Camera clubs join the celebrations

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On Saturday, May 20 and Sunday 21, local Camera Clubs, including Ballymoney and Fairhead, and their members will take part in one of the biggest ever amateur photographic events in the province when the Northern Ireland Photographic Association (NIPA) holds their 50th anniversary celebration weekend.

Tickets are going fast for the 50th NIPA celebration events with full details of all the weekend activities and ticket booking details on the recently upgraded NIPA website at

Formed in 1957, NIPA and its member clubs have been a mainstay for amateur photographers seeking to improve their skills. The 50th anniversary weekend will enable club members to take in a series of one-off events that will be held at Bangor’s Marine Court Hotel and in the surrounding area.

Saturday 20th May will comprise a series of top-class lectures on various aspects of photography and will include the first ever showing of 100 Archive print images that represent the past 50 years of the NIPA Interclub Competition. The evening will include a celebratory dinner and presentation of service awards.

This year’s NIPA Calumet Interclub Competition series has been hotly contested once again by a record 28 clubs from around the province. Sunday 21st May will see the top images from each of the five rounds go head-to-head in the Top Print & PDI competition. That will be followed by an opportunity for club photographers to go on a group outing to Mount Stewart or to participate in a PAGB Distinctions panel advisory session.

Recent activities saw the annual NIPA Novice Competition take place at The Fountain Centre in Bangor, with a near record turnout of prints and PDI images being adjudicated by three NIPA judges to determine the top Novice photographer of the year. Overall winner was CPA Camera Club member Chelle McGaughey from Lisburn with a first place in Colour Prints and several Highly Commended images also helping Chelle secure first place overall. First place in the PDI section was awarded to John Sullivan of Bangor & North Down Camera Club and first place in the Monochrome Prints was awarded to Steve Haydon, also from CPA Camera Club.

The Catchlight Camera Club base at Finaghy was the focus of all at the finale to this years Inter-club competition series and in the end it was Catchlight that won the championship from Christian Brothers. Bangor and North Down finished third in a close race with Central Photographic Association (CPA) and Banbridge Camera Club in fifth.

As part of the run up to the 50th celebrations, a somewhat unique event took place when the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) and NIPA exhibited a special set of ‘historic’ Northern Ireland themed images selected from the 50 years of NIPA competitions. The prints of these images will now only be available for viewing in the PRONI viewing room or in an electronic format on both the NIPA and PRONI websites.