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Lone tree at Sunrise

Tony's travels...

"There were three of us on this journey- me ,Tony and the camera bag" (Jo Nineham)
We knew we would enjoy the presentation planned by one of our most quietly competent members, Tony Nineham, having had a glimpse of a couple of his recent images in competitions, and on Thursday last we were not disappointed. The first part of the evening featured photos from his visit down under, and the second more local delights from walks and trips back home.

Tony and his wife, Jo, packed their bags for a much-anticipated trip to New Zealand earlier this year- Jo only mildly protesting at the ever-present camera bag! They flew to Auckland just as North Island was suffering extreme weather conditions, and a life-threatening storm that had those of us back in the UK worrying for their safety. We were swiftly reassured by Tony via WhatsApp, but photos from their trip illustrated just how varied the weather and the scenery was as they travelled south.

I have a college friend who went to live in New Zealand as soon as we completed our teacher training n 1970. At the time, she described her new home as “very much like England was twenty years ago” , and Tony was equally amazed at both the size of the population and the much slower pace of life, proclaiming it to be “like something out of the 1960s” Clearly little has changed!!!. A man who is skilled at finding his way with the sun as his compass, Tony was also a little confused on this trip by the position of the sun in the sky in such southern latitudes!

Tony’s well-planned narrative was illustrated by maps that traced their journey, and photos that caught moments in time they will never forget. From the beauty of the Hamilton Gardens steeped in Maori history and the views of tumbling waterfalls and rural landscapes dominated by the Mount Doom of Lord of the Rings fame, we wandered with them to the more urban sights to be had in Wellington, with its iconic cable car, and the enduring intrigue of the Heritage Museum, depicting the horrors of Gallipoli.

Whilst the weather was appalling on North Island, things improved to be almost idyllic on South Island where we followed them to deserted beaches. Here they discovered nurseries of baby seals and ventured further afield to whale watch with wobbly sea legs on boats navigating the unfamiliar, southern currents. They explored the locations of the all too recent earthquakes in Christchurch, where modern buildings have risen from the ruins and older streets abound with street art. They travelled by trains and boats and helicopters, Tony negotiating the hazards of fast receding glaciers whilst Jo the more tranquil riverside nature walks (sans camera bag!) and together enjoying the deep blue waters around Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu.

Tony’s skills as a photographer were equally well illustrated in the second half of a highly entertaining evening that featured more familiar locations, where he dabbled with intentional camera movement, recorded fast action at motor cross events, the surfing skills at The Wave, and glory of the air displays he loves so much. Tony also captures the more tranquil beauty in buildings and architecture, and we saw again the “Black and White Church” with which he has been so successful in competitions, alongside the historic buildings in and around The Lakes and scattered across the south of England discovered on walks. It could not have been a more varied presentation, and we thanked him warmly for the time and the effort that he had clearly put in to entertain us.

As we draw to the close of the current season, next week sees us gather face to face to hear member Pip Rabbits take the stage to judge (brave lady) our photos, whose titles all begin with the “Letter Q”. Good luck all!

Jenny Short 22.04.2023