Posted by Rob Hulme
I took the usual route into photography, a small 110 35mm compact that was used for holidays and days out. I never really progressed much for the next 20 years or so, only getting a slightly better camera when the kids came along to make a record of birthdays and Christmas etc.
About 7 years ago I had a major problem with my back, which resulted in long lay offs and many hospital visits. This ended my participation in the sports that I played and also the ballroom dancing that my wife, Paula and I had been doing. Paula was already a member at Willfield and asked me to come along to give me something to do. I bought my first digital SLR with the money that I would have used for my golf membership, and decided to try and learn whatever I could.
When I first joined there would sometimes be only 5 or 6 people on a Thursday night and I have seen the club grow to the size it is today with 20 or 30 people attending. I have even done 3 presentations, which If you had have told me that a few years ago I would have laughed. Because of my limited knowledge my presentations were more history based than technical, but I have received positive comments from group members.
I feel I have improved my skills, but am my own biggest critic, and rarely like my own photos. I have tried to broaden my horizons and have attended studio sessions and recently went to the Mach Loop with other members, neither of which I was particularly interested in, but was glad I went, as they were probably the two most enjoyable days I have had at the club. One tip I will give is to try things even if you think it is something that is not for you…………..you may be surprised.
To anyone who looks down their noses at clubs such as ours, I say this, Willfield is the best club of any sort that I have ever been a member of! Good knowledgeable photographers who are willing to spend time with others and pass on any tips and information to help them improve. Unfortunately, I feel that I will always be, what Phil affectionately calls “a snapper”.