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Kidlington Camera Club's 50th Anniversary

In the season of 2010 - 2011 the club reached its 50th anniversary. The club held its first meeting on 27 February 1961 with the first subscriptions being paid and on 24 April Kidlington Photographic Society was formally constituted.

By way of celebration committee organised a public lecture in Exeter Hall on 20 April 2011 where the speaker was Joe Cornish, the highly-regarded landscape photographer. This was a highly successful evening with all tickets sold and an enjoyable, interesting and inspiring talk given by Joe accompanied by his superb photography. We are grateful to our exclusive sponsors T4 Cameras of Witney for their support.

May 6th 2011 saw our 50th Anniversary Dinner at Kirtlington Golf Club, with ex-members joining in the celebrations. This had been set for Friday 29 April, but a certain Royal Wedding trumped the arrangements.

Relaunch of KCC website
As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, a completely new look to the club's website was the objective, with a more sophisticated design and some new features such as the slideshows. At first glance viewers may think the colours austere but the aim was to offer a neutral background to allow the images to shine out and dominate the page. The site includes a new feature in presenting a portfolio of images from the winner of Photographer of the Year.


Our annual exhibition for Oxfordshire's annual visual arts festival,
Artweeks, was held in Kidlington Library in May 2012, followed by a display in the foyer of Exeter Hall for the month of June. We were grateful to the Library's manager Linda Sullivan for allowing us to use Library premises once again. On 3 December 2012 we return to Exeter Hall for a fortnight showing prints from latest season's Summer and Autumn competitions.

Do visit one of our future exhibitions if you can and you will see at first hand the quality and range of work that our members produce; if you want any further information you can telephone the numbers provided with the displays or contact us

Annual Social
At the end of last season, in April, we returned to Kirtlington Golf Club, and found it to be as successful as the previous years. Not only do we use this occasion to relax together but we also include the presentation of trophies to winners of the previous season's competitions and to Photographer of the Year. Congratulations to all the winners and to everyone who took part.

Club outings
This summer we have visited Bath in glorious weather and a visit to Stourhead is planned to coincide with autumn colour.

The Social Secretary is always pleased to receive new suggestions for outings.

AGM 11 - 12
This was held on the last evening of the season on 23 April and included selection of the next season's committee. We are grateful that all the serving committee members were willing to stand again and they were voted in unanimously, being a recognition of the great job they are doing for us. We look forward to next season's programme from Programme Secretary Chris Smith, available in late August, with the first night of next season being on Monday 10 September 2012.

It was agreed to increase the adult subscription level from £35 to £37, the former figure having been held for the previous 2 years. This is an inevitable reflection of the increase in judge and speaker fees, particularly for travel expenses. As usual we managed to complete the routine business within the first half of the evening so that we could enjoy a discussion of club issues after the break.

KCC online
The end of season update included competition winners for the colour and B&W print and PDI of the Year for the 2011 - 12 season and provides a link to the rule explaining how someone wins the title of Photographer of the Year. Competition was stiff and we were kept on tenterhooks for the result right up to the last club evening. Congratulations to all our competitors for producing excellent work, and particularly to Chris Smith as Photographer of the Year 2011-12. The portfolio of Roger Thompson as Photographer of the Year 2009-10 has been retained as a fitting memorial to a great photographer and friend of the club. Roger had been a member for more than 30 and Competition Secretary for at least 13 years.

The gallery page tries to show images from as many members as possible and not just winners - some members are not currently entering competitions after all. In addition we are keenly aware that even the best judges have their personal tastes and opinions and we have all suffered from inconsistency in marking at one time or another. This is a chance for everyone to show their pictures and for the full range of work to be seen by visitors to the site. In addition we want our site visitors to feel 'I could do that' and in doing so perhaps get them started without feeling daunted.

The site includes downloadable PDF files for competition rules, subject guidance notes and small, medium and large competition guidance. All continue to be available for members and are updated as new versions are issued. In addition there are links to downloads for PDI competition software, MLSlide for both Windows and Mac together with tutorials.

