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  • Onyx

Chuuuff chuuff chuff chuff chuff

Well, tonight was Richard’s night.

What can I say about Rich, one of the longest serving members of the club.

Always ready with a camera, loves a challenge, don’t mind rolling up his sleeves for a photo, presently shooting film as well as digital (different discipline … you can’t afford to blast away with film like you can with digital) & always ready with gentle hints to help improve your photography.

Val had challenged Rich to entertain us for the night.

He chose one of his other passions, steam trains … more specifically the Epping & Ongar Railway. He has been an active member of this society since its present day inception, back in the early twenty teens.

And what a treat, we're in the carriages, in the cabs, in the signal boxes, getting down and dirty with the grease monkeys, in amongst the valves and other oily bits. We saw signals and stations, name plates & numbers, drivers and stokers at rest & play, station staff and a rather lovely secretary, barefoot in a puddle bailing flood water out with a bucket.

And trains, a lot of trains. EOR obviously has its own engines (they run most weekends) but they also have special events and they will bring trains in from other society’s. We had shots of locomotives in the Metropolitan livery (from the very first London Underground), Great Western, British Rail, LNER to name a few.

And then there was the specials, a lot of portraiture from a forties re-enactment group, with their guns and their bombs and their jeeps and their trucks and dancing and generally having a good time. We had buses, a steam car and even a vintage fly past from the local airfield.

We had colour and Black & White, depending on the mood of the shot. We had sepia toning with Rich telling why he took the shots, explaining his decisions and relating technical info about the subject. He also showed us some of his film work. I said earlier that it’s a different discipline. After seeing the cold, hard crispness of the digital world, you could almost feel the calmness of a bygone age, like the difference between central heating and an open fire. It’s like digital has little soul.

I love the fact that this camera can give me bitingly sharp images, and but, for instance, it’s a shot of a Robin, do I really need to be able to ascertain every vane of it’s feathers. Sorry, drifted off the beaten track there …

Richard finished off with a short movie of the 150 year celebrations of the underground.

A good evenings entertainment with an in-depth look at a subject most of us would only skim over. Well done that man.

For latest stuff about the heritage railway, check out

For the latest stuff about the club, check out

See y’all next week

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