Milestone anniversary for Swindon Photographic Society

By Barrie Hudson - 29 May 2024

CommunityArts and CultureClubs & Activities
  • Flaming News by Neil Hayward

    Flaming News by Neil Hayward

Swindon Photographic Society has been celebrating its 125th anniversary.

Busy night in Chinatown by Linda Addyman

During that century and a quarter, club members say, everything has changed while remaining the same.

In 1898, when the club began, many cameras had a glass plate on to which the photograph was made, all housed in a heavy wooden box, although new smaller cameras, using celluloid roll film that were easy to use, were becoming popular.

A club spokesperson explained: "Now, although modern digital cameras are still popular for some, because of mobiles, everyone is walking around with a camera in their pocket. 

"As well as technical progress, what has stayed the same is that whatever equipment you use, where to point the camera and when to press the shutter are still the most important things to know.

"During this time our club has had to keep evolving and adapting how we help our members with the ever-changing technology.

"What has stayed the same is the objective of the club: To assist and encourage the enjoyment of photography."

Members have a choice of about 10 meetings a month, on location, on Zoom and in the club room. Thursday evening meetings include visiting speakers, competitions with a visiting judge or judged by members, image battles with visiting clubs and a wide variety of other items by and for members."

The spokesperson added: "Evolution, of course, moves at different speeds, and one of our clubs’ big successful recent innovations are our Special Interest groups, known by us all as SIGs.

"These groups organised and run by the members involved, concentrate on a specific type of photography. They organise practical sessions, reviews, location shoots, in fact whatever they wish, and any member can join any or all of these SIGs if they wish. 

"Currently we have a Landscape SIG, Street SIG, and a portrait SIG, but any member can start one on any subject to do with photography. Both experienced and newcomers to photography working together, learning from each other, and enjoying a fun social boost to their hobby."

To celebrate its 125 years the club would like to have a look at some of the images members have made over those years. With digital, technology it has records going back up to 20 years. 

The spokesperson added: "We are wondering if anyone has any prints made while a member of our club. We don’t need to borrow it but we would like to have a photograph and the details to celebrate a past member. 

"To help with the earlier part of our history we have a list of some of our past members going back to the beginning of the 20th century. We would really appreciate if anyone can unearth a lost image from our past."

A list of club members' names dating back many years can be found here.

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