NELSON CAMERA CLUB
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.photography.org.nz.