Cheltenham Camera Club
Welcome to Cheltenham Camera Club!
The Club meets on Thursday evenings from September to May for a varied programme of high quality presentations and competitions.

The Club welcomes photographers of all ages, interests and abilities.

We are friendly and supportive and, as one of the oldest photographic clubs in the country, continue to encourage our many members to develop and improve their photography.

If you are interested in finding out what we are about, simply turn up at one of our meetings – there is just a £2 visitor’s fee – you will be made most welcome. For more information click on 'About us' above.

CAPTURING THE MOMENT - 150 Years of Photography in Cheltenham
Published by Cheltenham Camera Club
Capturing the Moment Cheltenham was one of the first towns in the country to establish a professional photographic studio and has one of the oldest camera clubs.

The book, marking the 150th anniversary of Cheltenham Camera Club, looks at how the nature of Cheltenham society influenced this development.

Who were its leading figures?
How has photographic technology changed?
How does the present Camera Club compare with the original Cheltenham Photographic Society?
How has training in photography changed over the past 150 years?

Capturing the Moment - 150 Years of Photography in Cheltenham sets the photographic scene in the town into the wider social context ending with a summary of photography in Cheltenham today.

Illustrated, 76 pages. 210 x 148 mm
ISBN: 978-0-9931482-0-0

£10 (to include postage and packing in UK)
Contact: books@ (all our addresses end with
CISP 2015
Selection of our award winning images

<b>Cold Day On Green Gable</b> by David Adamson<br>Acceptances at Great Barr and Guernsey by David Adamson <b>Danger Mines</b><br>Brian Swinyard<br><br>PSA Best Of Show Medal in Rome
<br>Medal of Excellence at Woodstock
<br>Medal of Excellence in Atlanta
<br>Honourable Mention at Dixie
<br>Honourable Mention at Peachtree by des <b>Approaching Warm Front, Back O' Skiddaw</b> by David Adamson<br>International acceptance at Sydney Harbour by David Adamson Pier fly past. by Dave Tait. RPS ribbon CISP. FIAP gold Ukraine. Salon gold Montenegro. 15 acceptances. by dave irving tait <b>LEGS</b><br>David Ross
<br><br>3 International Acceptances (FIAP)
<br>FIAP Hon Mention by des <b>Blues & Greens</b> by Aleks Gjika<br>2nd PhotoVivo Singapore Acc by aleks Resting on Forester Pass by David Adamson BPE1*. Accepted at Yorkshire Photographic Union's(YPU)first International Salon. by David Adamson <b>Steve</b> by David Adamson<br>Acceptance at Great Barr by David Adamson <b>End of an Innings</b> by Colin Trim<br>
Acceptance at Smethwick International Exhibition of Photography 2014 by colintrim
Lightbox of recently uploaded images

Omarama - New Zealand.jpg by Bobinstow Bica da Cana - Madeira.jpg by Bobinstow Song Thrush -Turdus philomelos #2.jpg by colintrim Blizzard.jpg by martin fry Frozen Tracks.jpg by martin fry white out.jpg by martin fry Storm Force.jpg by martin fry Winter Woolies.jpg by martin fry Storm Tide.jpg by martin fry
to inFocus Our news
Capturing the Moment - by Len Shood

For those of us who had been thinking about it and preparing for it for weeks, months or even longer January 8th 2015 had at last arrived. It was not just the date of the first meeting after the Christmas break, it was the first event of our Sesquicentennial Year. Not only is our Camera Club one hundred and fifty years old, it is the only cultural society in Cheltenham with such a long continuous history and it is the sixth oldest photographic society in the UK. 

          The day we had been planning for had at last arrived. What a relief to know that the weather was going to be kind to us - no snow, no fog, no gales. Not only were the two principal speakers travelling from south of the Cotswolds, many of our invited guests were coming from further afield. 

          Sticking to our regular Thursday meeting night, this was just one hundred and fifty years and four days after the very first meeting of the Cheltenham Photographic Society, and was very different not only to that meeting, held in the private house of one of the founders, but to our regular club meetings in a church hall. Tonight we were in a state-of- the-art theatre with superb sound and lighting, comfortable tiered seats, a very large projection screen and bar facilities.

