Monday, August 25, 2008

Sticking the knife in, a bit.

Babooshka asked a very interesting question yesterday, how my photography changed after leaving the camera club. Well that is a can of worms and lets peak inside.

Firstly I will have to state that I’m speaking from the position of having dealt with a number of clubs, both as a member and as an outsider (salesman, try to flog them stuff and photographer trying to teach them stuff). In the club where I was a member I was events co-ordinator and chairman for a short time, so have seen and interacted with a number of other clubs and the bureaucracy behind them.

So, I think that on the whole they are made up of large numbers of well meaning individuals, who on the most part are above average photographers who are very passionate about their hobby. As clubs, they are bigoted, elitist and small minded, fixated on doing thing the “right way”, a great example of the pack mentality. That is the main problem, the “right way” trying to take photos that will please a judge, who, as the photos start to fall more in line with the desired style, get more and more picky, which then effects the photos taken in a vicious circle that kills artistic freedom. Having said that I would encourage people who want to learn photography to joint a club, there is nothing wrong with learning how to do it right (and they are one of the best ways to learn that, and cost effective), but keep in mind that first and foremost, you need to take pictures that you like, I forgot and almost lost my way and stopped taking picture, like the previous chairmen had done, because it was not fun anymore, that’s when I left, the effect on my photos, well I started to have fun and the pictures got better on their own.

Now playing: Bobby Darin - Mack The Knife
via FoxyTunes

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Anonymous said...

That's a beautiful picture...


There's no "right way" - YOUR WAY is the right way, that's my belief. It's like when I was doing Literature and my teacher would always say "I don't know about that" when I presented an idea - as soon as I got past school and into college I was suddenly confronted by the idea that your ideas are fine as long as you can justify them!

So there - do whatever you want, the pics are still lovely, you don't need to do anything anyone else's way if you don't wanna!

Scarlet x

aims said...

Another picture that makes me sigh!

Clubs! Grrrrrrrrrrr!!


I can totally see that happening insde a club...the whole pack mentality. We are better then you.

Oh well, I like to hang out with photographers...but not poop on others peoples work.

You take amazing shots, I've never seen your work when you were in the club...but keep what you've been shooting coming.

travelling, but not in love said...

Strikes me it should all be about fun! If a great photo comes out of it, then that's also cool. But the process should be fun.

Ellie said...


The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Exquisite photo yet again. Ditto on your comments re camera clubs. When I need a primer I go to the local community college. Much more personal and they encourage creativity. Your photos are stellar.

Suburbia said...

Beautiful. You seem to have your own definate style .

Kris said...

I can’t say that my experience has been much different (although always from the ‘amateur’ side!) While I’m happy to potter along and do my own thing, disregarding ‘specialists’, I’ve seen quite a few lose interest and walk away because the ‘expert’ has either berated them for ‘not doing it right’ or have been told that the camera they own “can’t take real photographs” and can’t/won’t find the grand needed to buy one that can.

I will say that these sorts are the minority, but by God, they do damage well above their numbers!

Brilliant image, by the way, obviously you are ‘doing it right’!

babooshka said...

Thank you for the answer, and it was as I suspected.

Many years ago I toyed with joining a club. At the time my camera was deemed not of the right calibre. When I advanced my camera I no longer found it neccesary to be a part of such an elitist club that considered the camera more important than the photographer.

Subsequently, I am self taught and would never join a camera club and a selling professional. Although there are distinct advantages for competitions and joining certain media enclosures there are more disavantages.

I have found most camera club photography to be stale.trite. lacking imagination. It's this way only, no room for artistic input or suggestion.

Yes you can learn how to use the Fstop and apertute corrcectly, the tech bits yes. Can you take creative photos no. Can you develop your own individual style no.

Anyone who can afford a certain camera can join a club.However anyone who has a camera is not a photographer.

Ah see when I want to I can be very sensible with my narrative.

Really appreciate you taking the time to put this very helpful post togheter.

Image is nothing short of breathetaking. Who needs critcal envious camera club nit picking when you have such a stunning individual image as this.

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