AS local clubs go Ardee Photography Club is only a baby!
Formed in July 2015 it was the brainchild of Albert Mullarkey, a keen amateur photographer and an active member of the group.
A warm and friendly group has emerged and grown since the initial meeting. The commitment of all the members has seen the club grow in strength and numbers throughout 2017.
The club’s vision is to be a local photography club rather than a camera club. The emphasis is on composing and taking creative, interesting photos on any device including camera phones. Nobody is under pressure to invest in expensive equipment. Some members have caught the bug and purchased DSLR cameras but meetings still focus on the photographs rather than the equipment. The club’s upcoming exhibition will include a slideshow of photos taken on mobile phones.
Unlike some clubs Ardee Photography Club has a significant number of members who are beginners at photography, while other members are more experienced. It took a while to find the best format for new members to learn while providing a challenging, interesting environment for more experienced members. From the outset the more experienced members of the group have generously shared their knowledge.
Notably Mark O’Brien, one of the group’s talented members, created an in house photography course which taught many members the basics of photography in a supportive environment where no questions are ever stupid! Mark’s teaching means that some members have been caught muttering “big number, small hole” – a reference to aperture in locations as diverse as the Dublin Docklands at night and Tinure Graveyard! Mark’s course is set to continue early in 2018.
As the group evolved it became apparent that the greatest practical learning opportunities happened when the group were out and about taking photographs in Ardee and further afield.
As a result photography outings have become an integral part of the club. So far this year there are been 2 evening trips to the photograph the colourful lights of the Dublin Docklands, an atmospheric trip at dusk to the High Crosses at Tinure, a trip to the National Stud and Japanese Gardens and an exploration of Powerscourt Gardens and Waterfall.
Experienced photographers Kevin Dardis and Annette Nolan amongst others often play a mentoring role on these trips, helping beginners with gentle guidance and patience. Everyone comes home having learnt a few new tips and with some photographs they can be proud of. There is often a stop for dinner on the longer trips and the craic on the bus is legendary!
With so many outings under it’s belt it felt like the right time to show the resulting photographs to a wider audience. Ardee Photography Club’s first exhibition will be held in Dee Hub in Ardee on 18th and 19th November.
In keeping with the ethos of the club every active member will have photographs included and it promises to be an enjoyable event for anyone who enjoys photography. Admission is free. There will be a raffle and the proceeds will go to the Dee Hub where the club meets every second Thursday.
Feel free to come to the exhibition, enjoy the photographs and chat to existing members. For anyone interested membership is only €30 per year, great value to meet a fun and creative group of people, make new friends, see new places and of course take some great photographs!
“One for the wall” is a phrase the members use when they someone gets a shot just right. To create a piece of art for your own wall is always a good ambition!