Aston & Erdington Photographic Society was founded in 1972 out of the almalgamation of the two predominant photographic societies of North Birmingham, the Aston Photograghic Society and the Erdington Photographic Society. Both clubs were regarded as 'important institutions' in their day.
The Erdington Photographic Society started its activities in 1892, and by 1903 boasted a membership of 31 fully paid up members. The Aston club was established in the early 1900's, unfortunately its early records have not been saved, unlike Erdingtons. We know that the Aston, Erdington and Handsworth clubs held a joint photographic exhibition in 1912. Both Erdington and Aston carried on throughout the Great War but, during WWII the then Erdington President, H.C.Chamberlain, announced that the club would close until the 'end of hostilities'. In 1955, the club continued under the chairmanship of A.E.Brookes, holding weekly meetings at the Yenton School.
The first record we have of Mr A.E.Brookes (Arnold Brookes), later to become one of this country's most notable photographers, is an exhibition catalogue of 1929. The Birmingham Post of 11 March 1929 comments in his 'exceedingly high standard of work, including his Federation Medal winning print of 'The Docks Truro'. Arnold Brookes, went on to be club president and main driving force behind the Erdington club through to the time of its amalgamation with Aston in 1972. His work with the development of Bromoils is still legendary today.
Today, Aston and Erdington Photographic Society meets on Monday evenings during school term time. We meet at Chester Road Baptist Church in Boldmere, starting at 8:00pm and finishing at 10pm. The evening is split into two sessions with a break for tea, coffee, a biscuit and a chat (refreshments are included within the door admission charge). There are lectures by guest visitors who bring along their work to display and talk about. Competitions which are mostly divided up into groups of people with the same ability.
We hold workshop evenings on a Wednesday, when requested, where some of the club members give their time to help beginners and intermediate workers improve their images. We have many members who will readily give advice on photography to help take better pictures, such as composition, cropping and printing. There are also evenings dedicated to studio work, using Adobe Photoshop where you can learn to remove those 'unwanted items', or how to darken a distracting highlight.
New members are always welcome at A&E, and joining a photographic society really is a great way to improve your photography skills. You don't have to enter the competitions, just by sitting and listening to judges and lecturers comment upon the images will help you understand what makes a good picture and what makes a bad one. It really is a very good way to see your photography skills improve. Have a look at the galleries, or the winning images in the competition section. So if you've just purchased a camera, or are thinking of buying one in the near future, and want to learn to take better pictures then come along. Members also meet up informally and go on outings together and these too are a good way to learn from each other. We hope to see you soon.
membership for 2018/19