Last meeting: Christmas Show and Tell featuring Ron Perkins on zoom from Dorset and members in Oxford
Ron gave us a photographic update of what he had been shooting this season. Previously he had been very successful taking images of Sika deer in a Dorset meadow close to a woodland. Unfortunately, due to Covid the National Trust, which owned this land, had to find new funding streams and it had rented the land to horse owners. These new tenants had complained that deer were chomping away at the grass on the meadow and the National Trust – ‘We protect and care for places so people and nature can thrive’ – promptly had all the deer shot. Ron had to look for a new site to photograph deer and managed to find an area with uncluttered background where Roe deer roamed. He showed us several shots of the deer he managed to take when the deer were not disturbed by dog walkers.
Ron moved on to shots of one of his other favourite subjects: Peregrine Falcons. He has spent a great deal of time and effort understanding the birds’ behaviour and where the best places are to capture them. The effort has paid off as he has got two impressive images of Peregrines in the final round of the Wildlife Photography of the Year Awards. One was a dark moody portrait of the falcon and the other an action shot of one just about to land on its cliff edge perch. Ron said that he can wait at a perch for something to happen for up to two hours – he described this as a ‘certain lunacy’.
When he is not out searching for wildlife, his garden is his safari, which he has enticed wildlife to visit. He had great shots of Humming-bird Moths feeding on velarium which grows abundantly in Swanage. He also had particularly cute shots of voles which frequent his garden thanks to the ‘spillings’ from his birdfeeder.
Ron went on to show excellent shots of Kestrels, Ravens, Shags, Fulmars, Sparrow Hawks, Snow Bunting and says that he now shoots on a mirrorless Olympus camera having forsaken his trusty, but heavy, Nikon DSLR. Who is next to switch?
Next up was Robert F who in the morning of the meeting set himself the task of walking around East Oxford to take shots of what ever took his fancy. He took 60 shots and whittled them down to 30 to show us the fruits of his wandering. The low winter light was fantastic and Robert captured both black and white and colour. He says he recently began to move from black and white to colour and has become somewhat obsessed with colour imagery. An excellent set of images and a great task to set oneself. Check Robert’s photo walk here.
Dave Mac followed with a taster of images he will be showing on Tuesday of Angola and Indonesia. His coming presentation looks a winner.
The next set of images was from John B, and as tradition demands, he started with a loving shot of his granddaughter. John then showed images of a very cold and frosty morning looking towards Brightwell Barrow near Whittingham Clumps, and from equally cold Breckon Beacons shots of the Ice Man, who broke the ice for a morning dip.
Ivor P then delighted us all with his Top Ten Favourite images. We had seen his favourite number three and two a few weeks before, but this was the full Monty, ending with an image to savour – three giraffes walking away from camera in what almost appeared to be a sand storm. The dying of the light was stunning.
Dave B gave us a Brief Encounter of his latest images of a visit to a re-enactment of by-gone steam locomotives and the lives of people who used them. Even without a Celia Johnson or a Trevor Howard it was an excellent set of images capturing the time and those magnificent engines.
Finally Les G showed his latest work photographing the action of his local rugby club. He will be building up a portfolio of images as the club has invited him to take shots of their home games. There was a little controversy around the scoring of a try which Les had captured. Our resident Video Assistant Referee Willie H questioned whether there was any downward pressure on the ball.
An excellent evening of images followed by some festive refreshments and chats. Many thanks to all who showed images and brought refreshment, and also to Dave and Les for successfully organising the zoom link into the hall.