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April 15th 2005
Published: April 8th 2006
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This about a trip I took to Northampton in UK some time last year, to meet my internet photoclub members. The group had only been interacting online but never met each other. So it was kind of exiting to meet the group to put a face to their online 'nick' names.

It was sometime in early April and the spring was just about in the air. I left Ireland on a early morning flight to Luton where Den, the organizer of the meeting picked me up and drove to Northampton. There I met Margaret, Den's partner and also a club member.

Den&Margaret



Northampton, Den and Margaret's town, is about half hour drive. When we arrived at the house, Margaret Stugeress, a small lady with big heart - was waiting for us. I got the feeling that household was an happy home with abundance of love and affection. And I knew I am going to have a very pleasant stay and so I did. Margaret looked after me and everyone else so well. She made everyone feel so welcome to the meet even though she was the only lady in the whole group.

Model Train - A masterpiece

Isle of man steamer modelIsle of man steamer modelIsle of man steamer model

Model Train - A masterpiece ! First thing I noticed as soon as entering the house was the model train, parked in the front room, on a table. It was such an impressive model of a train from the bygone steam era. But at that stage Den did not tell me that he made it himself in his backyard. That was a shock to the system - how can someone be so talented to build such a lovely model in his backyard. Then he tells me that it is a fully WORKING STEAM TRAIN !!!! and it can pull 6 PEOPLE !!!!!!!!!!. My jaw simply dropped and I had to pick it up from the floor !. A working steam model with such perfection made in the backyard - Impossible. But you are with Den, these things are just a piece of cake !. He took me to the shed and showed me the lathe works - Yes folks, he has a fully functional miniature lathe in his shed. Den showed me how he actually carved out his metal outfits for the train. Fascinating and the next day, when I told everyone about it - the train became the instant attraction. We all went about clicking it from various angle for full half hour. Great photo opportunity.
!

First thing I noticed as soon as entering the house was the model train, parked in the front room, on a table. It was such an impressive model of a train from the bygone steam era. But at that stage Den did not tell me that he made it himself in his backyard. That was a shock to the system - how can someone be so talented to build such a lovely model in his backyard. Then he tells me that it is a fully WORKING STEAM TRAIN !!!! and it can pull 6 PEOPLE !!!!!!!!!!. My jaw simply dropped and I had to pick it up from the floor !.


A working steam model with such perfection made in the backyard - Impossible. But you are with Den, these things are just a piece of cake !. He took me to the shed and showed me the lathe works - Yes folks, he has a fully functional miniature lathe in his shed. Den showed me how he actually carved out his metal outfits for the train. Fascinating and the next day, when I told everyone about it - the train became the instant attraction. We all went about clicking it from various angle for full half hour. Great photo opportunity.

Pheasants



I have only seen this lovely colorful birds in the photos. So I was delighted about the prospect of actually clicking one. So ventured into the woods - well, parked the car and stood behind the gates of private lands. These pheasants are beautiful alright but very very elusive and they knew their safe distance ! We spotted many of them, rather unusual to see so many, according to Den. As it was a cloudy and a dull day, the colors didn't brighten up on its feathers. Managed to get few clicks from a distance but disappointing.

But little did I know that I was going to be in 'pheasant's galore feast' the next day - What a lovely surprise.

Please click the images for details of the event.....

Thank you for visiting,

regards,
Ken.


Additional photos below
Photos: 32, Displayed: 24


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DenDen
Den

With his bazooka lens camera trying to shoot a flying crane.
Amazing perfectionAmazing perfection
Amazing perfection

A working steam model with such perfection made in the backyard - Impossible. But you are with Den, these things are just a piece of cake !. He took me to the shed and showed me the lathe works - Yes folks, he has a fully functional miniature lathe in his shed. Den showed me how he actually carved out his metal outfits for the train. Fascinating and the next day, when I told everyone about it - the train became the instant attraction. We all went about clicking it from various angle for full half hour. Great photo opportunity.
Miniature lathe workMiniature lathe work
Miniature lathe work

With this mini lathe that model train was carved out,one piece at a time, over a period of several months !
PhesantsPhesants
Phesants

I have only seen this lovely colorful birds in the photos. So I was delighted about the prospet of actually clicking one. So ventured into the woods - well, parked the car and stood behind the gates of private lands. These pheasants are beautiful alright but very very elusive and they knew their safe distance ! We spotted many of them, rather unusal to see so many, according to Den. As it was a cloudy and a dull day, the colors didn't brighten up on its feathers. Managed to get few clicks from a distance but disappointing. But little did I know that I was going to be in 'pheasant's galore feast' the next day - What a lovely surprise.
Mighty Bazooka lensMighty Bazooka lens
Mighty Bazooka lens

