The words “camera club” often conjures up an image of retired folk in anoraks, boring lectures and endless technical discussions about camera parts. But had you seen several of these *oldies” clambering up hillsides and rambling through various Ayrshire locations over the summer, you would quickly have realised that at Kilmaurs Photographic Club nothing could be further from the reality.
The very active club members like nothing better than to get out and about so the routine programme of winter lectures is complemented by an energetic series of summer weekly outings. These have taken in many locations across Ayrshire and beyond, including Dunure, Dumfries House, the Lynn Falls at Dalry, and the waterfronts at both Greenock and Glasgow.
Says club president Bill Stitt: “At Kilmaurs Photographic Club we love to get outside with our cameras, and members are forever coming up with suggestions for new places to visit. The weather hasn’t been as brilliant as last summer, but this hasn’t stopped us getting around. The Monday Meanders along with the club’s annual summer outing offer members a social outlet as well as the more routine and technical lecture programme and this is a major attraction for many.”
The club has a winter meeting of presentations and talks from mid-September to April. Meetings are held on Monday evenings in the Masonic Hall in Kilmaurs.
The job of organising the annual schedule falls to Stewarton resident Alan Stewart. Says Alan: “Our aim is to have something for everyone with speakers covering a broad range of genres. As usual this year’s speakers will include professional photographers, but we also have a couple of people who are amateurs but have very interesting and unusual topics.
Alan continues: “For example, one speaker will be talking about his climbing experiences in Greenland. But what makes this so different is that he and three friends sailed there from Wales in a century-old wooden vessel, encountering icebergs, stormy weather and incredibly beautiful scenery along the way.”
Alan adds: “We are also proud of our annual keynote speakers, who include acclaimed professional photographers such as Nigel Spencer, Gary Jones and most recently Doug Allan, the renowned Scottish wildlife cameraman and photographer, who has worked with Sir David Attenborough. The keynote speaker for 2020 will be Mark Hamblin and we are already looking forward to hearing him speak and seeing his images. As last year, this event will be open to the public. ”
The group also runs a series of formal and informal competitions.
For formal internal competitions Images are presented anonymously and assessed by a qualified judge. The points awarded to each image count towards a league table and at the end of the season, the winners receive an award.
The club’s Picture of the Week event is ideal for those who want a more informal approach free from competitions and leagues. The only “judging” is done by constructive comments from other participants.
Says recent member Celia McQueen from Kilmarnock: “Picture of the Week has been a great way for me to learn the tricks of how to compose and shoot images. And it’s great that the more experienced members are so happy to pass on their knowledge to relative beginners like me. I have learned so much from their comments over the last few months.”
The club also participates in external competitions and events, and for a smaller society, Kilmaurs PC has been very successful nationally, and has consistently been in the top ten Scottish Clubs at national inter Club Competitions.
And if that wasn’t enough, the club is also active in the community, holding short-term exhibitions at several locations across Ayrshire including Crosshouse Hospital.
A very successful venture last season was the competition the club ran for local Ayrshire primary schools. The idea to hold a competition between the P6 classes of Kilmaurs, Lainshaw, Nether Robertland and Dunlop primary schools was the brainchild of club member Joyce Robinson , a former teacher at Nether Robertland and each school’s images were displayed at Dunlop Village Hall and
judged by club member Martin Clark. Says Martin: “The 2019 winners were Dunlop Primary but it was a very close thing and I was impressed with the general quality of the youngsters’ images.” With the 2020 event already in the planning stages, it is anticipated that this will now become an annual event.
Join the digital revolution
If you too have been bitten by the photo bug and want to take your interest to the next level, why not join Kilmaurs Photographic Club?
The club aims to promote high standards of photography in a friendly environment, and it is suitable for anyone with an enthusiasm for photography. So, whatever your level of expertise, the club has something to offer you.
The 2019-2020 season kicks off on Monday September 16th with an informal evening. The lecture season commences on Monday 23rd September when we will welcome Peter Paterson who will talk about “Landscapes, Composites & Still Life”. We’d be delighted to welcome you along.