At the beginning of July the group arranged a trip to Hanningfield Reservoir meeting at the Essex Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre – parking was in the shady but dusty car park (car washing was required afterwards). The group had an enjoyable walk through the 402-hectare nature reserve but they were surprised how little wildlife they saw. Some of the group captured pictures of ducks and the few insects they found.
In view of the good weather another photo trip was planned for a trip to Chelmsford where there was less walking and more coffee shops and lots of subjects to photograph.
With the group leader being absent the meeting at the Kings Hall on the 16th July was led by Philip Snell who provided a special automotive display in the car park.
Yes, the car was the “star”. A 1960 Triumph TR3A, two litres with twin 1-3/4 inch SU carburettors which was fully restored about eight years ago and then hardly used until I captured it early last year. It was launched primarily to compete in the rally scene as it was then. The car was delivered with around a hundred brake horsepower and a hundred miles per hour. The hand-brake is a flyaway type, that is to say, that its operation is in reverse to normal so you can use it to throw the back out on a tight turn without the ratchet holding it. Having said that, using that power and agility on our local roads with rear wheel drive is not a good idea, very exhilarating, but definitely not a good idea!
This was the car that I saw in my mid-teens and only dreamt of owning. Brands Hatch racing circuit is also my favourite track ever, so, for my last birthday I drove it around the short circuit of Brands Hatch with my partner Yvonne; a dream come true. Also when this magical piece of automotive engineering came off the production line, I was only twelve years old. Life’s good, very good.
I wonder if more of our members have something similar in years tucked away? Perhaps a new U3A activity.
Stop Press: Since this article was written Phil has exhibited the TR3A at the recent Tillingham Show and is now the proud holder of the Donald Hewitt Memorial Trophy. Phil, car and trophy are shown in the photo below. DG
A depleted meeting because two of us were attending the Royal Institution Lectures (excellent!) and two were singing. However, Alan tells me that the four of them – two Kens, Dedric and Alan – managed perfectly well without us and viewed and discussed some pictures of our current theme: ‘Flowers’, of which three excellent, recently taken examples, by Dedric Smith, are shown below. ‘Spring has sprung grass has riz’ and all that!
Because Alan has a prior appointment the next meeting has been cancelled, and two weeks after that is Easter Monday, so Alan is considering an evening photographic session in Burnham at a date to be arranged. Watch this space.
Only four of us this week but there were some good pictures nevertheless. The current projects are ‘manipulation’ and ‘close-ups’.
Peter surprised us with the quality of the A4 prints of pictures he had taken with the camera in his mobile phone . We had to reluctantly admit that the camera technology now being used in modern mobile phones has advanced considerably when one remembers those early blurred, out of focus images.
Brian’s interpretation of ‘close-up’ was ‘extreme’ showing us prints of photographs taken with an electronic microscope. Ken, who is our ‘bug’ man, didn’t attend, but he would have been proud to have taken the pictures of the greatly magnified insects. His status is not under threat, however, as Brian admitted that he had copied them (and a very good job he did too) from a magazine!
We had a very good meeting, with plenty of pictures but not many on the project of the day which was movement and it proved to be difficult subject for most members.
Ken Cole did produce one of his many insects-in-flight pictures that was very good and I managed one of some movement on the river at Chelmsford and this is shown below:
Our next meetings are on Oct 28th, Nov 11th and 25th, when the subjects will be
“Close Up” and pictures that have ”Been Manipulated”. This should be interesting.
The group usually has one ‘away day’ per year and today was the day – a trip to Tollesbury. The sun, of course, was not shining, it was a grey day.
If anyone tries to tell you that a good photographer should be able to produce a good picture under any lighting conditions don’t believe a word of it. Just trawl through your own photos, I’ll bet that those that you are best pleased with were taken in sunlight. The two main reasons for this are (1) shadows and (2) camera dynamic range. With the former, a shadow gives any picture – depth – and a sharpness of detail that just cannot be achieved otherwise. ‘Dynamic range’ is the camera’s software’s ability (or usually inability) to expose for extreme brightness (the sky) and much darker tones (the foreground) in one instant of time.