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According to County Records, Leamington Amateur Photographic Society, formed in 1887, was the town's earliest photographic society. Its duration is unknown but notable members included Henry Peach Robertson (1830-1901) and Robert Oswold Milne (1853-1927)
The later Leamington and District Photographic Society existed from 1921 until 1947. Meeting in a basement on the Upper Parade, they were supported by well known national photographer Walden Hammond FRPS FRSA who held a Portrait Exhibition at Victoria Colonnade in 1938.
In 1947, Leamington and District Photographic Society joined Lockheed Camera Club to become Lockheed and Leamington Photographic Society. Formed in 1945, the Lockheed Camera Club was part of Lockheed'ís Sports and Social Club, who provided their clubroom and a darkroom.
When Lockheed became Automotive Products in 1973, the society was renamed the AP and Leamington Camera Club. It became AP and Leamington Photographic Society in 1980.
Automotive Products experienced considerable change and in 1988 the society became independent, as Leamington Spa Photographic Society. New premises were found at Leamington Oddfellows Friendly Society. Here, in comfortable surroundings, we meet every Tuesday evening from late September until May.
Many members have contributed to our society's strengths: Tom Hull (1909-1992) was its backbone from 1945-1976, serving as chairman for many years; Georgia Procter-Gregg FRPS (1910-1991) was one of Britain's leading bromoil experts.
One of the biggest changes occured in 2003 when Canon produced the first affordable digital SLR camera. Suddenly keen amateurs with film SLRs, who had built up a lens collection, could just take their lenses from their old film cameras and attach them to the new Canon.
Some members clung onto the old technology with their "darkroom" but the majority embraced the new technology and made the leap into "lightroom". Photographers had to teach themselves how to use computers and of course master the software to enable them to make the image ready for printing. The club was awarded a Lottery Grant of just under £4,800 in 2006 which heralded a new era for the Society. This was used to buy a computer, a new digital projector plus associated software.
Suddenly Photography was popular and this caused an sudden increase in membership. In the film days membership stood at around 36, but the digital revolution saw this number double within a couple of years. Now we have a waiting list. Media technology is changing all the time and Digital cameras capable of taking fantastic photos can now be snapped up for less than £150, while you'd be hard-pressed to find even the most basic mobile handset without a digital camera built in.
In an era of Facebook and Twitter, the internet has made the process of sharing photos immeasurably easier. Where once households had stacks of boxes containing old Polaroids and negatives, homes now have computers with cavernous harddrives that contain a family's entire photographic history. Many websites now allow users to store copies of their photos in the "cloud" Ěso that they can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection.
Researched by Roger Wilson LRPS and John Berry ARPS.