Behind The Lens
Written by Lynda Doyle
A LOCAL camera club in South Kildare has given us a snap shot of their organisation.
South Kildare Camera Club, based in Newbridge, will celebrate its tenth anniversary in September and it is going from strength to strength. They meet once a week in Ryston Social Club to share an interest in photography and enjoy talks, practical workshops, trips and social get togethers. The club has grown from an original group of five members and they always welcome new recruits.
“The emphasis is on co-operation rather than competition.” said member John Leahy.
“We are also very supportive of other clubs and have visited camera clubs in Carlow and Athy. The clubs share speakers, word on the wire, if a speaker is particularly good, well it travels,” he said.
They have a number of talented members but welcome people from all levels from those taking up the hobby to the advanced photographer.
This year member Suzanne Behan won an award at the national Biodiversity Photographer of the Year awards when her photo of a juvenile pine marten was highly commended and won the People’s Choice section in the competition. The winning photo was taken on a bog in Co. Laois. Suzanne is no stranger to photography. Some might say it is in her blood. Last year she published a book entitled The 42 Francis Street Photographer, named after the address of her grandfather’s photographic studio in Dublin. The book came about when she came across a huge collection of her grandfather’s negatives, a selection of which she published in the book. One of the photographs was of singer Imelda May on her First Communion.
New member of the club Pamela Donoghue has also had a very successful year. She won an Irish Photographic Federation Award and photo of the month on TV3 for her photo Goodbye Old Friend.
The committee at South Kildare Camera Club put together a monthly schedule and this includes a practical evening or night that allows people to learn more about cameras. They also invite guest speakers and run competitions.
This year they have been very active as members exhibited in the Heritage Centre in Kildare, at Whitewater during JuneFest and they also held an outdoor exhibition around Newbridge with photos displayed on the railings of the Riverbank, the Town Hall, Bord na Mona, McLoughlin’s garage and the Bank of Ireland.
“It all went extremely well and no one defaced or damaged any of the photographs,” said John Leahy. “We were exceedingly pleased with that and plan to hold a similar event next year.”
The group also like to travel. Two years ago they went to Iceland, last spring they travelled to Budapest and in September they are going to West Kerry.
An induction will be held in September for new members who would like to sign up. “We always love to see new people joining.
It could be someone with a camera that they want to learn more about or someone more experienced, everyone is welcome,” said John.
The group meet every Thursday at 8pm in Ryston Social Club apart for the months of July and August.
With thanks to Barbara Sheridan, Editor of the Laois Nationalist for giving us permission to publish this article on our website.