Calling all photographers!
Posted on June 1, 2021
Alisha Whitley, left, Wilson Camera Club president, and Jackie Tate, secretary/treasurer, pose amid the club's photographs in the current Wilson Arts gallery exhibit. The exhibit will be on display until June 17. Janelle Clevinger | For Wide Awake Wilson
The Wilson Camera Club began in the 1970s, when virtually all photographs were shot on film and developed in darkrooms. The popularity of the club faded in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but is now making a comeback and new leadership is looking for even more participants.
“We have all levels, from beginner to professional, and we all teach at some point or another and we highlight certain things,” said Alisha Whitley, camera club president. “I’ll teach a meeting on a particular subject, and it’s something that everybody can learn from. Yes, you might know about it already, but we’re going to highlight points in there so that you can understand something you may not have known.”
“The previous group was just a sharing group,” added Jackie Tate, the club’s secretary/treasurer. “And then when it re-formed, the next president tried some new things, but Alisha has really come forth with good ideas, and so we’re moving forward with agendas for meetings, presentations, sharing photos, asking questions and planning outings.”
The Wilson Camera Club meets every month, on the third Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., and now meets at the new Wilson Arts building, 204 Nash St. S. Dues are $25 per year, and the club accepts members who are high school students and older. The club is a 501(3)(c) nonprofit.
You can view some of the group’s photography until June 17 at the Wilson Arts Center, where it made history as part of the first public exhibit when the building opened in May.
“This (the Wilson Arts exhibit) was something that I definitely thought we could do as a club and get exposure because hardly anyone knew about the Wilson Camera Club,” Whitley said. “This gives us a good chance to get exposure. That’s what we wanted, and that was the point of it.”
Whitley says that the club’s goals include learning how to really use a camera, not just using the camera’s “Program” mode.
“We want you to learn how to take the picture with the camera, how to set the camera with the settings with the exposure triangle (shutter speed, aperture and ISO) and how to actually take a photograph,” Whitley said. There’s a science behind it, and you have to get your settings the way they should be and then get your exposure and get your art that way. Pointing and shooting with a cell phone is cheating. We actually preach against cell phone usage on our outings and our assignments.”
The club comes up with assignments each month, many of which involve shooting photographs during club outings and putting in practice what has been taught at the previous meeting. The COVID-19 pandemic put a hold on many of those outings, but they are currently being scheduled again. Past outings have included Mitchell Mill in Raleigh, Flower Hill in Johnston County and several trips to the Alligator River Natural Wildlife Refuge near Manteo, which is thought to be home to one of the largest concentrations of black bears in the southeastern United States.
Whitley and Tate would especially like to see more women join the camera club, with the current membership list of 20 including only four females.
“We’re outnumbered,” Tate said, laughing.
For more information about the Wilson Camera Club, visit the club’s Facebook page or contact Alisha Whitley at email@example.com.
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