Bob McCree FPSNZ
My interest in photography was sparked in my late teens when I purchased an old Japanese Neoca 36mm camera and went through the usual process of home processing and printing but ultimately ended up as a transparency worker in the days of Kodachrome 25, et al.
After getting married I let this craft lapse in the interests of financial stability and other interests that I was pursuing. In the 1980's my diminishing energy levels led me to search for alternative interests.
At the time, a fellow employee offered to sell me his second hand Nikon FM camera and I was away again. I fell back on my preference for transparency film but the biggest influence on my photographic future, and the best decision I have ever made in this field, was to join the local Howick Camera Club and to become actively involved in competition within the club and ultimately at salon and national level.
With encouragement from members within the club I ultimately applied for my Honours and was progressively awarded an Associateship, then a Fellowship, both surprisingly at the first application.
As my skills progressed I started to built a small market in the general publishing area, an activity which I continue to pursue as I approach my dotage.
The advent of digital posed a major learning curve but also a problem for my expanding photo library which was totally in the analogue format. I was not an early adopter of the new format but once I took the plunge I realised that with the extra flexibility that the new format afforded I would be able to explore a much wider genre of photography, which I have most certainly done with great enthusiasm ever since.
The commercial aspect of my activities entailed rather more a radical change when I decided to replicate the entire analogue library by redoing it in the new digital format.
I have been a member of the Howick Camera Club for around 30 years and on that Club's committee for all but the first year. I served also, for a few years on the PSNZ Council.
Another area close to my heart has been that of judging. Initially I started in the local Auckland area, but later continued nationally as a panel judge for various national salons. The greatest and ultimate privilege has been an appointment to the Honours Board in 2016.
My interests in photography these days extends to almost all aspects of the craft and all genres of photography. My core interests still lie where it all began, in landscape and pictorial, but I really do enjoy the flexibility that digital has afforded us in pursuing fresh areas of endeavour.
My energies these days, particularly at a local area, are being directed to passing on my knowledge to those just commencing their photographic journeys, and use my judging activities both as a critiquing function, but more particularly, as an educational function. I am a great believer that the best way to progress in this wonderful craft is to enter the competitive field, initially at club level, and use the resultant critiquing as the learning tool and the step to higher achievement.
Photography has given me so much pleasure, comradeship, skill and personal development that I now wish to pass on to the newbies a little of the tremendous pleasure which I have so enjoyed from this wonderful craft in the last 30 odd years.