CloseUp 50 yrs-Edit

The History of Close-Up

Right from its founding in 1944—in the days of film and darkrooms—the Victoria Camera Club needed a way to communicate with its members. We started with a newsletter in 1946—a single, type-written, B&W page, 8.5” X 5.5”. This first Close-Up included everything from upcoming events to a request for help from a Navy ex-Lieutenant looking for accommodation in Victoria. By 1947, Close-Up had grown to four 8.5” X 11” pages which, folded, retained the 8.5” X 5.5” format. It now included photo tips enhanced with hand-drawn advertising.

Just as film photography slowly gave way to digital photography, Close-Up evolved over the years under the leadership of many editors. Our last, Richard James, assumed the position in 2008. Richard was instrumental in implementing major changes to modernize the publication, moving it in 2013 from its 8.5 X 5.5 B&W format to a full-page format and a blend of colour and monochrome pages. By 2017 the new format was set and maintained until the last edition in May/June 2022. Over the years, thanks to Richard and his team and the contributions of numerous club members, Close-Up won many prestigious awards.

In the modern world, however, change is constant, and digital applications now affect every aspect of our lives. Print media have vastly declined; many publications now exist only online or at least in digital versions as well as print versions. By 2021, we were noticing, however, that fewer print versions were being picked up at our outlets, and that far more members were downloading the PDF version from our website.

In 2022 then, the VCC Board decided it was time for a Close-Up makeover—time to recreate Close-Up to reflect the modern digital world. After extensively researching the publications of other camera clubs in North America to gather ideas, we decided on replacing the paper version of Close-Up with an e-newsletter/magazine/blog called Close-Up Digital.

The advantages of going online are substantial. Club news can be updated without waiting for a fixed deadline—competition results, for example, can be posted very soon after they are announced. Articles do not have to meet strict word counts or space limits: if your topic requires 150 words, that’s what you write; if you need 600 words, then you write 600 words. Everything can be in colour. Video content—such as how- to, product reviews, videos of club events, drone videos—can be embedded.

Once on the web, VCC will be visible to the world. This could generate interest in our club and lead to new members or attract photographers worldwide who, seeing our content, might connect with us through presentations or by contributing articles.

Close-Up Digital represents an exciting new direction for VCC. We hope you will support the Close-Up team as it collaborates with the web team to bring our members together through this digital format and consider how you might contribute to making it something that brings pride to our Club.

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