Fordingbridge - home to a very talented group of photographers

On the banks of the River Avon, Fordingbridge is home to a very talented group of photographers. Carole Varley meets some of the members of the small town's camera club

There’s so much going on in the photographic world. It’s so much fun,” said Fordingbridge Camera Club member and former chair Anne Mahany, as she dashed off to a lecture in Southampton the morning we spoke. The club was started 53 years ago by a group of enthusiasts and is still going strong with, in some cases, the children of some of the founder members now active participants.Although very much rooted in the local community, with competitions and exhibitions staged in, for instance, the local Burgate Secondary School, to which everyone is invited, the club is anything but parochial and has links with organisations such as the Southern Photographic  Federation and the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP), and holds regular meetings with other clubs to “share ideas and broaden peoples’ outlook”, said Anne.In the early days, the club focused on cine and audio visual, but that has now shifted to projected image and print and the new digital cameras have, to use Anne’s words, “expanded the horizon of photography a great deal. We are now getting all sorts of people with no knowledge of photography at all joining the club – many of them from the younger generation” she said.

In the frameThe group has a busy programme of events with regular meetings and competitions assessed by outside photographers, which is a “great way of learning and it gives everyone chance to see what people can do”,  presentations by visiting speakers, and sessions and discussion groups on everything from basic photography to advanced techniques. The group also holds regular photo-forums, informal evenings with tutorials and discussions, and tutorial meetings can be arranged from time to time.Although, located in Fordingbridge with the whole of the New Forest as their back garden and all the great creative opportunities that that can present, club members also specialise in every type of photography from wildlife and natural history to abstracts and “beautifully-crafted photographs of landscapes” with, as this page shows, some spectacularly good results. 

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