Dennis Stephenson was one of the most important members the club has ever had. Not for any social position or status, but because he was a genuinely nice person who was always quick to praise, a skilled and inspired photographer, and someone who worked tirelessly and hard for the club over many years.
The club was kindly bequeathed his digital archive, and it is some of this work you will see here.
Below you will find a short biography. In the galleries you will find a small selection of his finished work and a large selection of his working files. Somewhere to browse if you are ever feeling a lack of inspiration yourself.
Dennis Stephenson’s Background
Dennis joined the club so far back that no other members are around to confirm in what year he started, although one remembered him from 1970s and the trophy records show him winning the Advanced Slide competition, and the Bernard Hinton competition, in 1980.
Moving into the 1980s he was already serving on the committee when he became the club Secretary, but the legend goes that he pretty much ran everything back then and just the Presidents came and went. When he decided to retire from the committee he planned the split of the different roles he was performing, and the committee had to expand to cope with the sudden increase in workload.
In the 1990s he decided to upgrade his LRPS honours with the Royal Photographic Society, and was awarded his ARPS at the first attempt.
When digital cameras started to appear at the end of the 1990s, Dennis could see that they were the future and fully embraced the technology rather than hang on to the slides he had been so proficient at. This new medium allowed his creative juices to flow even faster and he produced digital imagery that was way before its time. To this day I firmly believe no-one in the club has reached his level of originality, although many have tried.
Dennis was the first member in the club’s history to be bestowed with an Honorary Membership in recognition of what he had contributed, and what he still brought to the club.
Terry Walter’s Personal Memories
When I joined the club in 1999 my background was in computing and not in photography, so the camera became a simple tool to provide content for me to manipulate. When I look back now at the work I was producing, I know how poor and amateurish it looked, and there are those who say it hasn’t changed! Dennis never criticised an image, but always had a positive and encouraging word that made me feel good about taking part, and that is a rare gift nowadays.
Dennis also maintained a book of his pictures which on occasion he would bring to the club, and I, like numerous others, have spent many an hour browsing it, just marvelling at the images he had produced over the years.
Dennis was an inspiration to many.