Den, loaded up the bird feed on a wooden gate for the birds and took his camera out - thats when I noticed his unusually long camera ! Jessus man, it was one powerful lens he was carrying on his D70 Nickon - 500 mm, BAZOOOKA indeed. No wonder he gathers a curious crowd arround him when ever he goes for a walk sporting his bazuka. When I looked through the view finder I couldn't believe the zoom power it has - it was like looking at a bird with binoculors, up close and personal !. Perfect peice for a bird shoot but me, alas, carrying a mean and meagre compact digital. I must admit, I started to have my own 'costly' plans of buying one of those 'bazukas' as soon as possible. I could see a very very big hole in my pocket, in deed.
Diana's farm houseDiana's farm house
Diana's farm house

Den, took me around Di's family home where she is buried. Great expanse of country land, talking about 1000's of acres in one family's hand - Amazing. And Di's family is not even one of the big fat cats by land owning gentry standards !. Took some snaps and moved on.
SteveSteve
Steve

Steve and Ade arrived in the morning - what a delightful fellows. Both are similar in their light hearted personality. I knew in an instant that we all going be happy for the day. Steve might be challenged for his scalp follicles but not for his warmth n wits, not to mention his photographic prowess. Steve sported a compact Olympus and unlike me, seem to be pretty much happy with his kit - unfazed by the Bazooka.
AdeAde
Ade

Adrian, what can I say about a fellow who says that he has a "constitution like an ox" and he really does ! - Such a cheerful fellow who has a smile for everyone in the audience. Ade is well into the camera's nitty girtty technical stuffs -sporting a heavy Cannon with an assortment of lenses and filters. Some how he was so satisfied with all the heavy stuffs he carried with him - you see, he has a constitution of an Ox. That would explain for his ever so cheerful attitude.
Pointing Pastor !Pointing Pastor !
Pointing Pastor !

Next to arrive was Chris Spracklen the 'Pastor with a passion for photos' and his friend - a 'fellow Nikonian' as he would call him, a delightful and congenial Henry. As we all know - Chris is a converted and fully satisfied D70 Nikonian and he duly sported an impressive lens as well. Not a Bazooka but atleast half way up there.
Flashing Henry !Flashing Henry !
Flashing Henry !

Pleasant and congeneal Henry.
Erudite AlaistairErudite Alaistair
Erudite Alaistair

Next and final one to arrive was Alistair - a big man, a bit like the 'Big Ron' the football manager at certain profiles. Like the Big Ron, he also had delightful stories from the by gone rally-days and the present computer IT-days. Very knowledgeable and well learned man. Believe it or not He also carried a bazooka !. No - Alistair and Den did not consult each other before buying one of those impressive Sigma lenses. Alistair carried Fuji S3 pro and was delighted with. Alistair had traveled 3 hours to reach us and had to go back again after midnight !
Round Robin Clicks !Round Robin Clicks !
Round Robin Clicks !

Round Robin Clicks at each other As soon as they all came in - well, I told them about the train story. Thats it, it was such an awe inspiring stuff, that everyone started clicking it for a good half hour. Then followed the 'click at each other' thrill. At the count of 3, we all clicked someone. Great Fun and Steve managed click Henry's flash as it fired.
PheasantsPheasants
Pheasants

Pheasants galore Next, we all went to the same woods for a bird shoot out. Loaded up the bird seeds on the farm gate and waited for little robins and a rare kingfisher to turn up. Kingfisher didn't but all the other little fellows did - they are so agile and nimble. You have to be so quick to click one. And the bazooka fellows had great time clicking them so close. Then, a pheasant, turned up from the woods for the bird seeds. This one simply didn't have that fear of humans at all. He just went about picking his stuff in leisure providing great opportunity for capturing - a wonderful and colorful, photogenic bird. We all did 'click, click, click' to our hearts content. Great bird indeed. That's when Chris took the shot of Steve on the grass trying to get the pheasant.
Cool customer !Cool customer !
Cool customer !

Then, a pheasant, turned up from the woods for the bird seeds. This one simply didn\'t have that fear of humans at all. He just went about picking his stuff in leisure providing great opportunity for capturing - a wonderful and colorful, photogenic bird. We all did \'click, click, click\' to our hearts content. Great bird indeed. That\'s when Chris took the shot of Steve on the grass trying to get the pheasant.
? Siamese twins !!!? Siamese twins !!!
? Siamese twins !!!

Diana's memorial park The gates were closed for public but we had some good long range views of the house and the burial garden. The park had a vast expanse of greenery dotted with great big, majestic trees and grazing sheep. That's where Steve managed to spot his 'double headed' little sheep. What a lovely shot. You can find more of Steve's images, here - http://stevebb.com
Village cemetryVillage cemetry
Village cemetry

Medieval Church & Thatched roof pub Then we all gathered and visited a wonderful church, may be a medieval one. We simply wandered around the cemetery. We then waked around a bit in the village. We came across thatched roof houses and pubs. Nice village and rather an expensive village I must say - Rich people own beautiful houses there. Lot of flowers blooming all over the fences of the houses. Margaret had great time clicking them.


9th April 2006

Loppersum here
Hello Ken Beautiful album How are you ? Grretings from Gea and me Teunis Haveman

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