Being a part of a photography club that continually challenges you while still providing a fun and social environment is a great way to enhance your skills as a photographer. The Waikato Photographic Society provides an incredible amount of opportunities for its members to keep getting behind the camera and progressing their artwork to higher levels. At a skills night once a month members learn about a different aspect of photography, such as aperture, photographing movement, Photoshop techniques, or photographing water drops.
The competitive nature of the 70-plus club members is further fuelled with monthly competitions, with members able to enter a maximum of four images — two digital and two print — into set subject or open categories. The set subjects are announced at the end of each year, and when the monthly newsletter, named Aperture, gets sent around to members they are advised about the guidelines. Images that receive six ‘honours’ awards are able to move into the next grade within the club, and points are accumulated throughout the year for the end-of-year awards.
Host of the 2014 PSNZ Northern Regional Convention back in October, the Waikato Photographic Society had another busy year in 2015. The club tries to organize a field trip every month on which experienced members will help out the others, sharing their ideas and knowledge. The Waikato Balloon Festival is always a favourite photographic opportunity in the calendar, as well as Beach Hop in Whangamata for the car enthusiasts.
Members say people who are interested in becoming a part of the club should just come along, as there will always be someone there to take you under their wing. You don’t need to have a DSLR camera with a giant kit of lenses, the type of camera you have or your skill level is no restriction — just head along and participate as much or as little as you like. With Lake Rotoroa and its bird life, the Taitua Arboretum, the world-renowned Hamilton Gardens, and Hamilton Zoo right on the club’s doorstep, there’s always something to release your camera from its satchel to practice your skills on and keep you inspired.
This article originally appeared in D-Photo Issue No. 65. You can pick up a print copy or a digital copy of the magazine below: