Our club was founded in 1980 as Cumbria Constabulary Camera Club, and there was also a Penrith Natural History and Photographic Society which folded in 1987. Membership of the CCCC expanded among the public and it became Penrith and District Camera Club, which now meets weekly at the Quaker Meeting House on Wednesdays at 7.30 pm. There is a full programme by guest speakers and members as well as competitions from September to April each year. Summer brings informal meetings and occasional location shoots, as well as visits to shows and events around the area. Photography is changing rapidly, with so many ways to communicate pictures to friends, family and the public using the computer, the TV, and the Internet, as well as CDs, DVDs and pen drives, as well as using traditional prints and slides. All this, made possible by evolving technology, can be carried out at home. The Club has embraced change with enthusiasm and aims to keep up with all that is feasible without undue expense.
We have staged exhibitions at Rheged Discovery Centre and Penrith Museum, and there is an Annual Exhibition held in Penrith Library. We moved into the digital age with our first set of digital equipment which included laptop computer and projector. All this helped members to develop their ‘digital darkroom’ skills, and enabled the Club to stage public workshops on digital photography and to take picture shows to charities, voluntary and community groups around East Cumbria.
Groups of members meet regularly to work on photographic distinctions, on personal projects such as portfolios, albums, books and cards, and on audio-visuals which have sound effects, commentary and music and can be played through a laptop and digital projector. The Club made a photographic record of the Penrith built environment, recording the many changes as they happen.
We hold regular internal Club competitions for prints and for digital images. Each competition is run at three levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced) so members compete with photographers at a similar level of skill.
Inter-club competitions are held with other local clubs, the Club hosts Northern Counties Photographic Federation (NCPF) and Royal Photographic Society (RPS) events, and we participate fully in NCPF competitions and workshops. The largest such event involves all eight clubs of the Western Area of the NCPF, consisting of a projected image and print battle. Members also submit their work to many national and international competitions and exhibitions. The Club’s winter season finishes with an Annual Dinner and Trophy Night.
All are welcome as members, guests and visitors. The Club is informal, friendly and there is always someone to help with any problem, whether you are a beginner to photography or an experienced member struggling with a particular detailed digital problem. Refreshments are served after each evening event, with the opportunity to talk to the speaker, judge or fellow members. Our website has been designed to give an impression of what we are and do. Come along and meet us!