There was a large turnout to welcome back Leo Rich ARPS, EFIAP/gold, DPAGB, BPE3 to Devizes Camera Club. Responding to a late call because of the unavailability of the scheduled speaker, his presentation was advertised as “an eclectic mix of images with no apparent theme to keep everyone guessing and even amused”. However he admitted that there was evidence of a “lavatorial theme”, especially during the first half.
He started by expressing his frustration at the way that, while he was concentrating on getting a particular shot right, his wife would have taken several images of life going on around him. He talked about how this intensity on one subject, like the nightjars he and a group were trying to photograph in India, can lead to you missing a better shot, like a leopard in a tree behind you! He also described how a photographer he knew would set himself up at a place where wildlife often visit and wait for the animals to come to him. I couldn’t help thinking that these were things worth thinking about when out and about with your camera.
During the first half of his presentation he showed us some quirky images taken in France. These included some fascinating wall art in Vaux-en-Beaujolais depicting characters from the book Clochemerle, a satirical novel dealing with the ramifications of the town mayor’s desire to install a new urinal in the main square.
We also saw a series of images from a camping trip to the Okavango delta in Botswana. As well as some great wildlife shots, we saw some interesting images of tents on the roof of a 4x4 and the facilities available at camp sites, including toilets surround by reed fences on the edge of the crocodile pool! And he showed images of (allegedly) the first Hippo and Croc cage diving site!!
The second half of the evening was dedicated to Leo’s love of India. He regularly goes to India with a group of other photographers and they like to get off the beaten track and head for some remoter villages.
We saw images of ceremonial processions and water carriers taking holy water from the Ganges to villages and towns up to 250 miles from the great river. We saw some of the people that Leo encountered as he tried, with no little success, to capture the expressions in their eyes. There were images of people at work in brick factories and river laundries. He showed us images of birds and animals from safaris into National Parks. And he showed us images of the main reason he keeps going back to India - tigers.
Tigers padding along the sandy roads; tigers looking forlorn as their prey runs away. And a great sequence of a tiger hunting through the depths of a lake.
Leo’s somewhat scattergun approach to presenting his images certainly kept us guessing. And his amusing anecdotes and wonderful sequences of images made for a very enjoyable and entertaining evening for which our thanks go to Leo. DF