Why Join Olney Camera Club

Why Join Olney Camera Club

If you’re looking for a new hobby, or are ready to level up your photography skills, Olney Camera Club might be just the place to start. One member describes how it’s worked for her.

I’d been considering joining Olney Camera Club since I moved to Olney in 1993. Yes I know, it took nearly 30 years to bite the bullet. I’m a bit of an introvert and found the thought of joining a new club, where everyone knew each other, and who, I assumed, were photographic experts and who might find my amateurish attempts at photography laughable, a little daunting to say the least.

I finally joined during lockdown, via the power of Zoom. Why I worried, I do not know. Olney Camera Club is small, with about 12 active members who are really friendly, welcoming and approachable. There are indeed some technical experts but also a fair few who still struggle to move away from the auto setting or indeed have no intention of doing so! And plenty of us reach as much for our phone cameras as we do our SLRs.

So what do we do? 

We meet twice a month. There’s a monthly informal meetup, usually in a pub. These are social gatherings aimed at getting to know each other, sharing tips and  asking questions. Sometimes we have a project or theme and bring along photos to compare. Sometimes a walkabout. But it’s always non-competitive and is perfect for beginners and improvers.

Then we have a more formal meeting which might be a talk, presentation or practical session from an outside speaker. Once a quarter we have a competition round. Competitions are completely optional and not all of our members take part. But I would thoroughly recommend giving them a go. It’s not always fun hearing a judge criticise a photo you are proud of, but you quickly start to learn where you can improve and what you could do differently. And when you get your first ‘highly commended’, we’ll that’s a nice feeling.

What have I got out of joining?

I thoroughly recommend coming along and saying hello. Whilst I certainly don’t consider myself an expert and still regularly ‘point and shoot’, joining the club has really added to the enjoyment of my hobby and I’ve learnt a few things along the way too. Mainly things about composition and cropping. Am I better? Maybe. On a good day. But I certainly enjoy my photography more. Most of all, I’ve made some really good friends to share my love of photography with.

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