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Photography Society Rant

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Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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  • #2496
    Farktographer
    Participant

    Sooo…I’m in a new city, all settled in, decide it’s about time I join a photography group that knows the area. I never did it while I was in San Diego, but I figure it’s a good way to meet new people, exchange some techniques, and they’d know the area better than I do so they could give some hints and tips.

    I start browsing around looking for photography clubs. Oh great, there’s like 5 of them in this city, that’ll be easy!

    No. Not for you.

    All the clubs require a fee to get in, and some even require fees for each meeting attended or activity participated in. Wait, what? I’m not paying for a class here, I’m trying to meet people. What’s with the exclusivity? Furthermore, most of them are located on the fringes of the town, far away from my campus, so it’d be a good 2-hour walk (I walk everywhere here) just to get there. No. I refuse to pay money to come to your pow-wow.

    Looking around a bit more, I find out there’s a photography society on my campus. Awesome! Err…well, it’s mostly undergrads, but hey, that’s fine, I’m sure they still have a lot that I could learn from.

    …they also require a fee. Not as obscene as some of the other societies (only 10 GBP versus some societies asking 60+), but it’s still there. I figure alright, I’ll settle on that. “How do I join?” “You come to the meetings.” “Where are the meetings?” “Student center, every Wednesday, 3:00.”

    …3:00. Sure, that might be convenient for undergrads, but for me? That means I’m smack dab in the middle of my research. Wouldn’t be able to make a single meeting. Damnitsomuch. Okayyy…well, another benefit I can get if I join the on-campus group is access to the dark room. I could get in and out of there whenever I please, not just at the 3:00 meeting time. That alone would be worth the 10 pounds to me, to learn the darkroom techniques.

    “Hey, do you guys have reels to develop both 35mm and 120 film?”
    “Sure do!”
    “Awesome! Well I know you only have supplies for black and white film right now – if I bring my own chemicals, can someone show me how to use them?”
    “…”
    “Um…anyone?”
    “…No. Nobody here has experience developing color film. You’d have to teach yourself.”
    “Okay…*sigh*…but I could still use the facilities?”
    “Oh, yeah, you could definitely use the room. You’ll just have to bring your own tubs. And reels. We don’t want you contaminating our reels with your chemicals.”

    So pretty much for the price of 10 GBP I’d have access to a room. And that’s it. Not only that but if I left my supplies there, I’d be pretty certain other people would use them.

    So two rants at once: One – screw these damn societies here for being money-hungry. Is this normal? I never joined a group in San Diego, but I looked around, and they were all free. Two – is there ANYWHERE in this damn city that I can learn how to develop film without it costing an arm and a leg, and where I won’t be teaching myself through extensive trial-and-error? I think it’d be fun to learn, but I don’t want to have to buy reels, tubs, etc. etc. just to find out I suck at it.

    To sum, I’ve pretty much given up on my search of a club here. I met a few people that like photography, so I’ll start organising my own exploratory journeys and we can teach each other techniques. I didn’t know that trying to join in with people of similar interests could be so damn frustrating. This is why I love Farktography – I always have something to learn from you lot, it’s free, and it’s fun. Now if only we got a darkroom in here 🙄

    #42861
    orionid
    Participant
    #42862
    Kestrana
    Participant

    They probably consider those fees more like membership dues and it helps them pay for expenses like renting meeting space or supplies.

    Did you talk to any of the photography staff at your university? I should hope they know how to develop color film. Maybe they could run a seminar on it with the photo club? Or point you towards a worthwhile photo group.

    As for “chemical contamination” makes me worry about using their room. You’re supposed to wash your developing tubs and reels after you’re done, and flushing with clean water is part of the development process…so if they’re worried about chemical contamination they might be doing something wrong.

    #42863
    ravnostic
    Participant

    Google + photowalks. Just saying.

    #42864
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    Here in NYC I see listings for Photo Meetups and Photo Walks which routinely start at $99 just to attend a photo walk in a public place and be escorted around, say, Central Park. I emailed one a while back asking if there was a class associated with it or a professional photographer giving tips and tricks. No, just a guided photo tour of a place that it is entirely free to go and walk around taking pictures.

    So much of this kind of thing is the brainchild of someone nefarious enough to grasp that silly people will pay good money to do things they could for free if a label is applied such as group or class.

    As far as someone teaching you to run your color film, it is exactly the same as black and white except for the addition of the bleach/fix step. The times and temperature are a touch more exacting but still you do the same steps in the same order in the same tanks. A simple soap and water wash between color and black and white is all you need to keep your tanks free of contamination.

    #42865
    Yoyo
    Participant

    Here in NYC I see listings for Photo Meetups and Photo Walks which routinely start at $99 just to attend a photo walk in a public place and be escorted around, say, Central Park….

    So much of this kind of thing is the brainchild of someone nefarious enough to grasp that silly people will pay good money to do things they could for free if a label is applied such as group or class.

    “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” – H. L. Mencken

    “It is morally wrong to allow a sucker to keep his money.” – W. C. Fields

    Need I go on?

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