Learn Photography from your Local Experts
One step at a time
Learn with local experts and make their experience count!
These days there is so much help available to people wishing to learn new skills, especially on the Internet. People may not always realize that experienced, hands-on advice, is sometimes a lot closer to hand.
Photography is no exception and sometimes you may only have to look as far as your local church or village hall to find a local camera club. Most of these clubs are run by groups of like-minded people who run them just for the mutual pleasure of sharing their hobby with others. The age range of the people who attend them can be anything from thirteen to ninety years of age. Many of the more experienced may have over forty years of photographic experience behind them. Combine these years and we have an astonishing wealth of knowledge from which to draw from. This experience often dates back to a time when both film and slide photography were the norm. These people have gone on to learn digital photography and have also now acquired the appropriate computer skills to go with them. They will also be delighted to share this knowledge, just for the small annual club membership fee, which can be for as little as £20 a year.
Using the Logan 301-1 Classic Compact Mount Cutter
Logan Mount Cutter
Join a Local Photographic Club
I would advise anyone who has recently purchased or been given their first Digital SLR to search their local newspaper to see if they can find any local photographic clubs in the region. In mine alone, there are over seventeen local clubs. They all actively encourage their members to participate in a variety of activities. Their meetings include studio nights, inter-club competitions and external competitions with competing clubs. They will also arrange for external judges to judge the competitions. They will also provide guest speakers who will speak to members on a variety of subjects throughout the year. Subjects might include travel photography, macro photography or even underwater photography! Also included may be an evening where members can be shown how to make an audio visual from their own images, They may learn to use a program such as Proshow Gold. They may even be given a taster session to explore a variety of computer programs such as Adobe Elements or Lightroom. You will have the opportunity to enter your own images into competitions and may even be taught how to cut mount boards to use with them! You may be given free access to the clubs studio equipment and also free use of their mount cutter such as the Logan which we use at ours!
There may be no additional cost attached to any of these activities unless perhaps where an evening of studio work is offered. Here, for a very nominal amount you may be provided with the opportunity to shoot images of professional models brought in just for that evening in a studio setting. On technical evenings. you may wish to discuss appropriate settings for your camera with experienced members who use the same camera equipment as your own!
Participation in all competitions is encouraged though it is not compulsory. It will give you a great opportunity to compete on the same level as everyone else. . Participation is fun and a wonderful way for you to hone your skills and learn what is required of you! Participating in the competitions allows you to measure your own progress. You might even see that after few years have gone by that, you seem to have developed your own photographic style without even having realized it! You may even have developed an area of specialization in one type of photography!
Remember too, that you may not always agree with the judges! They do bring with them though, a wealth of experience and some very interesting comments and suggestions for taking better images.
Recently seventeen clubs in this area were asked to submit two images from each of their members. This was for a public exhibition which was to be held in Norwich. There were over 500 digital images submitted and all of them were screened several times over a period of two weekends. This was a rare and exciting opportunity for amateur club members to exhibit their own images. Without this interest and the participation of all these clubs and their members. this might never have happened!
If you are serious about improving your photographic skills, why not sign up to an online photographic site, such as Flickr or Ephotozine. Here too, you will find a wealth of knowledge and a community of people who love sharing their images. You may even be able to purchase used or new equipment from their classified ads! These sites make it possible for you to upload your images for free. Members can review your images and give you feedback on them. You in turn you can do the same for theirs.. This is a chance for you to begin to look at your images and theirs with a more critical eye. This is good training for you. As a result. your own images will begin to improve as you do so. You will be also able to explore these sites for some interesting ideas for creating future images.
This is an opportunity to meet some new friends both off and online. Why not begin your photographic journey today?