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ePHOTOzine members meet - London 15th May 2004

ePHOTOzine members meet - London 15th May 2004 - ePHOTOzine members meet up in London.

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Early - very early - one Saturday morning in mid May, a small figure is seen furtively entering Waterloo station. Moving slowly and looking from side to side, the suspicious traveller comes to a rest under the clock. At a café, a stranger peers over the top of his paper, sipping from a cardboard cup. Another lurks in the shadows by the seats, pretending to relax, sunglasses covering his searching gazes. 8:30am comes and goes. The figure is still standing under the clock. Alone. 8:40am comes. The bespectacled stranger gets up and begins to walk in a large circle around the clock. The man in the café puts down his paper. The figure under the clock remains still but alert, glancing around occasionally. Then, suddenly, the man with glasses quickens his step and heads straight towards the clock. The man at the café grips his cup tightly. There is a moment of panic, confusion … and then the words "er, ephotozine? Hi! I'm Michael"

And so began the Great London Adventure for a typically motley crew of ePz members. After a tricky start, we managed to become a total of 8 - 5 digi:3 film, 7 Canon:1 Nikon, 7 men:1 woman (allegedly) and managed to cover a good amount of ground from Waterloo Station, along the South Bank and over to the City of London. The weather was kind, and we had mixture of blue skies and fluffy white cloud, warm sunshine and a pleasant breeze. Just the ticket for great photography.

ePHOTOzine members meet - London 15th May 2004

City skyline, by Shaun

The first photographic subject was the London Eye. Over-photographed, some might say, but definitely not over-rated, we would say. It's such an impressive structure that you just can't help taking a few shots, even some of the more obvious ones. Michael (mgerrard) whipped out his lens and found a few interesting angles, and Tony (marsa) managed to find shots that even Poirot would have missed.

Shaun (with the highly imaginative username of Shaun) pulled out his prize - literally - the magnificent Gitzo tripod he won for the Self-portrait competition held earlier this year on ePz. Phil Beale (equally imaginatively username of "phil beale") had brought his, too - and managed to carry it around in his hand all day. Now that's a real photographer.

ePHOTOzine members meet - London 15th May 2004

The London Eye, by Tony

It quickly became clear that this jumble of humanity needed taking in hand, so I valiantly led us on down the South Bank - about 50 metres - to Hungerford Bridge. The two new pedestrian bridges that run parallel to the original rail bridge are great to walk along and provide a fantastic place from which to take photos of The Eye and the people walking down the South Bank. The sun, by this time, was getting warm, and Shaun brought out The Hat.

Stopping briefly for skateboard and bike shots, we reached Gabriel's Wharf well ahead of the predicted time and stopped for refreshment (well, I bought a banana). Heading on down the South Bank, there were loads of opportunities for river shots - the Thames gets quite busy with river cruises and smaller boats in the summer, as well as the normal barges and police patrols. The Oxo Tower complex and the jetties that extend from the walkway gave us the chance to "do some buildings" and candids - and we'd like to formally apologise to the man trying to have a quiet sandwich for us sticking our lenses in his face. It was all for the sake of art, though.

ePHOTOzine members meet - London 15th May 2004

Phil & his tripod, by Katie

At Blackfriars Bridge, we did a u-turn and walked back to The Mulberry Bush pub where we met up with Tim (miracleman), who, bless him, had come from Sheffield (not directly, though!). Tim also caused some consternation among the group when he revealed himself as a dyed-in-the-wool "Nikon User" - and I know you are wondering, ladies and gentlemen - he is as clean-shaven as the day he was born. The scandal continued when I let the cat out of the bag about my closet Nikon fetish. Oops. Burgers by the truck load were consumed as Michael juggled with a deviant contact lens and Chris (vfr400) revealed that he had "forgotten his pills". The group shuffled nervously. A little more lubrication seemed to put things back on track, and with slightly bigger smiles we looked forward to a productive afternoon.

Wandering down to the Tate Modern, the crowds really began to swell, and there was a happy and relaxed weekend atmosphere. In typical school trip fashion, it was at this point I realised "I only had half the class". Whoops! Phil pointed out that as long as we got back with the number we set out with, it would be ok. I looked around for likely substitutes, but fortunately "The South Bank Four" soon emerged from the Tate. After a quick stop at The Globe we were swept with the crowds up onto the formerly-wobbly Millennium Bridge. This is another impressive piece of modern architecture, which, although not really wobbly at all anymore, had some interesting vibrations.

ePHOTOzine members meet - London 15th May 2004

The Millennium Bridge, by Katie

ePHOTOzine members meet - London 15th May 2004

St Paul's, by Katie [ not skateboarding, as hoped!]

 

ePHOTOzine members meet - London 15th May 2004

Swiss Re building, by Tony

Unfortunately the views over to St Paul's were marred slightly by a crane and the scaffolding which is in place during the cleaning of this magnificent building. When we got to the north side of the river, however, we were rewarded by some great skateboarding scenes on the steps up to the cathedral.   Nick (Hobbs) took the lead from now, and led us off like Hansel and Gretel into The City. We innocently followed, grabbing every opportunity to take shots of the weird and wonderful buildings in this district. Down Leadenhall Street, we came upon the infamous Lloyds Building, and the Swiss Re tower, also known as "The Gherkin".

Phil, Tim and I tried hard not to feel smug as Nick announced his Compact Flash Card had been "corrupted". Well, we'd been made to feel like the poor cousins for using film, so fair's fair. Hot and tired, we decided to head back down to the river, over Tower Bridge. Before crossing, we grabbed a moment to do a full "group shot" using the trusty tripod and self-timer. The other members present at this occasion will now be smiling to themselves as they reminisce about my inability to work my own camera. But I know I'm not the only one.

 

Under Tower Bridge. Left to right: Shaun, Tony, Chris, Michael, Phil, Nick, Katie, Tim.
Photo by Tim's camera and Michael's tripod.

ePHOTOzine members meet - London 15th May 2004

Gradually, the group dispersed, but we managed some early evening shots of City Hall and Tower Bridge from the South Bank. The last of us had a quick beer (thanks to Stewart for the round) and then Michael and I grabbed a pizza before wending our weary way home.

So, 12 hours of photography - never thought I would, and didn't think I could. Boy! was I sore the next day! But it was great - 8 people who had never met before, taking photos and having a laugh. Really good fun. We recommend it wholeheartedly. And it's true - you do meet some funny people on the Internet. And most of them are quite nice.

Article by Katie.

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