Democratic Camera

"I had this notion of what I call a democratic way of looking around. That nothing was more important or less important." Eggleston

Meeting with Ben Harman about DCC and Stills

Ben Harman has offered to meet with DCC members to outline new initiatives which Stills will be undertaking in 2018.

The meeting is scheduled for the afternoon, or early evening, of Monday April 9th. The choice of time depends on the preference of DCC attendees.

The changes to engagement and exhibition policies  which Ben will be describing will be of interest to all Stills users. You may thus like to come to this meeting even if you no longer attend DCC sessions.

I’ll collect names for the Ben Harman meeting at the next DCC meeting on April 6th. If you are not going to be at the  DCC meeting, but would still like to go to the Ben Harman meeting,  please email me at

Future of the DCC

I had a meeting with Ben Harman, the Director of Stills yesterday. The meeting was at his request; although about a year ago, I had a similar meeting with him (at my request) to pitch the idea that Stills should resume a greater role in the running of the DCC. At that stage, he didn’t want to make any commitments until Stills knew the status of their Creative Scotland funding application.


Stills now know that they have got that core funding from Creative Scotland for the next three years. However, they face a large rates rise from Edinburgh Council, which leaves them with a deficit that they need to fill by increasing revenue generating activities.


In this circumstance they are no longer prepared to offer the DCC free use of the meeting area. As a commercial fee they would be looking at about £150 to cover each meeting.


Parallel to this they are launching a new course on ‘Reading Photography’ which sounds similar to a course which some members may remember David Grinly running about six or seven years ago. They want to run this new course on Thursday nights starting in May.


There are of, course possibilities, to change the venue for DCC. At this stage I must declare my personal position, which is that I don’t wish to lead any such initiative.


The club is at a low ebb now compared to its heyday.  The smaller meetings are enjoyable, but there is no denying that attendance is dwindling. My personal inclination is to call it a day, and make the April Meeting the last meeting for the DCC. There is nothing to stop anyone else picking up the format and making a fresh start at a new venue.


The next meeting will go ahead at Stills on Thursday April 5th.  We will retain the Neighbourhood theme, but start with a discussion of the future of the DCC. All attendees are welcome to put forward their views, or volunteer to take things forward.


I invited Ben Harman to attend the meeting, but he is unfortunately away on Easter holiday. He has offered to meet with club members in the week beginning April 9th. I will post the exact date when I have it.


John Sumpter


8 March 2018

March meeting – Cancelled

The March meeting is cancelled in view of the weather. Stills have postponed their earlier talk. We thought we should follow suit.

The theme ‘Neighbourhood’ will be carried forward to April.

March 1st Meeting

Stills have pointed out that they have a talk in the Gallery space upstairs between 6 pm and 7 pm.  Have a look at their website for details. If you arrive at Stills before 7 pm you will need to wait until the talk is over to gain access downstairs. Camera Club will go ahead as normal downstairs after the talk finishes.

So, choices are: to go the talk and then on to Camera Club, or time your arrival for after 7 pm.

March Meeting, Thursday 1st March, 7pm

The theme for the meeting is Neighbourhood. Well, everyone has got a neighbourhood haven’t they? What’s happening in yours? If the answer is nothing, you’ll need to find somewhere more interesting. Don’t take too many risks though; it’s only a photograph after all.

The meeting takes place downstairs at Stills. Bring a print of you photograph, or themed group of photographs, so that we can display them on the wall.

£3 donation to Stills on the night.

February Meeting. Thursday 1st February, 7 pm.

The next meeting of the DCC is on Thursday, February 1st, at Stills, 7 pm. £3 donation to Stills on the night.

The theme is Surrealism. There are a lot of surrealist things happening in the world. Surrealism might even be the new normal.  If you manage to get a photograph of a surrealist happening, fake or real, it doesn’t matter to us, bring it along to the next DCC meeting at Stills.  Photographs should be in the form of prints.

January Meeting. Thursday 11th January 2018

The next meeting will be at Stills on Thursday 11th at 7pm.

The theme is Journey.


Artists’ BookMarket: 17/18 February 2018.

I have applied for a table at the Artists’ BookMarket which Stills are hosting on the weekend of 17th and 18th February next year. There are more details on Stills website.

If anyone has photobooks or photographic prints that they would like to sell you are welcome to join me (assuming that the application is successful).

I will pay the cost of the table, but I would like help in staffing it. If you are interested email me

December Meeting

The next meeting of the DCC will be at Stills on Thursday 7th December: doors open 6.30 pm for 7 pm start. £3 donation to Stills.

There is no set theme for the night. It’s your chance to talk about any project you’re working on, or thinking about starting. Bring along one or more printed images to illustrate your project.

Advance warning that the theme for January 2018 is Journey. You might like to think about this over the festive period.

Annual DCC Photobook 2017

I propose to put together a Blurb photobook of members’ photos from 2017. As in previous years, I will be using Blurb’s small square format. You don’t need to input a square photo, I’ll discuss the options when I see your image(s).

The choice of images is up to you, Just pick one or two from 2017 that you’re proud of. They don’t need to have been shown at Camera Club.

The procedure is that I make the book, circulate it for approval, and buy one copy; it will then exist permanently on Blurb’s website. You can view it on line, or buy your own hard copy if you like.

I’ll bring along some books from previous years to the next meeting.

Send jpegs to me: by December 1st 2017.

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