40 photographers in a Youth Hostel on the glorious shores of Loch Lomond with the intention of getting good pictures in good company….and having a bit of fun along the way.
That was the intention…..and the reality? The weather was not particularly good but that did not stop the brave and foolhardy and there were loads quality images taken. The good company and fun can be taken for granted with these meetings and at this one it came in sack loads.
Late Friday afternoon and people started arriving – some of them with tales of snow and driving rain on route. The mention of snow got some people all excited (mainly because they got snowed in last March and had a great time). Old friendships were renewed and new ones forged………………and the papping began.
Food was consumed, drink was drunk and then ‘it’ was produced.
BOPIT…………that infuriating kids game was produced. More drink was drunk and Bopit was passed around. More drink was drunk and people began to lose their minds. People became very ‘mellow’ and had a very good evening. Gradually beds began calling and the numbers thinned out in the lounge.
The serious landscapers were up and about early – only to find 5 of the usual suspects had failed to hear the bed calls and had been up all night.
The Loch Lomond, Glencoe, Trossachs area were gradually covered with photographers looking for a good shot. The weather was – how shall we put it? – Not good, which meant landscape shots were not too numerous. This resulted in ‘papping’ becoming the national sport and it became dangerous to look at another photographer. But even more dangerous not to look. One group found the weather so frustrating that they descended on the pub which was closed. Undeterred, they chapped up the staff and persuaded them to allow them in. Then they insisted that the fire be cleaned and lit so that they could take pictures. Over the next hour or two they photographed the inside of the pub to death.
Others just had to make do with the wet and wild outdoors.
Everyone returned to the hostel in time to dress for diner which was served at the hotel just down the road – for a very reasonable price, as arranged by Mr Watson. Also served up was a very good singer to help the drink go down. The locals had to be warned of our visit as the papping went into overdrive and flash guns turned the bar into a disco.
After closing time and we got evicted it was back to the hostel for ………. You guessed it Bopit and drink – although some of the more sensible did head to bed so that they had clear heads for the early rise. After all, sunrises don’t wait for weary photographers.
04.30 was early enough for a lot of the fools playing Bopit…….to go to bed – not get up.
The sensible ones who had escaped the dreaded Bopit were up and out collecting more landscapes for the albums – and what albums they are too.
The rest of us (sorry – them) stayed in or near the hostel sorting through the shots already taken and finding wee gems within fag distance. One or two others just failed to appear and were posted ‘Missing After Action’. One person in particular blamed this on someone who wasn’t even on the trip – Chris Roberts.
Chris is rather partial to a particular dark brew and passed this liking onto our nameless corpse who had maybe partaken in one or two too many.
While are on the subject of Chris…..he may have been unable to attend this meeting in person, but he was there in spirit and ‘Chris the Can’ has been photographed all over the area.
By late Sunday afternoon a lot of group had to leave due to work and family commitments. Having to say ‘Farewell’ is never easy and we know that there will be other meetings (sign up for November before all the spaces are taken folks).
After the evening meal it was pointed out that Bopit had overstayed its welcome and that the studio which had been set up all weekend and never used was missing (the owner having had to take it home). Mr Watson was then good enough to bring out his lights and background. It was then a case of ‘who is going to model?’
Bex and Rodd were old hands at this so that was no problem. However, there was a ‘guest’ amongst us and she was also pressed into service – and what a treat Kimball was….the star of the studio.
Early to bed (about 01.00) meant that those of us left were all fresh to catch the promised clear skies and good sunrise that almost come to fruition. The final four or five who could not bring themselves to leave were finally lucky enough to get good light for an hour or two.
So that was it ……a weekend full of fun with the opportunity to take a few pictures and learn new skills from a super group of people who know and are more than willing to share.
Roll on the next meet – wherever that may be.