Competition Subjects
The 'Three on a Theme' competition had been replaced by a new take on the format called 'Small, Medium and Large', but it has now been decided to alternate the two formats. You can view the guidance here.

Subjects for 12-13 season can be seen on the competitions page and winning images from last season, 11-12, on the various past winners pages. Winners from the current season are added to consecutive pages of new winners as each competition takes place.

By making it a club rule that all entries must have been taken after 1st January preceding the season of the competitions we keep our images fresh and all have an incentive to keep using our cameras and our imagination.

All members have the chance to be involved in choosing subjects for the following season and this is done in January each year. This voting process allows the Committee to select the most popular subjects which are matched to the various projected digital image and print competitions across the forthcoming programme.

The previous season's winning images and the gallery also give a flavour of the range work in the club.

Inter Club Competitions
These competitions are entirely friendly and not overly competitive. It is always interesting to see what other clubs are doing and enjoy new ideas and interpretations in photography. It also helps to prevent us becoming too insular.

In recent years we decided it was time to re-join the CACC (Chilterns Association of Camera Clubs) Rosebowl competition, from which we had been absent for several seasons. This meant competitions with several Chilterns clubs and although we haven't reached the final we have been pleased with our efforts and felt we had held our own. Each competition provided a good evening's viewing of excellent pictures.

Entries for these competitions are selected by the Committee from a pool of projected digital images and prints handed in by members at the start of the season, preferably comprising work from the previous year.

Any other local club out there who would like to join us for an evening's friendly battle please contact us.

Digital Workshops
Since club members voted at the AGM in 2007 to discontinue projecting slides in competitions, digital photography now dominates the business of the club. We have been keen to support slide photography for as long as possible but with only 3 members now using solely slide film it had become impracticable. As a result digital Workshops are scheduled within the programme.

Our Digital Equipment

In November 2010, with grateful thanks for support from an anonymous benefactor, we purchased a new digital projector with the higher resolution now available which has proved to be superb. The old projector was starting to fail in that its colour rendition was less than perfect, and the knowledge that we were to host a round of the CACC Rosebowl in December 2010 spurred us on to provide something better. Meanwhile the old projector is being repaired to act as standby. In addition, after 7 years' faultless service, it was time to update the laptop for a faster model and at the end of last season we were able to purchase a replacement which is now being prepared for the next season.

Our move to digital started in March 2005 after our award to buy digital projection equipment under the Lottery 'Awards for All' scheme, and after much deliberation the following August saw the purchase of a laptop and a digital projector, along with the other essential bits and bobs to make a fully functioning system. This equipment was essential as we moved more and more into a digital world; almost all of our current members now use digital cameras and digital editing techniques, with new members joining us to develop their digital skills, and this type of photography has now taken over.

In September 2005 we introduced the equipment to club members with demonstrations of its use for slideshows and for competitions. We had member and outsider talks using the equipment during the season but competition use was limited until we were fully conversant with the logistics of showing slides, prints and projected digital images during one club evening.

We are very fortunate to have a member to write software for the club for sorting, showing and marking digital images under competition conditions and this was 'test-driven' for the first competitions proving very successful. We are hugely indebted to Geoff Bridges for that. The following season, 06/07, saw projected digital images eligible across all competitions. That has become the norm with slide categories discontinued in accordance with the decision of AGM 07. Meanwhile, Geoff produces regular updates to his excellent Magic Lantern software including a partner programme, MLSlide, which members now use to prepare their images at home, thus making the job of the Competition Secretary easier. The latest updates include co-ordination with Excel scoresheets of the entered images, both PDI and print, so that calculations for Photographer of the Year are much easier with a permanently running database of a season's competition scores.

Foresters Hall

We have now completed nine successful seasons in the hall after moving here in September 2003 from Gosford Community Education Centre.

Foresters Hall is to be found in High Street, Kidlington (map) where we enjoy a congenial atmosphere with its own bar and easy parking as well as a 10pm finish. Members and visitors alike are agreed that the club has a more welcoming ambience than our previous venue and the bar is naturally a very popular bonus.

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