Victoria Camera Club first vice president Richard James

Shutterbug obsession: 70 years of the Victoria Camera Club

Camera aficionados host exhibition of local photographers' work at Arts Centre at Cedar Hill

In its seven decades, the Victoria Camera Club has seen changes its members never would have never imagined.

But as the shutterbugs prepare for the club’s anniversary show, On Reflection, at the Arts Centre at Cedar Hill Recreation Centre next week, the shift to digital photography is just one of the many milestones that makes up a rich visual catalogue of images.

“Nature photography is still our strongest category, though the creative category is next,” says vice president Richard James, referencing the club’s monthly photo competitions held at Norway House on Hillside Avenue.

Case in point, James has entered his own photo of a majestic bison displacing water as it tromps through the Yellowstone River (see photo on Page A15).

Digital photography as led to a more accessible world for would-be photographers and opened the door to new photography categories, especially in the creative realm where raw photos are built, layer by layer, into illustrated art.

James, who was initially a member between 1980 and 1985, rejoined the camera club in 2005 after it accepted digitalization as a legitimate form of photography.

“Myself and many others had already switched over (to digital), but there are a few dark rooms still in town,” he said.

“There’s interest in the lost art of the dark room, too, with the next generation who are growing up without film. And there’s at least a couple of deep freezers full of slides around town.”

The VCC includes members from all walks of life, such as Ted Grant, the internationally renowned Canadian photojournalist and photographer.

Grant is writing a foreword for the club’s soon-to-be-published book commemorating its 70-year life.

But it also takes the work of volunteers such as current president Lloyd Houghton, who relocated to the Island from New Zealand in 2012.

“Couldn’t resist the offer,” jokes Houghton. “Coming from out of town, it was actually one of the first things I did before I came here, to look up the club and be around like-minded people as soon as I arrived.”

The lifetime photographer started with a Practica 1000 as a teenager.

“This club has a great history and it’s been well respected. When you look back over time you see the technology change in a way we never would have dreamed,” Houghton said.

For more information or to view membership criteria, visit victoriacameraclub.org.

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