Jill Toman led the Zoom Party last week and we were treated to the usual mix of history, insight and anecdotes that come with the high-quality footage we’ve come to expect from her. However, deprived of the usual access to foreign lands that usually fuel her photography, Jill focused her camera closer to home this time and often on subjects that were unfamiliar to her.
Along with the cyclists that abound in the Chew Valley and the motocross in Leighton, an action that always catches her eye, Jill drew our attention to the journey of personal learning she embarked on while creating an area of raised beds for growing vegetables, in a corner of his otherwise immaculate garden. It was recorded faithfully with the camera, and we had no doubt that his practical skills extended far beyond the lens!
The evening, of course, was full of travel and adventure as she roamed her beloved Dartmoor in search of secluded trees and revisited haunts of a childhood spent in Dartmouth. Her photos, as always, featured scenic views under dramatic skies and were often presented in monochrome, a medium she likes to use. They also gave us a taste of locations visually tied to The Mayflower’s journeys and the stories woven around The Onedin Line. One girl living in Yorkshire took Jill with her camera to Harrogate and Fountains Abbey, while the other, closer to home in Bristol, gave her the opportunity to record amazing street art and social circumstances with which most of us are less familiar.
It was a very varied evening with such a wide range of topics! We walked the old Paignton Docks now Marina, strolled the quiet canals, skirted the railway tracks and took the bus to Brixham, as Jill did what many of us don’t – visualized the map she wanted and then pursued it vigorously, searching for the best angle and light.
This year, a low-key balloon festival in Bristol also provided unusually clear colors and views clear of human debris, and we also got to revisit and observe, through Jill’s seasoned photographic eye, the places we have visited and the walks we took. last year together as a group.
Jill was given a heartfelt thank you as we planned our annual awards dinner, AGM and visits to the Radstock Museum for the exhibition which features the cameras and work of, among others, Mike Witcombe. We are a very busy club!
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