Last night’s speaker, John Bogle, gave us a fascinating account of his journey as a photographer from holiday snapper to superb photographs of wildlife. His interest started on fishing trips to Africa in the early 2000s where he got up close to crocodiles, elephants and hippos in the wild in what looked like a very flimsy boat on very large rivers. Gradually the photographic activity became more important than the fishing, not only in photographing big game but also small creatures collecting round his camp at night. Over the years that developed into a fascination with butterflies, including their behaviour, and his many award winning images were an inspiration to us all. John shared details of the equipment used to get pin sharp images with beautiful blurred backgrounds (Sigma 150mm macro lens, monopod with Wimberley clamp and tripod), the most appropriate times of the day or night to get the best shots before the butterflies were warmed up and ready to fly and details of the best locations locally and in Norway, France and Switzerland.
His favourite time was early morning before the sun came up crawling on all fours in rain, frost and drenching dew. As David Harris noted in his vote of thanks, not only did we all now know ‘how to do it’ but also that consistently superb images do not happen without a lot of effort and preparation and a willingness to endure some personal discomfort. The mental image of early morning dog walkers on Old Winchester Hill viewing with incredulity a soaked John Bogle crawling through the grass waving his camera apparently at nothing in particular will live long in the memory.