The Camera Club of  Hendersonville

The Camera Club has been in operation for many years – even decades.  Perhaps it was preceded long ago by a Men’s Camera Club of Henderson County and the evening’s speaker was George Eastman.  (Or perhaps not!)  But the earliest actual proof goes back to a Times-News post in 1979 that told of a field trip to the Cradle of Forestry.

Through the years, the mission has always been the same – to improve member photographic efforts and techniques through sharing and learning from each other and from others, inside or outside the Club.  This has been supplemented by participation in themed forums or contests; field trips; speakers on general and special photo topics; formatting and framing demonstrations;  presentations on hardware and software; and so on.  Meetings were held at the Sammy Williams Center for many years.

The Club has also provided exposure to members through library and Cradle of Forestry hangings and participation with area art galleries.

Over the years there has been more than one debate and approach to participation in forums by members; “judging” and the proper number of images per person per forum.  Maximum participation could entail as many as 16 images – 4 each for B&W prints, color prints, slides, and digital.  At one point we had a poster displayed as a guide for judges between “too easy” and “too critical”.  Now the emphasis is on how the image might be  improved and submissions are limited to 3 or 4 with an order of preference.

Photography has changed substantially since 1979.  Print and slide competitions designed for film cameras were gradually replaced  by digital cameras, post processing software and digital projectors.  Of paramount importance in this  period of our history was the introduction of the new technology to our members. As usual, people did not give up the old film techniques easily.  There was a period when the club was divided into ”purist” film shooters and digital renegades who had no misgivings about altering what they’d shot with software.  This produced a different type of creativity in some ways.  Thus the Club introduced its members to digital cameras and post processing software of varying types via presentations from its own members, knowledgeable  members of other clubs and outside  well-known, professional photographic  speakers. Gradually the prints and slide projectors were replaced by digital submissions and presentations.  Separate groups were organized to help photographers improve their skills. 

Photographers also change.  The neophyte who joins to find out how to use a point and shoot to take better pictures of the kids and pets has different goals than the one who wants to be successful in juried competitions.  The Club has always worked to accommodate this range.