How it all began

 

How We Began: During the bitterly cold winter of 1979, a small group of photographers believed that there was probably enough interest within the Ballynahinch area to form a proper photographic club. The first meeting was in the public library and the guest speaker was the well-known press photographer, Stanley Matchett. Within a few weeks, 35 members had signed up and Ballynahinch Camera Club was up and running. From the outset, the club has been affiliated to N.I.P.A. (Northern Ireland Photographic Association). An important element of this has been the league competitions with the other associated clubs. Such competitive involvement helped raise the standard of photography and has certainly raised the profile of the club within Northern Ireland. In March 2005, on its 25th birthday, Ballynahinch won the prestigious N.I.P.A. "Top Club" award

 Meetings now take place in the Edengrove Presbyterian Church Hall, Dromore Road on Thursday evenings between September and April. As well as the competitions, there are visiting speakers, hands-on digital imaging workshops, studio sessions, night-time shoots and visits to labs or studios. One of the most popular photographic and social events is the May weekend trip. Members go to a different location every year and spend a couple of days taking pictures and enjoying themselves. Venues have been Edinburgh, Lake District, Durham, York, Galway, Fortwilliam, Holland and Donegal. Whatever the weather, photographs are taken and the craic is mighty.

There have been momentous changes in photographic equipment and techniques in the past number of years. In particular, the incredibly swift onset of digital imaging has taken many photographers by surprise. Such has been the pace of progress that even a few key players in the photo industry have been caught out, not ready to adapt to a dramatically changing marketplace. The digital revolution has completely changed the face of photography forever.  What we can now do with home computers would have been science fiction only a few years ago. For many of us, the dim red light of the darkroom and its familiar smell of fixer, has disappeared. The mighty mouse now reigns in photography. The club has embraced this change.  Ballynahinch Camera Club welcomes photographers of all levels of skill and expertise.