13th April 2016 - Home made entertainment

The two most recent meetings of the camera club brought out the skills and photographic talents of many of its members. In the first Wellington ladies had the pleasure of baffling their male counterparts by offering them the challenge of displaying their knowledge of world geography from the images laid out in front of them. Needless to say the men showed that they should get out more because it has to be said that they failed pretty miserably! Nevertheless, they fared better in a second challenge as there is no denying that men can identify an electric plug and a paintbrush even when presented as a somewhat indistinct macro shot. So it was kind of honours even.
In the second evening chairman Peter Tickner presented a show titled ‘Smoke, steam and other related matters.’ Anyone who knows Peter realises that he is probably fired on steam and so it was no surprise to see plenty of images of trains and trams from his archive built up over the years.
But Peter is not just a recorder of railway transport – he is a photographer and that means he brings to his pictures a photographer’s eye for composition and the use of light. Some of his most memorable shots were taken in East Germany, Poland, India and Pakistan where although trains and railways figured the photos were also great examples of the lifestyles present in those countries.
Particularly impressive were night shots featuring dramatic silhouettes or trains steaming across a snowy landscape with black smoke thundering high.
How far someone will go in following their interests was also very apparent in these images because the conditions under which they were taken were sometimes not without danger, But there were moments of humour too in this talk especially in Peter’s tale of New Year in Poland where workers had placed detonators on the line to make the midnight celebrations. On that occasion Peter and his friends were dragged from their sleep to sound the hooter of steam engines in the railway yard as the clock struck twelve and the detonators went off. For an enthusiast this was a rich reward indeed.