.
Oh- and sometimes we actually photograph things. Have a look at the galleries. Galleries.
Stuff like that. You can do it , too. You know you want to. To check where we meet, click here-
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