Catering to all levels of photography skill, the Howick Camera Club offers its members the opportunity to develop and learn from more experienced photographers while promoting the sharing of knowledge with like-minded people. Established by Laurie Longstaff in 1956, the club has continued to grow and now offers three meetings a month to its 70-plus members with competitions, guest speakers, workshops, and field trips included in the range of activities members have available to them.
Monthly graded competitions are run within the club, with members being allocated one of four grades — A, B, C, or Junior (18 years and under) — offering them the chance to receive critiques and tips for improvement from the eight Photographic Society of New Zealand (PSNZ) accredited judges in the club. The competition nights are split into two categories, print and digital (projected), with set subjects specifically chosen to challenge. All members are encouraged to submit images, although there is no pressure to do so. A typical meeting on one of these nights would involve the judging of the submitted images, then often there will be a featured guest speaker with time allocated after for members to ask questions.
As well as their monthly graded competitions, the club offers other special competitions which are non-graded and trophies are awarded for these at the end-of-year prize-giving Christmas function.
Once a month the club offers a workshop meeting that allows the more experienced members and other volunteers to run workshops or feature guest speakers, while every couple of months field trips are organized so that members can get out of their comfort zone and push their skills in new environments. Upcoming trips for this year include a ‘fungi hunt’ in the Hunua Ranges in June, their annual ‘snow trip’ to National Park in August — a club event run for the last 20 years — and visiting the gannet colony at Muriwai in October.
Other trips this year have seen the club go to the Auckland Zoo, cultural festivals, the Botanic Gardens, and a night-shoot in Wynyard Quarter. Already looking ahead to 2016, the Howick Camera Club are eagerly planning their 60th anniversary celebration that will include an exhibition in next year’s Auckland Festival of Photography. The aim is not only to showcase work from members to a wider audience, but also to promote the club in the community.
Priding themselves on the social aspect of the club, new members are always welcome and current members say meeting new people with fresh ideas is what keeps them stimulated. All about fostering and spreading the love of image capture, the club looks forward to bringing in new, younger members who — even if armed with only a cell phone — have a good eye and a willingness to experiment and learn. If this sounds like a club you want to know more about, visit howickcameraclub.org.nz or find them on Facebook.