General Questions

Where are you and how often do you meet?

Our club is on the coast of South Kent in the middle of Romney Marsh in St. Mary’s Bay. We meet once a week between September and May with a short break for Christmas. For more details see THE CLUB or PROGRAMME pages.

Are beginners welcome?

Absolute beginners and those who feel their skills could be improved upon are all very welcome. The club is a mixture of all levels of expertise and you will always find someone of your own level and there are many willing to help and encourage you.

Are very experienced photographers welcome?

We welcome all abilities and very experienced photographers are no exception. We have some members who have been photographers for many years. Any member who is advanced enough to give a tutorial, lecture or hold a workshop is most welcome to do so if they wish.

How much is it to attend?

The yearly subscription is £35 - £40, for full details see THE CLUB page.

Do you have social evenings or club outings?

Every year we have a Christmas Buffet at the club and also a Christmas Evening Dinner in a local restaurant. We also have a social evening at the club in July when we are not meeting regularly. Occasionally we have inter-club battles which are part competition and part social.

We have a number of club outings every year, mostly during the summer months but not always. See our CLUB OUTINGS page for some examples of where we have been in recent years or our LATEST NEWS page for the most recent.

Do you have workshops, tutorials or lectures?

During the season every week that we don’t have a competition we have a workshop, tutorial or lecture. Subjects for workshops or tutorials can be suggested by members and, depending on the subject, it could be hosted by a member, an expert from outside the club or a professional.

Lectures always involve showing digital images or prints illustrating the subject. They are often presented by photographers on the KCPA list of lecturers who visit our club from all over Kent and East Sussex. Sometimes a specialist on another subject presents a lecture on, for example, local history or local or foreign wildlife. Members are also welcome to present a lecture. See PROGRAMME for this year’s topics.

Do you show Audio Visuals or Slides?

We often show one or more audio visual show a year and also have an Audio Visual Competition. We no longer have instructional evenings but there are a number of members who can help you get started if you are interested in learning how to do one.
There are still some photographers who prefer a film camera and occasionally visiting lecturers will show a slideshow, though it does get rarer every year.

Do I need an expensive camera with changeable lenses?

You don’t need an expensive camera to take a good photo and there are many excellent compact cameras you can buy these days. What really decides if you need to have a camera with changeable lenses is your subject matter. If you only want to take street photography then a compact is ideal in busy street situations whereas good macro or wildlife photography will need a special lens. However if you are relatively inexperienced and still discovering what subjects you enjoy most, a compact or a bridge camera would be a good and relatively inexpensive start.

Do I need equipment other than a camera?

All digital camera pictures need to be downloaded so a computer is essential. A spare battery and more than one good size memory card is most advisable. A tripod is really worth getting even if you don’t use it all the time. Some can be very expensive but there are good cheaper lightweight tripods available. If you like taking indoor shots of still-life but don’t have a good natural light source then a couple of lights would be your minimum requirement and a tripod is most advisable.

Do I need to be experienced at Photoshop or another image-editing application?

If you want to produce a digital image for competition then some very basic image-editing needs to be done to make the image the correct size and colour profile. See NAMING & SIZING IMAGES & PRINTS for details.

You don’t need an expensive application to do this and can use a free or very cheap online photo editor like Pixlr. Or you may want to try Adobe Photoshop Elements which is rather basic but is a more affordable version of Photoshop.

Some enhancement of your image may be desirable and you can learn how to do this with the thousands of excellent tutorials online, or from our club workshops and tutorial evenings. If you ever have a problem with something, just bring in your laptop and image and there is sure to be someone who can show you the way.

Competition Questions

If I’m a beginner, do I have to compete with more advanced photographers?

We have some competitions where all members compete against each other but we also have 5 Club Qualifying Competitons where beginners and less advanced members compete against each other in the B Group and the more advanced members compete in the A Group.

These competitions constitute a league and all points scored in the 5 competitions are added up to find the overall winners at the end of the season. Each competition consists of 4 sections, Digital Images and Prints in the A Group and Digital Images and Prints in the B Group. Find out more on our COMPETITION INFO and COMPETITION RULES pages.

How often do you have competitions?

The season usually starts off with a competition about every 4 weeks but after Christmas it tends to be about every 2 weeks. See COMPETITION INFO for full details.

Who judges the competitions?

All Club Qualifying Competitions are judged by a visiting judge from the KCPA or PAGB. Any judges belonging to Romney Marsh Photographic Club can’t judge these competitions. Other competitions are judged by a KCPA / PAGB judge, or a visiting photographer and a few are judged by the club members themselves.

Can I enter an image taken on a smart phone?

Smart phone images can be entered if you think it is of a good enough quality and as long as it conforms to the correct size and colour profile as described on NAMING & SIZING IMAGES & PRINTS.

We also have a digital competition specifically for smartphone images.

Can I enter an image taken on a film camera?

Again there is no reason why not as long as it is presented as a digital image or a print in the correct manner.

Can I show an image more than once?

The same image is not to be placed in both the print and digital competition on the same night. An image can be shown at a second competition as long as it did not score 20 previously or was a trophy winner. You may want to do this is you feel your image did not receive the marks it deserved the first time around. See COMPETITION RULES for full details.

How do I size my digital images?

This is described in detail on Naming & Sizing Images & Prints.

How do I present my prints?

Prints need to be mounted onto firm mounting board so they can be stood up to be judged. Prints should be shown through a window in the mount and not stuck on the top of the board. Absolute beginners in the B Group may find this daunting and can present a print mounted onto board but judges may well penalise you and give you lower marks.

I don’t have a good quality home printer, how can I enter a print competition?

There are many online companies that will post you a superb high quality print either by next day courier or 1st class post. If you haven’t left it until the last moment and can wait a couple of days for the post, print and delivery could cost less than £5. Not much compared to the cost of buying a good quality printer plus ink and paper.

One highly professional company that delivers superb prints is All you have to do is upload your image as a jpg to the actual size you want it at 300 resolution and they will supply you with a print on the size of paper you specify and on the stock you want, e.g. lustre, pearl, gloss, matt, etc.

I don’t think I could cut a mount for a print, what can I do?

Every year at the beginning of the season we have a workshop evening demonstrating the basics of sizing images and also how to cut mounts using a bevelled mount cutter. You don’t have to have a bevel edge and a scalpel, craft or Stanley knife can be used instead.

If you still feel you can’t do this, you can order a custom size mount either online or ask a local picture framer to cut one for you.

For more information see our GREYSCALE page and also visit SIMCAM which is an online camera simulator designed to teach basic photographic principles of the realtionship between shutterspeed and aperature, fast and slow film speed and about camera shake.