Doncaster Camera Club

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The first move towards the formation of the Doncaster Camera Club was a letter in the Doncaster Gazette in November 1893. This resulted in an invitation to join the Doncaster Microscopical Society which used photography and included it in their programme.

The photographers accepted this invitation but soon found it did not answer their needs. Under the leadership of Frank Moat, 12 photographers met, at 2pm on Sunday 14th April 1895, at 10 High Street, the home of Henry Percy, a gent's outfitter and amateur photographer. They decided to form the Doncaster Camera Club and chose Frank Moat as secretary.
One of the members offered a meeting place and a programme was quickly drawn up. In the early years every talk to the club was given by a member.

In about 1905 the Club joined the YPU and was then able to draw on speakers from further afield. Several of our own members have served on the YPU Judges' and Lecturers' Lists and at least one member of the Club has been on the YPU Executive Committee almost continuously since our joining.

The Club's first Exhibition was held in 1897 and was notable for including demonstrations of X - Rays and the cinematograph both of which originated, like the Club, in 1895. Competitions were introduced a couple of years later and soon became competitive and in 1909 included a section for colour prints. Many activities had to be suspended during the 1914 - 18 war. The Club had it's own meeting place commandeered by the military and many members were called up to serve in the Forces. The older members and the women kept the Club going, but with fewer meetings than previously.

After the war the Club entered a programme of revival and membership reached an all time high of 171 in 1922. Competitions were revived in 1921 but no further exhibitions were held until 1933. In that year the Club acted as hosts for the YPU Annual Assembly and Exhibition. This led to an invitation to the Club to hold an Exhibition. This was done in 1934 and an exhibition was held annually for the next five years.

Fred Jordon, an early President
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Continuing the pioneering spirit of the early members, a lecture and demonstration of infra-red photography was staged in 1938. A photograph of the audience was taken by infra-red radiation at the beginning, processed during the meeting and was on show by the end of the evening.

War intervened: the Club again lost its meeting place and many of its members, and the number of meetings was reduced. As soon as the war was over members began to return, eager to resume active club membership. Rules were revised and a full programme of meetings organised. Competitions were reinstated and the Exhibition has been held annually since 1947: the Exhibition of 2000 was the 71st held by the club.

Doncaster Camera Club has hosted the YPU Exhibition on three other occasions in 1971, 1987 and 2014. In addition three international Exhibitions have been held in 1958, 1965 and 1969. The South Yorkshire Salon of 1968 and the third International Exhibition of 1969 were held to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Club.

In recent times we have seen the development of the Digital age, and indeed many of our members are now shooting only with digital cameras. We also have members who have a good knowledge of the digital processes and are willing to pass on their knowledge to members.

We have incorporated into our programme Digital Instructional evenings, and of course many of the techniques apply equally to traditional film based photography.

Throughout its existence the Club has thrived because of the active work and support of the members. We look forward to this continuing into the future.

Doncaster Camera Club is affiliated to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) and The Yorkshire Photographic Union (YPU)
© 2024
Doncaster Camera Club
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