Whanganui Camera Club is celebrating World Photography Day on Saturday, August 19, from 10am - 4pm, and invites everyone with an interest in photography to come along to their open day at their clubrooms, 2 Handley St, Gonville.
A highlight of the day will be presentations on improving your photography, by well-known Whanganui professional photographer Mark Brimblecombe, at 11am and 2pm. There’ll be plenty to interest everyone, from beginners to experienced photographers, and lots of opportunities to learn more.
“It’s never been easier to take photos with today’s technology, and whether you use a camera or your cell phone you can start to improve your images by getting to know your gear and by expanding your knowledge,” says club president John Smart. “If you’ve got a question about your camera, bring it along (and the manual if you have one).
“Or maybe you have an image you’d like feedback on – bring along a print and we’ll have a look at it. There’ll be lots of club members on hand, very happy to have a chat and talk about a wide range of topics,” he said.
Other highlights of the day include a display of vintage lenses and cameras, members’ works on show (and for sale), and a demonstration of how you can achieve a simple portrait lighting setup.
For those seeking inspiration, an audio-visual presentation will showcase members’ Honours images as well as club activities. These truly are images that people can aspire to.
“Sometimes people are a bit intimidated by beautiful images and think ‘I could never do that’, but actually, yes you can,” says John. “We all had to start at the beginning, and the Whanganui Camera Club provides an environment where there are many opportunities to learn. It’s always exciting to watch new members grow in skill and confidence, and as a club, we take pride in encouraging and supporting our newcomers,” he said.
The club welcomes new members, and John says as a special offer club membership is free until December 31, 2023, for anyone signing up at the Open Day.
Club member Vivienne McLean joined the club two years ago after she and her husband Percy moved to Whanganui. She says although she already enjoyed photography, joining the club has expanded her horizons.
“I’ve learned so much, and I’m really enjoying the challenge of trying to improve and exploring new techniques. I still have a long way to go, but this is a comfortable, friendly environment where you don’t feel afraid to give things a go. When I don’t get it right there’s always someone with helpful suggestions or information,” said Vivienne.
“We didn’t know many people when we moved here, so that was another motivation for joining. It’s a really friendly club with a strong social side – the members enjoy each other’s company, and we both felt part of the team very quickly.
“Whanganui is an exciting, diverse base for a photographer, whether your interest is creative, heritage, people watching, amazing bush and bird life, urban or natural landscapes, it’s such a vibrant, creative community,” she said.
The club has its own rooms and holds bi-monthly meetings, usually with a guest speaker or presentation, plus the results of regular assessments. A programme of set subjects aims to encourage members to try different genres throughout the year, alternating between print and digital images.
These aren’t competitions and there’s no pressure to enter – they’re seen as a way members can get helpful evaluations and feedback on their images from knowledgeable, independent experts, who are encouraged to be positive and constructive. Members also share their images and have lively debates at monthly informal photo appreciation evenings.
Whanganui Camera Club is one of the most active in New Zealand and one of the few still holding print assessments as well as digital. Special interest groups include nature photography and a recently formed astrophotography group.
Outings range from weekend and mid-week café shoots, where members meet up and take photographs for a couple of hours then go for coffee, through to one and multi-day trips. For more information visit www.whanganuicameraclub.org.nz.