          Without any introduction the house lights dimmed to to total darkness and the screen burst into life with Big Ben striking midnight and heralding the New Year with fireworks. 2015 had begun and then in a fast moving creative AV we were swept back 150 years to the beginning of the Club. Alternating images showed us world events, local events and photographic gear of each corresponding era to an ever changing sound track as we were transported through a century and a half. As it came to its climax and rapturous applause a Victorian figure entered the spotlit stage. 

          He told us that he was Dr Edward T. Wilson, joint founder of the club and fascinated the audience with an account of his many contributions to our town. We are fortunate in that our illustrious forbear not only began our club, to which he remained loyal throughout his life, but established a fever hospital in the town, brought clean drinking water to the citizens, founded a natural history society and later the Museum, and was the father of the distinguished Antarctic explorer Dr Edward A. Wilson, whose death with Scott the town recognised with a statue in 1914.

          He also described his early photographic achievements leading very neatly to our first lecturer of the evening, Roger Watson, curator of the Fox Talbot Museum at Laycock Abbey, the family home of William Henry Fox Talbot, one of photography's two inventors, the other being the Frenchman Louis Daguerre. Entitled Capturing the Light the  parallel stories of their pioneering work is fascinating because of their completely different characters, and their approaches to their project. Can it really be said photography had two inventors? asked Roger. Yes, he said, it often happens and cited numerous other inventions. He concluded his talk just as photography had been announced in January 1839 by Daguerre in Paris and by Talbot in London. It would be good to listen to Roger Watson again, and hear the next sequence in this fascinating tale.

          During the interval the audience was invited to view the exhibits in the adjacent gallery. The principal award — the best in show — at the club's annual exhibition is the Lloyd and Gregory Cup and as many winning prints as could be resourced from the last few decades were shown along with a few other category winners. Looking at the display it was interesting to see the variety of subjects, the different treatments and the fact that so many different members had achieved this ultimate accolade. Many of course were from pre-Photoshop days. Speaking to a few members, they all had their own choice of 'best of best' and none of them agreed, other than to say that extensive use of Photoshop is a useful tool, but no guarantee to success.

          Back in the auditorium 'Dr Wilson' announced The Victorian Peerless Magic Lantern Show. We had already seen the lantern itself in the rear stalls, a magnificent piece of Victorian equipment fabricated in shiny mahogany and gleaming brass, this was a double slide version, effectively two projectors, one above the other. Originally illuminated by gas or oil, it has been converted to electricity enabling each part's illumination to be brightened or darkened by a dimmer, rather easier for the operator than in the days of the afore mentioned fuels.

          'Professor' Mervyn Heard presents the show as a one man band and must often wish he had more hands. In the days before cinema the only action on a screen was via the magic lantern and the Victorians were certainly inventive: some slides had secondary images that revolved within the mount, others had a secondary image that could be slid into the gate thus being superimposed over the first. Combined with a second projector (integral in this case) additional moving images could be added. Mervyn demonstrated an assortment of original slides, many from before the days of photography when all the images were hand painted. Once photography was available the selection of subjects increased to include views of far away lands, and picture stories rather like comic strips, posed by 'actors', often in front of badly painted backgrounds.

          Apart from having to be ambidextrous, Mervyn continued his commentary fluently throughout with a burst of singing at one point, an epic performance, which was much enjoyed by his twenty-first century audience.

          He finished with a classic favourite, a slide of a man snoring; as he snores he opens his mouth and a rat runs up his body into the open orifice. The Victorians may not have experienced the age of electronics but they certainly lived in and enjoyed to the full the age of mechanical invention.

          The evening concluded with the Treasurer and a Trustee of the Royal Photographic Society, which is twelve years older than us, Geoff Blackwell, thanking the Club for putting on such an entertaining evening, congratulating us on achieving 150 years and declaring our sesquicentennial year well and truly started!

          The Club can claim a triumphant commencement to its sesquicentennial year, but this successful start did not happen by chance. We had a team of enthusiasts, each responsible for different items. Martin Fry, one of our longest serving members and an acknowledged expert in the world of AV (as well as other areas of photography) made the opening sequence to set the scene, and was also the overall leader of the team. Others were responsible for overseeing the technicalities of the proceedings, hanging the exhibition, publicising the event, organising the team of stewards and managing ticketing, issuing invitations to VIPs, catering for all the helpers.

