Fo­cus­ing on change in world of photography

Hamilton Advertiser - - ALL ABOUT LANARKSHIRE - Mark Pirie

Alan Steven­son has been help­ing to put the peo­ple of Strathaven in the picture for nearly two decades.

He moved to Strathaven 19 years ago and de­cided to sign up with Strathaven Cam­era Club.

Alan is cur­rently the vice-pres­i­dent of the club, which he says al­lows him to take a back seat and fo­cus on tak­ing pic­tures.

“It isn’t that oner­ous. I just step in when the pres­i­dent isn’t avail­able,” he said. “My role is to turn up when he is on hol­i­day.”

The club has been run­ning since 1949 af­ter it was formed by Royal Bri­tish Le­gion mem­bers, with for­mer Com­mon Green phar­macy owner Harry Blake lead­ing the group of keen pho­tog­ra­phers.

Alan said: “We’re proud that it has been here for so long.”

They host a num­ber of rolling com­pe­ti­tions ev­ery two months and Alan wants to in­tro­duce a theme chal­lenge in the near fu­ture.

He said: “I think some­thing like that chal­lenges the mind and makes you more cre­ative.”

The Avon­dale man has won sev­eral tro­phies over the years and said: “In terms of the club chal­lenges I’ve reached the top”.

Alan is now aim­ing even higher as he hopes to move on to na­tional and in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions.

“You want to chal­lenge your­self against the best pho­tog­ra­phers,” he said. “I don’t have any pre­ten­sions I’ll leave with a medal but I want to feel like I can go to that level.”

Talk­ing of chal­lenges, the club has han­dled the move to a dig­i­tal world and Alan has seen it all.

He feels edit­ing tech­nol­ogy has been a boost for the am­a­teur snap­per.

“We are al­most com­pletely dig­i­tal in terms of our photography now,” he said.

“Ob­vi­ously Pho­to­shop and other dig­i­tal soft­ware have made a big dif­fer­ence. What used to take a week in a dark room you can now do in a few hours and some clicks.

“There have been huge changes. The skill lev­els have changed in terms of what peo­ple do.

“Dig­i­tal can take im­ages to a dif­fer­ent level but we all try and ob­tain the best image.”

Plans are al­ready in the works for a 70th birth­day cel­e­bra­tion and the vice-pres­i­dent hopes to en­cour­age more lo­cal folk to put the club in fo­cus.

“You don’t need a top-end cam­era or to spend a lot. You just need one of these things,” Alan said as he ges­tured to­wards his mobile phone.

“I look back at the early dig­i­tal cam­eras that were out 20 years ago and the chip in them had be­tween two and five megapix­els. My phone has eight and it’s not even top-end.

“With that said, the qual­ity of a cam­era phone when com­pared to a full frame cam­era is night and day.

“We don’t care. We just want peo­ple to take pho­to­graphs and en­ter com­pe­ti­tions. We take it se­ri­ously but we don’t take our­selves too se­ri­ously.”

Snap happy Alan Steven­son

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