I’ve a confession, it’s a dirty secret, I’m a member of a camera club – sorry photographic society. I’d toyed with joining one of the local ones for five years or so, since not long after buying a DSLR and starting the lens addiction. Have I mentioned the lens addiction, shhhh thats another secret for another time. Anyway, every year I decided to join a club it always seemed to be at the end of their season and it didn’t seem worthwhile. Eventually last year I decided to take the plunge and join one. Looking on Google, there seemed to be quite a few local to me so I set off on a voyage of discovery to find out what each one was like. You know that idea you have in the back of your head about how they are full of old men sporting beards and reminiscing over the death of film (have I mentioned the film secret?), well you are quite right, that’s exactly what most of them are like.
Well, thankfully not all. I settled on Stevenage Photographic Society, yeah sounds grande doesn’t it – not like a club at all. You want to know another secret? It’s just a grande name for a club. Anyway, what I like about this
club society is that it has a wide mix of people, with all ranges and sexes present. It still has a theme of competitions at it’s heart, but it also seems to be responsible and understanding enough to want to help newbies (god I hate that term) to learn the art and techniques of photography.
So competitions, they are the life blood of the clubs and most of the season is wrapped around them. For those of you not in the know, you generally submit 2 to 6 prints or DPIs (that’s digital images) and a
qualified recognised judge will mark them out of 20. You might think that getting a 20 for an image means it is the best ever image, but in reality it is just the best in the presented set and could be mullered in another competition.
I’ve garnered a reputation for entering some left field images in the competitions and because of this suffered with the points scored in some of the competitions, but also been surprised by how well some have done. The Spitfire above was my first 20. Is it a good image? I think so, will I enter it elsewhere? Who knows, but at least I got a 20. Maybe I should leave now while the going is good…