Croydon Camera Club
Croydon Camera Club

Croydon Camera Club History: 1890-2000

1932 Nudes

Early 1932

Keane, on his resignation from Presidency after 17 years, was toasted by the present President D. C. Rowlett with S. H. Wratten proposing his health. The inscription is not recorded, neither the cost and even the report at the AGM only refers to the dinner as "a happy and successful dinner".

One of the oldest Club members E. Handel Lucas gave a talk on "Composition" and had displayed around the room 245 snaps sent in for a competition run by the "News Chronicle". Members thought that such pictures were not chosen for their artistic ability but for popularity. Amongst the many members entering the discussion, E. A. Salt said they had been addressed that evening " a very clever artist of the Victorian era. There never yet was a rule of composition that could not be broken with great effect by a clever artist". Words which are as true today as when uttered on 6th April 1932.

The meeting on 25th May is recorded thus "Foot slogging in the South West" - a lantern lecture given by Mr N. L. Gryspeerdt a valued member of the Club. This was his maiden lantern lecture before the Club and "right well did he acquit himself". This was high raise indeed and justly deserved for a member who through his long photographic career still extending to today was to collect silver medals and countless awards for his Bromoil prints.

New Lecturers

A break with custom of having an important lecture to start the Winter Session took place on 5th October when it was a Ladies' evening and the lecturer A. Burnett FRPS gave an illustrated show "Aboard the Flying Scotsman with a Leica Camera", including views from the train from the air!

From then until the 16th November meeting the records were made by S. E. Whitaker, the Treasurer so it must be presumed the Secretary was ill. This may account for the record of the meeting on 19th October admitting to membership H. Bradford Lemare, 147 Strand, WC2, although previously on 19th November 1930 he as referred to as "a member".

G. E. W. Herbert gave a lantern lecture on 26th October "A Little Holiday in France" and was thought to be "a real delight and one of the best holiday lecturers to which the Club had ever had the privilege of listening". The slides were on padget Slow Plates from Agfa film and developed to a formula recommended by member P.C. Harpur when he visited the Club 11 years previously in 1922 making his debut as a lecturer.

The Nude in Photography

On 2nd November Bertram Park discussed and exhibited prints "The Nude in Photography" showing figures in the open air as an essential part but members seemed more interested where the figure illustrated some story or idea. There is no reference in the record as to whether the figure was male or female but with knowledge of Mr Parks' subsequent successes in exhibitions and the prevailing attitude of the times the figures would undoubtedly be female, and in slight soft focus and would depict the human form unadorned and as natural as possible. In later years the tendency would be for a sharper and stronger image but with certain parts of the anatomy not seen. Today the combination is of full nudity as in the 1930s but strong, sharp and no longer in natural surroundings but more manmade.

For this trend the promotion of Photeurop by Croydon Camera Club in the 1970s has much to answer for and it was possibly under that influence which resulted in the next Club meeting to embrace nude photography taking place in 1978. It would seem as far as the Club is concerned that a dose of nude photography once every 45 years is sufficient.