Richard, many thanks from me and my family, too!
Leon, wish I could see your pix, but I renewed my subscription,, and it does not seem to have gone through...so I have to wait for Sean to sort it.
As soon as I am fully subscribed again, I will post some pix as well...have some of the biker types at that evening!
All the best, and hope to see you all again soon!
Ansgar - go to my 'blog darkroom-tales.filmwasters.com - i've posted it up there.
Originally Posted by alien
I like your work a lot!
I posted 4 pictures from last weekend in my gallery - have a look if you like!
some good pics there Ansgar - especially Turkey
Originally Posted by alien
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just some 'work prints', I hope to have better ones next time we meet....October maybe?
Great pics Ansgar, thanks for posting.
Well, as Leon seems to have developed laryngitis of the fingers , I'll take a crack at summing up the weekend...
Hmmm? What? More detail? Oh bugger. All right then...
I managed to get the afternoon off on the Friday and arrived in Hardraw in the late afternoon. I checked into the Green Dragon, manfully resisted the lure of the beer pumps and I was soon failing abysmally to get a decent angle on the stream under the bridge nearby. Dave (Miller) and Tony Marlow soon turned up, as did Rob Archer who was seeing the Dales via public transport and Shank's pony (brave man!).
After a bit more shooting around and about, we retired to the pub with the light failing and found Leon propping up the bar. The arrival of (very nice!) food saw the arrival of Barry (Wilkinson) and the arrival of Dave's cheesecake saw the arrival of Richard (RH Designs) and Graham (GFDarlington). Funny how APUGgers can always be found near calories, isn't it! (BTW, if I miss anyone out or get the details wrong then please send your complaints to Theakstons Brewery - It's all their fault!)
Plans were laid for the next day, food and ale (and cheesecake and cream!) were consumed in great abundance, stories were told, reputations were tarnished and Leon gave me a crash course in toy cameras and pyrocat!
The alleged dawn shoot was cancelled owing to God having installed a large soft box overnight, so we gathered in the breakfast room at around eight the next morning. The tables were laid with crockery and cutlery, but no food (bar cereal) was in evidence and the place had the general air of the Marie Celeste. Messrs Miller and Marlow led a daring commando-style raid (i.e. minus underpants) on the kitchen returning with milk and coffee and after we'd had that we went off for a (rather peckish and disgruntled) shoot at Hardraw Force located in the pub's extensive grounds.
Much fun was had clambering over rocks to get at the best vantage points (and waiting, shutters-poised, to see if yours-truly was going to inadvertently sit down in a river!) and we'd about finished when the news reached us that breakfast was in fact finally served! Apparently, if you require breakfast before nine you have to ask, which we sort of thought we had... Anyway, when it arrived it was good, which was just as well as we were to need the calories!
We spent the rest of the morning in and around Hardraw where a variety of fluffy lambs, churchyards, streams, bridges, dry-stone walls etc. kept us nicely occupied while the Saturday morning arrivals rolled up. BobF, Eric (Smudge), Ansgar (Alien) and Ansgar's father-in-law-to-be (sorry, I didn't catch either your online name or your actual name!) found us by the simple process of looking for people carrying tripods, a method which has served us well at past Gatherings!
After a few false starts we then decamped to the first of Richard's excellent locations - Ribblehead. This spot is home to a large and impressive viaduct, a limestone pavement, several large and unexpectedly-encountered holes in the ground, a bog (which is indistinguishable from the rest of the moor until you stand on it!) and (on the day) a lot more of God's cotton wool!
At this point, I let everyone in on a little surprise - Simon Galley of Ilford had wanted to attend the Gathering, but had been prevented from doing so by other commitments. He had therefore sent a rather generous contribution of quite a lot of packs of FB paper and a goodly quantity of film (both 135 and 120, and both 100 and 400)!
Simon - Thank you very much on behalf of everyone who attended. It was really generous of you and very much appreciated by everyone there!
We had a good couple of hours wandering around Ribblehead and indulged our shutter-release fingers mightily, discovering as we did so that in the Dales even the flat bits are surprisingly steep! BobF tramped up to his limestone pavement for a shot at the viaduct, only to find that someone had parked a white Transit van conspicuously in his shot. Did he ask for digital retouching? Certainly not. A rocket launcher? Ahem... Well, maybe!
After regrouping at the pub for more calories, Richard recommended a nearby packhorse bridge and abandoned farmhouse for a double location. We followed in his wake. (This chap really knows the best places to shoot in this area! He also has an uncanny ability to teleport himself (often vertically) to the best vantage points. Perhaps he was a good deal fitter than the rest of us, but I think a more likely explanation is that he's been neglecting his development of superb darkroom equipment to work on a Personal Jetpack...!)
The packhorse bridge was very photogenic but... well, the packhorses that used it must have been a bloody sight braver than I am. "Extremely rickety" was a phrase that sprang to mind. "Are you sure I have to go across that to get to the location?" was another. I wasn't quick enough with my Mamiya to capture the image of Leon jumping up and down on it like a mad bugger, but it would probably have been censored anyway!
Our final venue of the day (and just as well as my legs were cream-crackered by this point!) was Cotter Force. A lovely wide, cascading waterfall and another potential opportunity for me to sit down in a river! It's really good working a location like that with other photographers. We all got our distance shots in first and then moved in together to work more closely without blocking each other's fields of view. Great to see the different approaches that people took to setting up their shots. I learned rather a lot!
After Richard returned from another Jetpack jaunt(!), we retired to the pub for another round of ale, food and a look at each other's prints. Everyone's work had their own unique style both in subject matter and execution. If I had to pick a personal favourite then the high-key print that Leon brought along would have to tie very closely with Dave's print of receding cliffs. The overall standard was very high indeed.
That evening the pub had pretty much filled with a very large group of very large bikers! A great bunch of blokes, but unfortunately the noise level was not necessarily conducive to photographic debate. I was more than moderately fatigued anyway and soon felt the need to put head to pillow.
Sunday turned out bright and sunny and (after a timely breakfast this time!) saw us all heading off to Semer Water a little ways down the road. Another nice location, this time picked off the map by Rob Archer (I think the ale and the Highland Park single malt had inflicted a little damage on Richard during the Saturday evening - however, he'd definitely earned a lie-in!). It didn't seem long, though before people had to head off back to their respective parts of the country, and another Gathering came to an end.
I honestly think these do's are getting better each time. I know I had a fantastic weekend, shot a load of film, renewed some friendships, started some more... ...and went the whole time without sitting down in a river!
See you at the next one!
The destination is important, but so is the journey
thanks Frank - and you KNOW I couldn't have written as well as you did (how do you remember all that stuf?). I'll bring a diary and make notes next time so I can do the write up! (Sorry)