THE Portlaoise Camera Club had a very successful first year after their formation in February 2011, and are heading into their second year with just under 50 members.
The experience of these members is wide and varied and the club aims to cater for people of all levels, from absolute novice to advanced photographers. The group considers themselves a bunch of friends with a similar interest, and the meetings are held in this laid back atmosphere.
However, they also place a large emphasis on learning and consider 2012 to be a year of learning for all the members. The schedule of events include outside speakers, and to date they have had a number of speakers talk them through portrait photography, travel, and lighting amongst others.
Last month saw Scott and Cat McBride come to Portlaoise to talk to the group about the creative process in photography and present them with their unique style of photography. This talk was a major success and has inspired many of the Portlaoise Camera Club members to start thinking creatively.
They also encourage people to enter various competitions, from their own monthly themed competition to national competitions run by the Irish Photographic Federation (IPF) and others. The camera club had great success in outside competitions with members figuring throughout the year.
This culminated in the IPF National Print and Projected Images Competition 2012 which was held in Athlone. Three Portlaoise members had success here with Ciara Drennan having two entries receiving high scores, and while Ciara’s images were not in the final placing she is delighted with how well they scored, as it was her first time entering an IPF competition.
John Dunne’s Abbeyleix Road Monte Carlo Style’ received an Honourable Mention in the Open Projected Images. Top honours in the Irish Environmental Portraiture section went to Carl Cutland with his shot entitled ‘Katie’, which was a very high honour to receive. The club held its first exhibition in Portlaoise Parish Centre last November. This was very successful and they hope to repeat this later in 2012.
Club secretary Terry Conroy told the Leinster Express that the camera club is very active within the local community.
“We have been involved in photographing various events over the last year, from The Street Performance World Championships to The Midlands Half Marathon to The Downtown Portlaoise Christmas Fair. We would like to thank all those who have supported us throughout our first year and we look forward to your continued support throughout 2012,” he said.
The club hold meetings every Wednesday night at 8pm in the Parish Centre in Portlaoise. They also have a very active online social network presence on Facebook, on their website (portlaoisecameraclub.com) and Flickr.com.
The website contains links to members online galleries, so for those who have an interest in photography and would like to see some of the members work, stop by the Members Gallery section of the site.
Those interested in joining can email firstname.lastname@example.org or pop by and say hello on their Facebook page.