The Sedgefield Camera Club, Shutters was inaugurated on 18 February 2013.
Barrie Hardie sent out invitations, convened and chaired the first meeting. Michael Knight, Colin Burgess, Dee Archer, Sue Fawcett, Sandi King, Sylvia Ferguson, Tannje Strauss, and David Malan were founding members.
Subsequently John Allen, Gonny Goutsma (treasurer) and Mike Holgate have become members.
During an open discussion, it was decided that the Camera Club would meet on the third Monday of every month at 4pm at the Bowls Club.
However, when it became unavailable due to prior commitments, Sedgefield Arms became a very agreeable venue supplying us with an overhead projector and restaurant services.
As this was a new club finding its way it was agreed at the outset that new members would be restricted and only invited on recommendation.
Barrie planned to organize field trips once a month and the group would choose a monthly topic to encourage members to get to know their cameras.
As Shutters was going to be a self-help club because we were all starting at the same level, the idea was to learn together and to constantly ask questions, challenging each other to find the answers.
Fortunately we have been able to draw on the expertise of accomplished local photographers Luana Laubscher, Pam Brighton and Sonia Elliot.
Barrie suggested that guest speakers like these should be invited to attend the monthly meetings or join us on our field trips to aid our learning process.
At the first meeting members were advised that Sonia and Pam were holding a beginners’ photography course in the near future.
It would entail 2 hrs per week for 4 weeks with homework to be done each week. All who could attend opted to kick off with this course.
The first field trip was to the Island corner of Charles te Water & President Steyn so that happy snappers could walk alongside the lagoon creating magic with their cameras.
Each member had to then choose 2 of their best pictures to present at the next meeting for discussion.
Dawid Malan suggested he set up dropbox for the camera club so all the themes and photographs could be kept in a place accessible to everyone and easily viewed at our monthly meetings via a laptop and overhead projector.
As the year progressed Barrie bolstered a high level of enthusiasm and interest with his succinct and amusing monthly newsletters along with the diverse field trips he successfully arranged.
These included outings to Lake Pleasant Hotel, Willow Point behind Cloud 9, Loose Goose on the Swartvlei, Fynbos Farm above Gerickes Point, Blackwaters River Lodge and Old Goukamma Station, the Karatara Waterworks and Karatara Village.
Other photographic opportunities suggested for people to pursue in their own time and to practice their photography were Sedgefield Slow Festival, Urban Animals, Sedgefield Melodrama and the Kiani Satu shipwreck incident.
Monthly themes were decided in conjunction with our field trips to expand our camera skills and explore our creativity.
Themes have been moving water, sunrises and sunsets, portraiture, monochrome, macro, photo-journalisim, what is it?, hidden in Sedgefield, hands, spooky and still to come, Christmas cheer and the beach.
We all agree that nearly a year down the road we have all had great fun and enjoyed some great experiences on our field trips.
Best of all our photographic skills have improved since we have become members of Sedgefield Shutters Camera Club.