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December 9 2013 Latest news:
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This month we feature the work of members of one of the earliest camera clubs in the country. Ray Brammall, president of the Yorkshire Photographic Union, tells us more
The Yorkshire Photographic Union (YPU) was the first of the United Kingdoms regional photographic federations and formed the basis for most of those which followed.
Its first exhibition was held at the old Bradford Art Gallery in Darley Street, which claimed that it was the first time that a Municipal Art Gallery had been used for a Pictorial Photographic Exhibition. Their claim however was not quite correct as sadly, Lancashire had beaten them to it with an exhibition in Manchester in April of 1898. The Bradford exhibition ran from November 1898 to January 1899 comprising of work from the unions then twenty three societies.
This year Dearne Valley camera club hosted the unions 113th Annual Assembly & Exhibition. Its membership has grown to 64 clubs from Settle to Scarborough and Morley to Malton. It actively promotes photography throughout the county, providing clubs with visiting lecturers and judges. It holds both day events and residential weekends designed to inspire photography of both national and international standards.
The 1990s saw falling membership within camera clubs, however digital cameras and computer software have changed the face of photography. It has provided a means for many to take their photography to a higher level, and membership of societies is once again on the increase.
It may be a long time since 1898, with darkrooms now replaced by state of the art digital imaging techniques, but with its encouragement and support the YPU remains at the forefront of club photography in Yorkshire