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Learn Photography From Your Local Experts

Updated on December 10, 2017
sallybea profile image

Macro photography and the photographing the bugs and insects has been a love of mine since I first picked up a Digital SLR with a macro lens

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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.

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?

Camera Clubs

Would you consider joining a Camera Club in your area after reading this Hub?

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Norwich, Norfolk

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    • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      16 months ago from Norfolk

      Alun,

      Great to hear from you! I do agree with you and my experience has been exactly the same as yours. I achieved a lot and become somewhat of a 'specialist' at macro photography. I grew to love street photography. Like you I have done quite a bit of travel stuff too, more recently a trip to New York which provided some great photo opportunities.

      I love the interaction between people and oddly enough love the 'insects' in the field. I learned so much about them.

      Sadly I have had to take a sabbatical from the club this year as I found I could not give the commitment at this time but I would still highly recommend this as an excellent way to improve one's photography and make friends at the same time.

      Sally.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 

      16 months ago from Essex, UK

      Sally, I can very much concur with what you say about camera clubs. I must admit for various reasons I'm not a member of one at the moment, but have belonged to two in the past, and they are a great way to gain new skills and get new ideas.

      Perhaps most of all, being in the company of like-minded people kindles a greater enthusiasm for photography, and it spurs one to go out and do something more creative than just taking holiday snaps and selfies. When I was a club member I'd try my hand at all kinds of creative work, still life, natural history and portraiture as a result of inspiration gleaned from club meetings, or for themed competitions. Today I do take a lot of photos, but 90% of them are travel photos taken when on holiday - not nearly as wide a variety of subject matter as I used to tackle.

      With that in mind, I really should rejoin a club! Alun

    • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      3 years ago from Norfolk

      Rota

      You are very welcome, the whole world will be out there waiting for you with open arms. Just love photography:)

    • Rota profile image

      Rota 

      3 years ago

      good tips. i am considering buying a DSLR soon

    • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      4 years ago from Norfolk

      DDE - Joining a local photographic is often the first step towards improving your skills and making new friends at the same time. What a great combination. Everyone has to start somewhere. I love the competitive aspect of it and learning to submit and image for a competition is a great challenge and a wonderful way to improve your images. I can really recommend it. Thank you so much for your visit - you have been busy today! Have a great day DDE. Have a lovely evening.

      Sally

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Learn how to how to improve your photography with the help of a local experts, great suggestions. I would love to improve my skills in photography a useful hub and is most helpful too

    • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      5 years ago from Norfolk

      Hi Billybuc, I consider myself a keen amateur eager to learn myself so perhaps we can learn together. You could look at the Hubs on felting as another way for me to make use of my photographic skills during the winter. I do love the vibrant colors of felt , though I can't wait for Summer to officially arirve so that I can get back to my insects and bubble photography again! Look forward to seeing you again Billybuc.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I need a new camera! That's where this conversation begins. After that I need lessons, instruction and guidance. :) I see I can learn from you and I'm eager to do that. Good job on this....you may not see me on the wet felt hubs, but I'll be back to read your other photography hubs for sure.

    • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      5 years ago from Norfolk

      Hello JanMaklak, I completely agree, I have improved in leaps and bounds since I joined a club. They are a great bunch of people and so willing to share their knowledge with all of us. Thank you so much for your comment, it is much appreciated.

    • JanMaklak profile image

      JanMaklak 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Great encouragement for new photographers and those wanting to improve. Clubs are probably the one single thing that will make you grow as a newer photographer. Great Article!!!

    • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      5 years ago from Norfolk

      Interesting to hear your comments. The Photo Clubs here are very active - our local Club alone has around forty regular members - mostly Amateur Photographers though many have worked and earned money from their Photographic Activities. It seems a shame to discourage new Members simply because of lack of a qualification - how they one be expected to have some qualification without first learning the ropes. Some of our Members do have letters behind their name but they actively encourage new members to participate in everything. All competitions are open and even brand new Members compete on the same level and very competitively too. Photozine and Flickr are good places to join for some great criticism and advice - second hand equipment - posting your own photos etc., I will check out the ones you mention. Very interesting.

      Thank you so much for your comments, nice to hear these things are approached in other countries.

    • Just_Rodney profile image

      Rodney Fagan 

      5 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      Very intreresting, as it seems that there is a vast amount of interest and industrious photographers out there. We to have a smattering of clubs which are very active. I have been to one club which was at our local recreation centre, well after asking me my name, the next question was had I my South African instute whatever certificate. As I had not, they lost interest in me. Though they where very learned in the use of photoshop and its various ways of manipulating it to conform to rules of thirds, get rid of odd bits etc, etc.

      So I departed halfway through, never been to another meeting at any other clubs. :-)

      I rather do my own thing, although 123RF is a good site for posting your photos on and receiving praise and fair critics, which does help. The same goes for Red Bubble both of these they sell the photos and pay you your price.

      As you can see I do enjoy my hobby, have posted several hubs on photography, all my hubs have my photographs except the "humour in the B cup, and the one about the acceptibility of using the f word"

      Hope you enjoy your experinces here.

    • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      5 years ago from Norfolk

      Thanks Vicki, yes, sometimes we don't always realize how many local resources we have until we start looking! Thanks for stopping bye.

    • profile image

      Vickiw 

      5 years ago

      Interesting Hub ! It is always good to seek helping clubs with like interests to become better with your interests. The social aspect is good too - you make more friends.

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