We catch up with the busy and budding pho­tog­ra­phers be­hind the Nel­son Cam­era Club, the or­ga­ni­za­tion run­ning this year’s National Trip­tych Salon


If you want to keep ac­tive with your pho­tog­ra­phy, there’s no bet­ter way than to join a lo­cal cam­era club — and, for the mem­bers of Nel­son Cam­era Club, it looks to be an es­pe­cially busy year. In ad­di­tion to the reg­u­lar fortnightly club nights — ded­i­cated to work­shops, pre­sen­ta­tions, com­pe­ti­tions, and so­cial­iz­ing — the or­ga­ni­za­tion has also run the National Trip­tych Salon and will be con­ven­ing the Photographic So­ci­ety of New Zealand’s (PSNZ) South­ern Re­gional Con­ven­tion.

D-Photo man­aged to pin down some of the key mem­bers of the lively club to catch up on all the hap­pen­ings. There is no sin­gle recipe for a suc­cess­ful photographic-club cur­ricu­lum. The key is to keep the sched­ule evolv­ing to fit the wants and needs of the cur­rent mem­ber­ship. Re­spon­si­ble for shep­herd­ing that evo­lu­tion (along with the ex­cel­lent sup­port of com­mit­tee mem­bers) is Dianna Ham­ble­ton, the club’s pres­i­dent since last year. One re­cent change has been a re­duc­tion in in­tra-club com­pe­ti­tions, mak­ing room for more work­shops and speak­ing events. With com­pe­ti­tions held less fre­quently, there’s more room on the sched­ule for ed­u­ca­tional events. At the most re­cent meet­ing, that meant an in­tro­duc­tory les­son in us­ing the On1 Photo RAW soft­ware, to which Ham­ble­ton is a three-year con­vert. There is still a great deal for the Nel­son Cam­era Club to look for­ward to in the lat­ter half of the year, in­clud­ing the an­nounce­ment of the win­ner of the club’s own in­ter-club com­pe­ti­tion, the National Trip­tych Salon, and the PSNZ South­ern Re­gional Con­ven­tion. The National Trip­tych Salon was con­ceived by club mem­ber Don Pit­tham, who has been in charge of or­ga­niz­ing it an­nu­ally since 2012. The for­mat, in which three dis­tinct im­ages are dis­played to­gether to cre­ate a pat­tern and to com­mu­ni­cate a mes­sage, held a nat­u­ral ap­peal to the pho­tog­ra­pher with a back­ground in math­e­mat­ics. Pit­tham was also keen to see the for­mat pro­moted more broadly through­out the PSNZ. “Although many mem­bers of cam­era clubs were used to sub­mit­ting in­di­vid­ual im­ages for cri­tiquing, it’s a big jump from there to putting to­gether a body of con­sis­tent work suit­able for, say, an ex­hi­bi­tion or a sub­mis­sion to the Photographic So­ci­ety of New Zealand for photographic hon­ours,” Pit­tham ex­plains. “Prac­tise in putting three pho­to­graphs to­gether as one piece of work [is] a small learn­ing step in the art of build­ing a full portfolio.” The com­pe­ti­tion’s judg­ing is un­der­way, and will cul­mi­nate in a print-and-dig­i­tal ex­hi­bi­tion from Oc­to­ber 2 to 21 at the Mor­ri­son Street Cafe in Nel­son. Per­haps the big­gest item on the club’s agenda for the year is play­ing host to the PSNZ’s an­nual South­ern Re­gional Con­fer­ence, which will see the na­tion’s pho­tog­ra­phy en­thu­si­asts con­verge on the re­gion for a pro­gramme of guest speak­ers, field trips, and min­gling among the like-minded. For al­legedly putting his hand up at the wrong time, Peter Wise is now the man in charge of the event. “The key draw­card for th­ese con­ven­tions is the cal­i­bre of the speak­ers, so this was the pri­or­ity, and we have man­aged to ar­range four speak­ers with ex­cel­lent rep­u­ta­tions,” Wise ex­plains. “They also need to be peo­ple who most at­ten­dants in the area may have heard of but not lis­tened to be­fore.” To that end, Wise has at­tracted a pair of Aus­tralian artists — art pho­tog­ra­pher Ken Ball and macro mas­ter Wendy Ver­ity — along with one of New Zealand’s top por­trait pho­tog­ra­phers, Es­ther Bun­ning, and doc­u­men­tary film-maker Keith Hawke (Wise ac­knowl­edges that film-mak­ing isn’t strictly in the so­ci­ety’s wheel­house, but many mem­bers are keen to learn more about the me­chan­ics of ob­tain­ing pho­to­jour­nal­is­tic im­ages). Be­yond pre­sen­ta­tions, there will be a range of trips aimed at tak­ing ad­van­tage of the di­verse sights and events that Nel­son has to of­fer, in­clud­ing a jaunt to the Pi­geon Val­ley Steam Mu­seum in Wake­field, an early morn­ing ferry trip to Boul­der Bank, and ex­plor­ing the World of Wear­able Arts and Clas­sic Cars Mu­seum. Wise is par­tic­u­larly ex­cited about the steam mu­seum trip, as the club has en­listed a cast of steam­punk en­thu­si­asts to model their Vic­to­rian-in­spired sci-fi cos­tumes among the ex­hibits. The PSNZ South­ern Re­gional will run over Oc­to­ber 13–15 at Nel­son’s Rich­mond Town Hall. For more info, visit south­ern.pho­tog­ra­


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