The first amateur photographic entity in the United States was the Amateur Photographic Exchange Club, New York City, which existed from 1861–1863. The oldest continuously extant camera club in the United States founded, at least in part, by amateurs is the Photographic Society of Philadelphia, founded in 1862.
On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast we will talk about camera clubs and, specifically, the Coney Island School of Photography and Art, which, despite its pedagogic nomenclature, is an amateur camera club that takes the famed oceanfront community and amusement park in Brooklyn, New York, as its subject. For anyone who is familiar with Coney Island, it should be clear that photographing at this beach is less about sunsets and flamingoes and more about “polar bears,” freak shows, and street photography along the beach.
We welcome three members of this camera club, Orlando Mendez, A.J. Bernstein, and Norman Blake, to discuss their personal photographic journeys, the benefits of having cohorts with whom to work and compare notes and, of course, the changing face of Coney Island itself. We also take time to talk about gear, technique, the different ways in which photographers will see the same subject, and the simple joy that photography can bring to our lives. Join us for this entertaining episode.
Guests: A.J. Bernstein, Norman Blake, and Orlando Mendez
Photograph © Norman Blake
For more photos and information on gear discussed in this episode click here