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The Disabled Photographers Society
37 Orchard Close
New Barn
DA3 7JP Map link for The Disabled Photographers Society

tel:- 01454 317754
web address:-
e-mail:- The Disabled Photographers Society

Competitions: The DPS holds quarterly postal print & projected image competitions.

Galleries Yes

Exhibitions The society holds an annual exhibition of prints & projected images.

Outings and Social events The DPS hold an annual holiday, studio days and natural history photographic days out.

Club history The Society was formed in 1968 by Arthur Scrase, Chairman of the Ham Photographic Club (now long disbanded). Three ex-servicemen living in at the Royal Star & Garter Home, Richmond had an interest in photography and, although severely disabled, they were able to attend meetings with the help of St. John's Ambulance staff, who brought them along to the meetings. However, owing to the severity of their disabilities, they were unable to operate conventional cameras.

Another photographic society in the area was the Richmond & Twickenham P.S. who, at times, provided lecturers and judges for the Ham club. One of these lecturers, named Harry Wells, was an engineer, who ran the apprentice programme for C.A.V. Ltd. at Acton, London. Harry offered to try and find a way to adapt a normal camera for disabled use and began work on the project with his apprentices. The camera selected for modification was a Konica C35, a compact film model with auto exposure.

Within a period of about three months, a working prototype was produced. The shutter was fired by an air release which could be held in the hand, or by a suction release which could be operated my mouth. The film wind-on was achieved by a small solenoid-operated electric motor, which was powered by a 12 volt car battery stored under a wheelchair. If the wheelchair was electrically operated itself, the power was taken directly from its power source.

Further developments took place on camera operation and enquiries began to come in from other people with disabilities who wanted to take up photography. So it was that the Society came into being. It was originally called "Photography for the Disabled", but the name was changed in the late 1970's to the present one.

In 1988 the founder, Arthur Scrase, died and the Society was restructured with a larger committee. Apart from the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, other posts were created to ensure the continued smooth running of the charity, as technical enquiries, specialist adaptations, supply of darkroom and camera equipment, repairs to equipment donated to the Society and press and public relations.

The society has continually developed over the ensuing years and its members now embrace the latest digital technologies. In some ways the digital revolution has made things easier. But even this has brought with it a new set of problems, such as equipment cost and the need for some computer skills in order to be fully able to utilise the technology. Little wonder then some members still choose to use film, both print and slide varieties, for many reasons, and they are still catered for within the society competition's and exhibition.

The technology and fashions may change but the Disabled Photographers' society founding and overriding principle, of helping the disabled to take up and to continue to enjoy photography, remains unchanged and is a constant challenge.

The Society is a Registered National Charity, founded in 1968, when a group of enthusiastic photographers in Richmond invited a group of severely disabled ex-servicemen from the Royal Star and Garter Home to join their meetings and share their interest.

Since then the society has grown steadily, we now have members from all over the UK, and the Society is run by a group of dedicated unpaid volunteers. The membership now comes from all walks of life and areas of the country and represents a large and diverse range of photographic abilities.

Most of the Committee and helpers have physical disabilities and so can readily appreciate the challenges and diversity of solutions each disabled photographer needs.

We can offer advice or help with modifications and can advise on or supply supports so that you can use cameras and take photographs.

We offer Technical Support and help for Disabled just have to ask.

We act as a source of information on all aspects of photography for people with disabilities.

Our aim is to promote photography for people with disabilities, or their carers, or groups or anyone with an interest in helping the disabled.

We collect and modify photographic equipment which we loan to members, such as camera supports, all we ask is that members remember to renew their annual subscription to the society.

We have regular themed photo competitions and take part in monthly and annual nationwide leagues.

There is a quarterly magazine "In Focus" for members, in which we publish the results of competitions along with copies of the images. It also contains various articles written by members with tips and tricks to help overcome the way various disabilities can impede photography.

There is also an audio version of the magazine available for visually impaired members.

We also have an annual Exhibition and Competition open to all members. There are several classes to enter, depending upon your ability and any previous success.

Members can also submit work to be judged for Photographic distinctions.

In addition, we have an Annual photographic holiday, we organise studio sessions and occasionally special days at venues all over the country. We are planning to hold tutorials and seminars, plus, we also stage a very successful Annual Photographic Exhibition.

To update the information for The Disabled Photographers Society visit our form here

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Created - Updated 22/02/2021 12:06:53 Last Modified: Monday, 22 February 2021