Last night I took a very brave step for me... As you might have noticed my photography over the last few months since the move up North back to Warrington has been pretty non existent. So last week I had a flash back. In my last job I got talking to one of the old boy's I knew from one of our other offices, he was taking the photo's for a conference we were running. We got talking camera's and photography and he advised me to join a photo club.
As I said my photography has taken a slide for the worse so I wanted to ad some drive back in. I've been on flickr and there does not seem to be any Warrington groups on there that interest me and no local "photowalk" clubs either. I had this flashback and did a Google search and found The Warrington Photo Society which meets just round the corner from my home and the season was due to start again last night, 8th September. So I figured it would be rude not to check it out and see what they were up to.
As usual when it got to yesterday I armed myself with the usual excuses for procrastinating which were only going to be used on me but I often lie to myself. But alas. I did not give in to "peer pressure" stop being lazy and actually went down there.
It was WPS's first meeting back after the summer break. I walked into the community centre on New Thelwall Lane just oposite Latchford Locks where the Warrington Photo Society meet just before the 7:30pm start time expecting a couple of people not up to much but I was faced with a reasonable sized room packed full of people. I attempted to sneak in and take a seat right at the back once I'd checked I was in fact in the photo club meeting and not an OAP meeting as most of the people were around 30 years my senior. I was ready for this, although hoping it would be packed full of super cool photographic 20somethings females, I was kind of expecting this and had excuses not to go back if it was full of "the older generation"
- They won't be into the same kind of photography as me
- We'll have nothing in common
- They want like me... a younger person thats no relation to anyone whose a member
- etc. etc. etc.
My sneak in was foiled. Batman I am not! Accosted by a quick off the mark committee member who greeted me and gave me a programme and lead me away from the back seat and sat me next to two gents, Colin and David. David is a six year member of the Warrington Photo Society but that's nothing in comparison to Colin's mighty 40 years of membership. These were the nicest people ever. All of the group were. But David and Colin kept me feeling very welcome, told me the in's and out's of the society and gave me some amusement about talking to someone in, maybe, their 70's about photoshop and lightroom. As soon as I spoke to these two gent's I'd made my desision to come back. No excuses now. Although we may not be into the same kind of photo's or the same culture I knew that I'd be able to learn a lot from the group.
The evening would for somebody with non interest in photography be as boring as hell. But although I had listened to many podcasts about the history of photography and the development to digital I found it so interesting listening to a) a british person talking about it and b) see them in the flesh. It was so interesting listening to how the president, Ken, developed his photography from the late 70's to the digital age talking about things I had never heard of, forgotten had existed or that I used for totally different reasons. Being able to see the progression in his print work was really interesting too. And that excuse of us not being into the same photography got kicked through the door when I saw two of his images, a female behind a screen that cast three shadows in red, blue and green onto the screen and another of a family of clothes hanges with the same outfit, just different sizes, both were amazing and I will find out his secret for them.
All in all I am really glad I went along last night. The WPS run competitions for it's members which is a great excuse to get out shooting. The seminars/talks that they have on their weekly meetings will inspire me a lot. I would definitely recommend anyone in the Warrington area with an interest in photography to go along. Even if it's just to chat with Colin and David.
Whilst in there I felt like a bit of a geek but I don't care everyone is a bit geeky for something :) Try it you might just like it!!!