How can I join?
Penrith and District Camera Club membership is open to photography enthusiasts who want to attend meetings on a regular basis. If you are thinking of joining, just come along to one of our meetings and introduce yourself (though we always keep a lookout for new faces). You are welcome to give us a try for a few weeks before joining (only £3 per visit). During the winter (from September to April) we hold weekly meetings on a Wednesday evening and during the summer we have irregular meetings – see our programme section on the website for details. The membership fee is £45 for a full year.
I am an experienced amateur photographer, used to darkroom work and more recently to using and computer processing from an advanced digital SLR camera. What does the Club offer me?
There are a number of members whose photographic career has developed similarly. We all enjoy the Club activities and learn continuously from others in the rapidly-moving area of digital photography. We can attract able photographers to address us, sharing their work and experience. The Club has six approved NCPF judges among its membership, who between them offer much.
I am not able to come every week. Is it still worth joining?
Each evening’s event is free-standing, and there is no reason why you should not be selective. Guests and visitors are always welcome, and a small non-member fee covers each evening. If you come more frequently you’ll want to join!
I am not enthusiastic about competitions, so what else does the Club offer?
There are informal project groups which cover everything that is (a) photographic and (b) a project. Literally anything goes for more imaginative photographers wanting to pursue their ‘own thing’ in a relaxed atmosphere with suggestions and help from colleagues.
Currently there are keen groups working on photographic distinctions, on audio-visual programmes on an extensive range of subjects, on novel ways of presenting images including albums, cards, etc, and on photojournalism projects on the buildings of Penrith – both historic and new.
There are also exhibitions of members’ work including an Annual Exhibition staged in Penrith Library.
I find the whole idea of competing with expert entrants to competitions extremely daunting. What is there for me?
We have three competition classes, called ‘Club’, ‘Intermediate’ and ‘Advanced’. Beginners have started in ‘Club’ class and progressed quickly. You can start in ‘Club’ class and progress through the classes by winning the annual league in that class – either with prints or digital images. Our competition rules are reviewed annually to ensure there is a chance for everyone, rather than a few winning everything. There is no need to enter competitions if you don’t want to, and you can enter projected digital images as well as prints.
I have a compact camera and have only taken pictures of family and holidays. Is this not way below what a club expects?
Our club has members of all standards and there is always someone to help and advise. Some joined us as total beginners and were fully participating within weeks. People make good pictures, not expensive cameras!
I have seen the large mounted prints submitted for competitions, and this is way beyond me, so what could I do?
There is no need to produce large prints, nor to print your own. Prints can be made commercially or by a friend. Mounting is not difficult, and we stage demonstrations of the techniques.
Will I be welcomed if I should join, knowing how clubs often ignore newcomers?
The Club is busy but informal and existing members try their best to befriend newcomers. It’s daunting to go somewhere when you don’t know anyone, but most of the existing members were in the same boat when they first joined so we all know how it feels. If you attend at the start of a new season you won’t be the only new member so if you see someone else looking a bit lost don’t be scared to go up and speak to each other. All members are more than willing to share their knowledge and skills – please just ask if you have any questions. Members can also arrange one-to-one sessions to help any member get up to speed or overcome particular problems.
Our most prominent committee members who should be able to help with any queries are:
- Chair: who usually introduces each meeting.
- Vice-chair: who will introduce each meeting in the absence of the Chair.
- Secretary: who will be sitting at the desk in the lobby as you arrive and who will take your guest or membership fee, plus an additional 50p if you would like tea/coffee & biscuits at half time!