          Others in turn assisted in these various tasks. Parallel to the preparation for the evening, another member, Sandie Prowse had been working on one of our major efforts of the year, the publication of a book to be launched on the evening. With chapters written by several members, the book tells the story of photography in Cheltenham from its first professional studio (less than six months after the first in Europe, in London, through the formation of the Camera Club to the present day university courses. Needless to say sales on the evening were brisk.

CCC 150th Captures the Moment

There is an article and video on the first event of our 150th celebrations 'Capturing the Moment' on the BBC Gloucestershire website, please follow the link: BBC Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire Young Photographer of the Year 2015

The 2015 competition will be held slightly later in the year than recently with a final entry date of 24th March 2015.

The Award ceremony will be held at the Parabola Arts Centre on 9th May with the accepted images being on display there for just that day before moving to The Wilson on 12th May.

Details will be circulated to schools in January as well as the rules and entry form being available here as well.  Please check back later.


To see the winning images from 2014 please click on the link below.


Go to album 

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InFocus Newsletter Archive

Issue 137: 1865 January The Photographic Society; Making a Photograph; Purchasing a Camera; A Method for Photomicrographs by Dr E. T. Wilson; Letters
Issue 136: 2014 October Godfrey Outram, 1934-2014; External Competitions; Update on Plug-Ins; Are you a Constable or a Turner?; Rule Changes
Issue 135: 2014 April OnOne & Adobe Creative Suite, Histograms and RAW files, What makes Colin Harrison Click, Breaking the Rule - thoughts on Composition
Issue 134: 2014 January Honorary Life Membership - Martin Fry, Olympus day with Gifford's Circus, Sandy Fothergill, John Cook, Corrupted memory card?, Focus stacking with a tablet
Issue 133: 2013 September 1st CISP, Competition Software, Ewa & Peter Makas and Richard Cherry, Honorary Life Membership - Martin Fry, Life in a Competitive World by Ian Gee
Issue 132: 2013 April Adding a Keyline, Soft Proofing, Jane Borland and Graham Hodgkiss, Private Lives, Ghosts and Shadows, Morgan Outing
Issue 131: 2012 December Tewkesbury School, Janice Clark, Archie Douglas, Creative Course, Topaz & Nik, Photoshop in the 1850's?
Issue 130: 2012 September Cheltenham International Salon, Chairman's Medal, Liverpool Cathedral, Making Cards, New Logo, Lightroom
Issue 129: 2012 April Founder E.T. Wilson; My Journey; Making 'The Mystic'; Nature Photography; Depth of Field; CCC at the Mayor's Parlour
Issue 128: 2012 January Brain Swinyard Award; Layers; Adding Text; Guy Edwardes Review
Issue 127: 2011 September Lundy Trip; Digital Dabblings - HDR; Micro Adjustment; The wider world
Issue 126: 2011 April Street Photography; Royal Visit; Showing Off; Copyright
Issue 125: 2011 January 150th Anniversary plans; Photography and the law; Keywords; David Christie tribute
Issue 124: September 2010 Preserving the past; Our Archivist; Using the Web Galleries; Clogged Nozzles
Issue 123: 2010 April Converting to Infra Red; Fred Wall tribute; Colour Management; Fibonacci deconstructed; The way we were.
Issue 122: 2009 December Cyril Bint tribute; Calibration and colour management; iPhone apps; Club competitions precis
Issue 121: 2009 September Lightroom 2, CS4 and Elements 7; Back Button Focusing, New FIAP rules
Issue 120: 2009 April Memory test; Jack Stephens tribute; Competition changes; Raw files
Issue 119: 2008 December Image Stabilisation; Public photography and the police; Updating your camera?; Black and White Printing
Issue 118: 2008 September Profile converting; Digital projection; Making the print; Dynamic range explained
Issue 117: 2008 April Annual Exhibition report; Scanning; Letters and distinctions explained; Canon 40D - worth it?
Issue 116: 2007 December The lighthouse of Cordouan; Wendy and Godfrey Outram Arts Council Award; CS3
Issue 115: 2007 August Backups; Exhibition move; Sikkim & Bhutan; DIG info
Issue 114: 2007 April Judges; Selective focus; Photomatix;
Issue 113: 2006 December Woodchester Mansion; Looking towards 2015;

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