FAQ - frequently asked questions

In this section we have listed the common questions asked about camera clubs generally and about our Club in particular, together with what we hope are helpful answers.

The website is regularly updated, so do check back for the latest news.

If you have a question not addressed here, please contact us.

camera clubs generally

What is a camera club?

In very general terms, a collection of folk who are a little bit mad about photography. There is a long tradition of photographic societies and they have evolved over the decades to accommodate changes in media and equipment, but there is no set structure. The camera club is, therefore, what its members want it to be.

Do I have to own an expensive camera?

Not at all. Some members use top-of-the-range kit, others use point-and-shoot cameras, or just their phones! It is true that technical specifications become greater the higher up the cost scale you go, allowing greater control, versatility and image quality. What makes a good picture is not the camera (or the lens, or the tripod, or the flash gun etc etc!). You need some technique, a lot of practice and patience but above all an eye for the composition.

One of the benefits of joining a camera club is that if you do decide to invest in new equipment, you can get lots of advice, even if you don’t ask for it.

I have only just started taking photographs. Do you welcome beginners?

We welcome everyone to the club regardless of their ability or experience. Many of our members regard themselves as beginners in the sense that they are either very new to photography or have returned to photography after a gap of some years, and are unfamiliar with new technologies. 

A common thread that runs throughout the club is that members want to help each other improve their photographic techniques, and their appreciation of photography as an art. 

Do I have to bring a camera to meetings?

Generally, it isn’t necessary to bring a camera. If you have any questions about your camera, or any other equipment, please bring it along with you for advice. Otherwise, the Programme page lists the practical evenings when equipment will be needed.

wensleydale camera club

When and where does the Club meet?

The Club meets on Monday evenings at 7:15pm for 7:30pm at the Leyburn Bolton Arms, Market Place, Leyburn DL8 5BW.

Please refer to the Programme page for information about specific meetings.

How much does it cost to join?

Membership is £40. Membership runs from the start to the end of the season. New members joining after halfway through the season pay a discounted rate, usually fifty percent.

Do I have to join as a member to attend?

You are welcome to come to any meeting as a visitor at a cost of £3 per attendance.

How do the competitions work?

We hold internal competitions in both print and digital (“DPI”) formats, which are usually judged externally. Although there are cups, salvers and kudos to be won, many members enter for the opportunity to get some feedback on their work.

We also take part in the NYSDPA annual competition.

Details about competitions rules are available on the Competitions page.

Does the Club run meetings all year round?

No. The Club breaks in the spring and resumes in the autumn. In the intervening months, members may organise field trips.

Does the Club cater for people who prefer to take videos rather than still images?

We do very occasionally include audio-visual presentations but we are primarily a club for those interested in still photography.

I am interested in learning about enhancing my images using computer software. Does the Club cater for this?

Each season we hold several sessions devoted to topics such as photography software, and members are always willing to share their knowledge and skills.

Does the Club run photography courses?

We do not run formal courses on photography, but members often give talks on various aspects of photography, both basic and more advanced. Members have also found they learn a lot by coming to meetings and seeing the work of other photographers, as well as chatting to other members and visiting speakers at the end of the formal meeting.

What do you do at the Club’s meetings?

Our meetings vary in format from week to week. The Programme page details what is planned. In practical workshops we try to broaden and improve our skills. External speakers share with us their work and answer our questions. There are competition evenings and evenings where we bring in our own work and get feedback. We try out new things each season, and there is always time to mingle and discuss and occasionally argue, always good-naturedly of course!

Can I come along for a few meetings before I make my decision to join the Club?

By all means. And if you do join, the visitor fees you paid will be deducted from the membership fee.

Can I enter competitions without becoming a member?

Only members may enter the competitions. However, guests are welcome to attend competition nights to get experience of how competitions are run and judged.

Will I have to enter competitions if I become a member?

Entering competitions is not compulsory! Whilst competitions are a very good way of getting independent feedback on your work, some members prefer discussing and receiving informal feedback instead, and some come along just to enjoy themselves and appreciate other peoples’ photography.

Is the Club a charity?

No. The Club is neither a charity nor a legal entity. It is funded by its members and abides by the terms of its constitution, copies of which are available from the Secretary.

Is the Club affiliated to other photographic organisations?

The Club is a long-standing member of the North Yorkshire and South Durham Photographic Association (NYSDPA) and takes part in its annual competition.

Through its membership of the Yorkshire Photographic Union (YPU), the Club is also affiliated with the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB).

Who runs the Wensleydale Camera Club?

The Club is made up by its members and run by a committee of volunteers, which consists of around six members who meet regularly to organise the club and to deal with all the administration. Committee members are elected at the end of the season at the annual general meeting. The Committee comprises:

President:  Digby Angus
Chairman:  Christine Carr
Vice Chairman:  Ken Readshaw
Secretary: Vanessa Clare
Treasurer: Neil Wilmore
Competition secretary: Paul Taylor
Web secretary: Mark Ashcroft
Programme secretary: Mark Ashcroft
Without portfolio: Andrew Fletcher

technical tips and useful links

What is the best way to improve my photography?

For those new to photography, or returning to it after some time, there are four main things that will help:

  • Get to know your equipment. In particular, practise taking shots in different modes and different settings and observe the differences in the results. Try not to rely on your camera “auto” settings too much: you have very little control over the image capturing magic, and if you happen to get a good shot you’ll not be able to repeat the feat!
  • Study other peoples’ pictures to see what works best compositionally.
  • Let others critique your images. Even criticisms you disagree with are useful information!
  • Join a camera club! They are excellent places to obtain constructive feedback from judges or fellow club members on what works best in an image and on what might improve it. 

Can you recommend places for printing and mounting?

Whilst we do not endorse any particular suppliers, some members use and can recommend the online suppliers listed below.

Printing: DS Colour Labs: upload your images to their website and your prints will be sent to you. Fast turnaround.

Mounts: Cotswold Mounts mount boards and order framing mounts to your specifications, including camera club competition mounts.