A Very Short History of Knox Photographic Society

Started more than forty years ago when film was king and digital imaging was in the realms of science fiction, KPS has seen many members come and go, had numerous venues for its clubrooms and was in danger of closing due to lack of numbers in the mid 1980’s. In 2017 digital imaging is king and today we have a large, active and vibrant club with around 130 members.

A Not So Short History of Knox Photographic Society

It was the year that Post-It notes and Rubik’s cube were invented. It was the year that the barcode was first used in the USA (for the sale of a packet of chewing gum). Gough Whitlam was Prime Minister and Rupert Hamer Premier of Victoria. Countdown started on the ABC and Skyhooks released Living in the Seventies. A fellow by the name of John Howard entered Parliament as an opposition backbencher for the electorate of Bennelong. Pocket calculators first appeared in Australia as did Bankcard, our first widely available credit card. Think Big won the Melbourne Cup and Richmond the VFL Grand Final. Cyclone Tracy devastated Darwin at Christmas and Knox Photographic Society was formed.

The original KPS logo as designed by John Clifford Pain in the mid 1970’s

It was 1974.

The seeds of KPS were planted in 1973, when a night time photography course was run by Detlef Voges, a teacher at Knox Technical School.
At the conclusion of the course, the students, supported by their teacher Detlef, decided that they would like to keep the enthusiasm going and establish a camera club. The club was formed (unofficially) in April 1974 when it set up an open day for potential members at Carrington Park Family Leisure Centre at Knoxfield. An article was in the local paper announcing that a “New Photo Club was Formed”. It had about a dozen members.

2015 saw an increase in member numbers as well as a new website (this one in fact!)

In all, Knox Photographic Society is looking forward to a bright future.

Below is a gallery of the images published in our 40th anniversary book.

November 29 1974 was the day the club was officially formed, with its equally official name, Knox Photographic Society, being declared on December 5th. December 15 saw a meeting to draft a constitution and elect a caretaker committee. KPS was a reality.

The first official club outing was to Ferntree Gully National Park on Sunday 9th Feb 1975, followed by a picnic lunch and a discussion on “textures”. The official club address, PO Box 14 Boronia 3155, which we still have today, was obtained.

Then, as now, KPS needed a meeting place and so it happened that our first meetings were held at Carrington Park Family Leisure Centre, then run by the YMCA. In May 1976 we moved to Knox Technical School where we stayed until 1984 when once again we moved, this time to Boronia High School which in time became Tormore Secondary College. In 1991 we were again on the move, this time to Boronia Community Centre (Knox Basketball Stadium) in Park Crescent Boronia. Due to too many clashes with the Bloodbank at Boronia Basketball Stadium, KPS held its last meeting there on November 29, 2004. Early 2005 saw us move to our current home, Boronia West Primary School in Tormore Road Boronia.

After getting off to a great start in the 1970’s, by the early eighties membership was down. In 1980, 45 members attended the AGM but by 1982 one of the major issues discussed at that years AGM was gaining new members. By 1984 there were only 35 members. In 1985 there were still concerns over declining membership. Things had improved by 1997 when there were about 50 members and KPS had a progressive dinner where our very own Rob Sloane provided the sweets. There was no mention of that progressive dinner classic, the cheese fondue.

Over the years KPS has purchased various items to help members with their photography. Amongst other things, a Patterson developing tank and an auto focus projector (with magazines and a spare lamp) were purchased in 1975. The property register for 1991 included a video – “Make it Hot” as well as another titled “Boudoir”, which we are sure were entirely innocent.
Over the early years a lot of money was spent on film, paper and chemicals whereas these days it is screen calibrators, digital projectors and computers. In 1976 the club spent $443.73 on film and paper whereas in 1979 we spent $2929.00 on film alone. In 2004 the KPS newsletter, in a sign of the times, changed names from Darkroom Doings to Aperture Ring, which it retained until early 2015 when it was shortened to Aperture. It was at this stage that we changed from distributing our magazine as a PDF that members had to download to email for distribution.

2003 was the year that Ron Cork added webmaster to his other job as editor of the newsletter to set up our first website.

2005 saw Rob Sloane and Fred Stewart attend a Knox Council seminar on applying for grants. They must have been paying attention as KPS applied for a grant and was successful. The grant of $5000 was used to buy a Laptop, a Data Projector and Software.

The digital era really arrived for KPS in 2006 when we bought a scanner and introduced the EDPI (Electronic Digital Projected Image) into the competitions. This was followed in 2007 by the purchase of our first screen calibrator when it became obvious all screens were not equal.

Since 2010, KPS has had a surge in membership to the point where, in late 2014, we had 110 members. By October 2015 this has increased to 140 members. We now have more meetings than we had in the past as well as running masterclasses in subjects such as landscape and portrait photography and studio lighting, our Lightroom classes introduced in 2014 as well as our ‘Boot Camp’ weekend that has run since 2013. We have an association with the Melton-Mowbray Camera Club in the United Kingdom with whom we have a 30 image interclub competition that is judged by both a UK and a Victorian judge – our own ‘test cricket for photographers’ if you like.

In our 40th year, 2014, we published a well received book containing images by many of our current members.

Below is a gallery of images that appeared in the book.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Knox Photographic Society Incorporated A0003525T | All Rights Reserved | Neither the images nor text on this website is in the public domain.