Jim Brown

is the Club open to new members? We meet at West Charleton Village Hall on Thursdays at 7.30pm, from September to May. We always welcome new members, including people who may have just moved to the district and don’t know about us. Prospective new members can just turn up or contact our Club Secretary beforehand.

What happens at the club meetings? We discuss all photographic subjects, from basic to the more ad- vanced and have speakers from all over the south of England, including some high profile ones. Once a year we have the Langford Lecture in memory of two of our members. We run four internal photograph-

ic competitions throughout the year on general subjects as well as wildlife and specialist competitions on set subjects. These are chosen by the committee and vary each year. We also keep our members informed of external competitions, including those run by the Western Counties Photographic Federation and Inter-Club.

Do you put on photography exhi- bitions? Yes, we have our annual summer exhibition in July, at the Market Hall in Kingsbridge usually during the town’s Fair Week. We occasionally hold local exhibitions, sometimes with a small group of members’ work and we had one recently at The Flavel in Dartmouth with a selection of landscapes and portraits.

How many members are at the club? Usually about 50, but it fluctuates between 40 and 60. Most live within 20 miles of Kingsbridge and range in age from early 20s to late 70s. Our members cover all abilities of photography skills, from absolute beginners to proficient.

“a good photograph is about the end subject, not the

camera you’re using”

What makes a good photographer? Most people just take snaps but photography is an art – you’ve got to have an artist’s eye to see something in a picture - so what you leave out is as important as what you include. Also, be observant of what’s going on around you, and have an eye for detail. As an amateur photographer my ethos is that you can’t really teach someone to take the perfect photo, only to improve their skills.

How accessible is photography to a beginner? It’s very accessible. Our main aim at the camera club is to improve members’ photography with workshops and hands on demonstrations. We also encourage members to

enter their photos into competitions to get feedback but also to take photos for themselves, not the judges.

Occasionally we have a young person at the club, with their parent, looking for a career in photography. One of our members went on to become a successful photographer in London and another is in their second year of a photography de- gree at Bristol University.

Has photography become more popular since the introduction of digital cameras and smart phones? It’s become more popular but whether it’s improved photography? – probably not! A lot more people are now using high-speed shutters and frantically snapping – it makes me think of monkeys and typewriters! I suggest that if you want to im-

prove your photographic skills, then get a film camera. This makes you think about what you’re taking as the cost is considerably more than digital. The Royal Photographic Society

now recognises smart phones but a good photograph is about the end subject, not the camera you’re using. There were a lot of problems in the camera club at the time of tran- sition from film and dark rooms, to digital. Some people didn’t want to make the transition, so dropped out of the club. Of course, the quality of digital photography during that transition time wasn’t anywhere near as good as it is now.

What’s the thing to look for in a good camera? I tell people to stop worrying about the camera as, in my opinion, the important part is the lens and the photographer behind it. When buy-

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