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ePHOTOzine members meeting to shoot fungi

ePHOTOzine members go in search of some mushroom magic and become centre of attention.

|  Members' Meetings
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On the 31 st of October a group of Epzers met in the wilds of Essex with the intention of capturing the mood of the forest in autumn. Its fairly normal at a meeting like this for some folks to turn up early, but Chris and Edward seem to have been going for a record by arriving four hours early and an hour before the sun came up!

It should have been obvious that things were not going to go smoothly when the plan to meet inside the pub had to be changed to outside when it was realised that the pub didn’t open for another hour and a half. Eventually the group of nine ( Carabosse, FrancisR, Greyheron53, JimboT, Kit-Monster, Lobsterboy, Randomrubble, RoyBoy, VFR400 ) set off on the planned morning route to visit 2 ponds, an Iron Age hill fort and a picturesque little valley. Very few steps had been taken (in fact so few Mike hadn’t had a chance to fall over yet) before the first shot of "Ohh Fly Agaric" was followed by "there's an amethyst deceiver" and the tour ground to a halt.

As tripods were setup and photographers dived under trees and laid on the forest floor to get shots of unusual and rare fungi. Time slipped by as more and more unusual mushrooms were discovered, two and a half hours later and we had managed to travel no more than a 150 yards to the "lost Pond".

This delightful little pond in the middle of the forest was home to yet more fascinating fungi but that was obviously not enough for Chris (VRF400) as he decided the best thing to do would be to bring some of his own along with him on a log he had found earlier in the day! A large bracket fungus enticed Edward to go back to his mountaineering roots and he was soon climbing a tree to get a better shot, whilst Mike decided that he would be much better off shooting from ground level with a large reflector. At precisely this point hundreds of ramblers appeared from nowhere and surrounded the team, muttering amongst themselves "ohh they must be from the fungus society"– and in a way they were right.

Through out the day Carabosse was seen to remove his Sony P150 from its high-tech case and wave it randomly at the rest of the group – who knew he was filming a video of the day that can be seen here.

ePHOTOzine members meeting to shoot fungi Who needs a tripod when you can use one of theseePHOTOzine members meeting to shoot fungi
Chris gets up close and personal with a bracket fungus

ePHOTOzine members meeting to shoot fungi
Chris and Roy confuse cameras for paint guns.

A quick break sees Edward and Chris indulged in a quick spot of geocaching and yet more fungi smiled for the camera. As arranged in the schedule the sun finally came out and the colours of the forest began to glow and show themselves at their best. It was then off to the iron-age hill fort to enjoy some glorious sunlight playing on the lumps and bumps of the ramparts and of course, some nice fungi too. So obsessed was everyone that they hadn’t noticed that they were now in the middle of the forest miles from the pub, well past lunchtime and no one had brought any refreshments with them.

We turned for home via a particularly nice little stream valley though the group were “all fungied out” there was still lots of stopping to catch shots of the stream and the autumn colours. Dehydration was taking its toll on the team as they staggered up the valley. Eventually six hours after we had started (10 hours for some!) we were at the bottom of the hill looking at a particularly enticing sunlit pub that was calling to us. Everyone staggered their way into the pub for some well earned refreshment, but not before the hardier members of the team had managed to catch a shot of the sunset. Never before was a good Beer so appreciated.

All in all a very it turned out to be a very successful and fun day with lots of great shots taken and new friendships made. The video that Carabosse recorded can be seen here.
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