Monday, 18 April 2016

RPS Nature Advisory Day

At the beginning of April the RPS East Anglia Region held a specialist Nature Distinctions Advisory Day in Foxton.  Normally these days are dominated by those seeking the LRPS distinction, but this was very different.  As well as concentrating exclusively on ARPS and FRPS distinctions (i.e. those which require category specialisation), we were able to demonstrate and discuss aspects of the distinctions process which particularly affect natural history photographers.  Although experimental, the day was a real success and I can foresee us running similar events in the future.

The day was run by David Osborn FRPS, the chair of the RPS Natural History Distinctions Panel.

David was joined by Roger Hance FRPS, his deputy on the Nature Panel and an old friend of the Region.

The third advisor was Kevin Elsby FRPS, who recently joined the Nature Panel.

Fourth - but by no means least - was Dawn Osborn FRPS, who is only prevented from serving on the Nature Panel because her brother happens to be its chair!

On this occasion, Ann Miles FRPS was reduced to sitting behind the projector and taking notes on the proceedings.  This is because yours truly managed to lose the "shackles of office" - albeit temporarily - and reverted to his favourite role of being a print handler.

These days would not be complete without the stalwarts who turn up time after time to roll their sleeves up and help behind the scenes.  Pictured here are Mike Frost, Mike Harris and Miles Whitworth respectively.

Roll on the next RPS Advisory Day on June 12th...

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Crufts 2016 (Part 3)

The final set of pictures from this year's Crufts starts with a breed I wasn't aware of before: the Clumber spaniel.  The name comes from Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire, and Wikipedia lists some of the breed's attributes as: constant shedding of its coat, snoring and the production of excessive drool.  Lovely...

A couple more spaniels, although I'm not quite sure which type.  Springer, perhaps?

Non-gundog breeds were being displayed as part of the Discover Dogs section of the show, including a rather wonderful bloodhound.

Eventually we moved on to the setters: Irish and English.  What handsome dogs they are (and clearly very affectionate too!).

Crufts is a great place for people-watching too.  Here are a few of the human exhibits on show.

In the past we have tried - and failed - to get into the Arena owing to it being completely full.  On this occasion we were determined to see the "Fly Ball", and were delighted to find that the queue was non-existent.  We were quite a long way back which made photography difficult, unfortunately, but the atmosphere was absolutely amazing.

The shots of the Fly Ball competition were all taken with the Fuji X-T1 with 50-140/2.8 lens plus a 1.4x teleconverter, mainly at ISO6400.  I found it needed at least 1/2000s in order to freeze the motion of the dogs, which was a real challenge in an indoor arena with spot lights.

Here's one of the dogs at the point it turns round having picked up a ball.  Talk about fast and furious.

Finally the prize-giving, showing the rather eclectic collection of dog breeds which made up the winning team.