Junction36 Photo Club
Holme and District Photographic Society
18 Months as a Novice Photographer at Holme & District Photographic Society.
by Mike Schofield
I joined Holme Photography Society in September 2016. There were around 35 members at the time, male and female. The following comments summarise some of my experiences and feelings.
Club meetings. These have been informative, entertaining and accessible for a novice. As my knowledge and skills have progressed, I have appreciated even more the richness of the presentations. The range has been extensive including lectures on landscapes and monochrome photography, demonstrations on mounting (by two very patient club members working in warm, cramped conditions whilst being bombarded with questions), the technicalities of printing, everything you could possibly want to know about equipment and much more.
Mentoring. I was allocated a mentor. Just brilliant! He has given up a great deal of his own time to help – on visits to his home, during club meetings, by email and on trips out. His advice has ranged from types of cameras and lenses to buy, use of the camera, composition, locations, post-processing, printing and mounting. An invaluable help for which I am deeply grateful.
Club trips. Great fun. Memorable ones include my first trip which was to Newcastle. This was good for getting to know people, opportunities for taking photographs and for a wealth of advice and information freely passed on. An afternoon visit to Leighton Moss bird reserve was a great introduction to nature photography by one of the most amazing of photographers. The trip to Arnside on a windy and miserable night is perhaps best remembered for the hour in the Albion pub.
Competitions. The first great challenge I faced related to competitions has been sizing the photographs correctly. Thankfully, the competition secretary has the patience of a saint and has done the necessary corrections to my entries. My first competition photograph, the very first judged in that evening’s competition scored 11/20. Just over 50%, I thought, was enough to fend off any embarrassment – until it became clear that all photographs were all scored between 11 and 20. The anonymity of entries came to my rescue! My scores have improved now, thankfully. More important than the scores have been the comments of the different judges, not just on mine but on other entries. These critiques have provided food for thought. The photographs of others have provided much inspiration.
Exhibitions. The club, along with other photographic societies in the region, has exhibited at Reghed Centre as part of the Northern Photography and Video show. There is a sense of pride to be gained from having a photograph exhibited.
Battles. Holme has achieved phenomenal success in these inter-club competitions in recent years. It is certainly the case that Holme is the club to beat in the South Lakes area – and great joy to have a photograph selected for a battle.
Costs. Club costs are minimal – a small annual fee and a 50p contribution for tea and biscuits each week. The cost of upgrading equipment is probably something best kept from my wife!
Overall thoughts. My initial fears of joining a group of nerdy and fiercely competitive people have proved unfounded. Members take their photography seriously but there is a camaraderie and a respect for others, including winners and losers in the competitions. There is a range of photography interests. The club is noted for its superb nature photographers (rightly so, their images are awe-inspiring) but landscape, street, sport and portrait photographers are in no way overshadowed. I have come to know some talented, welcoming and warm individuals who have fostered and enriched an interest in photography.
As a previous camera club member of Preston Photographic Society for nine years, I understand and appreciate the importance that a proactive, friendly and encouraging camera club has on ones on photographic development. Having visited Holme and District Photographic Society on a number of occasions to present a lecture or two, I have found them to be nothing short of super friendly, organised, efficient and in general, just a jolly lovely bunch of folk to be in the company of. I very much look forward to returning again soon.
Best wishes Melvin
Melvin Nicholson Photography
Melvin Nicholson, Photographer and Lecturer.
Geraldine Stockdale, HDPS Member.
I'd also like to let everyone know how being a novice photographer and member of HDPS means to me! I look forward to our Friday evening club nights, not only because of the relaxed environment and friendly members who made us very welcome from the beginning. The learning I have received, the competitions, have all helped me grow in confidence with regards to photography.
I have gained a lot from the training sessions provided, not only by guest photographers, but other club members and the judges. I have learnt a lot about other types of photography, and how different, and how difficult they can also be!
It opens up a whole new world of photography for all novices, such as myself, when a club is able to offer this to its members!