Photographic Society's Focus is on Fun

AN MSP who is more used to being on the other side of the camera had the tables turned on him after a recent visit to Alba Photographic Society in Wishaw.

Graham Simpson was visiting the club during its weekly meeting at Netherton Community Centre after they recently secured lottery funding. The Big Lottery Fund Scotland award boosted the club funds to the tune of £2,000 which allowed Alba to buy some new equipment including a state of the art digital camera to help club beginners get snapping away in no time.

During the visit, members took the opportunity to show Graham the tricks of the trade from the other side of the lens and encourage him to have a go.

Mr Simpson said: “I was delighted to accept an invite from Alba Photographic Society after its recent lottery funding success and was keen to find out more about the society.  I have had my picture taken plenty of times in my job, so it was interesting to see it all from the other side of the view-finder and pick up some tips from the members on what makes the perfect shot. Chairperson Bernadette McDonald encouraged me to pose for some portrait shots by club member Alan Pollok, whose work was as good as a professional.

“It was an interesting night and I can see why it is such a popular club as it caters for those just starting out and looking at photography as a hobby up to the serious amateurs. Treasurer Roy Preston was giving the group a lesson in using software to retouch pictures and I had a go at creating an Andy Warhol effect on one picture.

“The club’s secretary Susan McStay, who kindly arranged the visit, took time to explain that the emphasis is on having fun as you learn about photography.  Susan went on to say that they hold regular competitions for the best picture from the advanced, the intermediate and the beginners.  They even got me to pick my top three, which was not easy as all the pictures could have been the winner.

“What came across during the visit was that all the members are willing to help each other learn and it was clear they are all having fun along the way.  It’s fantastic the Big Lottery Fund is helping clubs like Alba, which play an important part in local communities.  I really enjoyed meeting the members and listening to how much they value the club.  They even encouraged me to take a few pictures myself, although I don’t think David Bailey has anything to worry about.”

Alba Photographic Society meets every Wednesday in the Netherton Community Centre, Old Manse Road, Wishaw, ML2 0EP at 7.30pm. New members are welcome and you can visit their website online at for more information.