Taking inspiration from the lyrics of The Teddy Bear’s Picnic, if you went down to Wallington High Street on Wednesday night, you were certainly sure of a big surprise! You would also have been forgiven for thinking that there might be a celebrity in town on account of the unusual number of people wandering around with their cameras and lenses at the ready, eyes frantically scanning the surroundings looking to secure that elusive shot!
So who was it that all those paparazzi were looking to grab a shot of eh? Well .. erm .. nobody .. much more excitingly, this was actually Photocraft members “out and about” competing in this year’s Scavenger Hunt!
The idea was deceptively simple: meet at Wallington Town Hall for a 7pm start and then go bag 15 images within 2 hours. I thought it would be simple, but the reality proved to be far from that!
A quick scan of my list and I was reassured to see that some of the items should be easy enough to find (“an animal”, “the letter “H””, “something shiny”) while others had me scratching my head a bit from the outset .. after all, what “relaxing place” or “funniest thing” are you going to find in Wallington High Street on a dark Wednesday evening!?
With a flash of cunning, I dashed off to Sainsbury’s, confident that I could surely capture images there that (perhaps with a sprinkling of imagination) I could pass off as creative interpretations of many items from the list. As an added bonus, I also smugly thought that perhaps my idea would secure me the extra smart-arse kudos of my images creating a “supermarket-themed panel”.
Oh the arrogance .. as soon as I started taking shots of items on the shelves with my 70-200 lens I quickly started attracting some strange looks (I could almost hear people wondering out loud why there was a lunatic taking photos of the Radox “relaxing bubble bath”), so I quickly abandoned my cunning plan and headed back to the High Street, but not before surreptitiously snapping a “something red” on my iPhone .. one down but 14 still to go <sigh>!
As I’ve already mentioned, the whole thing proved to be a lot more difficult than it looked on paper. The light was low/dark, we were all working hand-held, the shops were pretty much all closed, there weren’t many people around, and (to be honest) street photography really isn’t my scene! So yes, it was a challenge to begin with, but the turning point for me came when I realised that being given a list of things to find really forced me to look at my surroundings and take in all the detail .. look up .. look down .. look behind .. look inside .. really look and see .. and with that seeing (finally) came a little bit of inspiration.
You’ll have to wait until our club evening on the 27th September for the (far from) “grand” reveal of my pictures, but needless to say I didn’t manage to find all 15 items, and perversely, some of the easier ones were the ones I somehow missed out on! I can only hope that my fellow hunters were more successful than me!
But none of that matters really, as it was a thoroughly fun and educational evening: a view shared by all who rounded off the evening with a beverage or two (not a Teddy Bear’s Picnic!) at the Dukes Head afterwards ..
.. which was also where the age of my iPhone showed itself in terms of the terrible quality selfies it takes, and where Brian may have captured the best “funniest thing” picture of the evening .. proving once again that great photography is often all about great timing!