The Monmouth Camera Club
In November 1979, Dankwart Koehler, a local photographer, acted on a desire to start a new camera club in the northern Monmouth County area. Along with the support of two other photographers, Gary Slawsky and Joanne Brody, and a list of people who might be interested, Dankwart sent an invitation to attend the first meeting of the new “Hazlet Camera Club.” The initial meeting location for the new club was an attic space in the old Hazlet fire house on Holmdel Road next to the train station. A program for the first club year was generated, including lectures by club members and outside speakers and critiques of member submitted images. The structure of club’s programs haveevolved from those early days and now include field trips, four “User Groups”, a social “hour”, a year end dinner and exhibits.
Our growing membership, and a decision by Hazlet Township to sell the firehouse for commercial office use, forced a move to Raritan High School for one year and then, in the fall of 1985, to the police training room in the Holmdel township hall until we outgrew that space a year later.
As the club had moved away from the Hazlet area, it changed its name to Monmouth Camera Club. Our next meeting location was the Holmdel Community United Church where we ‘lived’ for a few years, until our membership grew to 50. We then moved to our present location at the Reformed Church in Colts Neck. Fortunately, the large room in this church has accommodated our growing membership of 125.
In 2005 the club made the transition to digital photography by including images processed on the computer from both digital cameras and scans of film images. This has become an integral part of our contests – which now include projected digital image and print contests.
The club now sponsors “Nikon”, “Canon” “Photoshop” and “Print” User Groups whose purpose is to provide members with assistance in each of those specific areas. The “Nikon” and “Canon” User Groups also sponsor outings dedicated to helping members become more proficient in the use of their specific equipment.
The club meets twice a month on Thursday’s from September thru June. Each month there is a presentation and a judging of member images. It is a member of the Photographic Society of America and the New Jersey Federation of Camera Clubs.
Through countless hours devoted to the club by our many volunteers over the years, the commitment to teaching and learning that Dankwart established back in 1979 has helped us evolve into one of the largest and most active Camera Clubs in New Jersey.
Presidents through the years: