This is the second meeting I have attended as a member of the Design Network Association – DNA. I collected fellow member Peter Carr at his home and then gave iPhone Maps a chance to direct me to Watford to the College. We arrived later than intended due to my failing to realise I was in a queue for the wrong Car Park, but once the lady ahead took up the wasted space beyond her car we managed to get ourselves parked up and make our way to the hall. It turned out there was plentiful time to mill around and chat, and then walking towards me was a very familiar face, Image 2 photographer, Patricia Rayner, resplendent in red. A very pleasant surprise as I did not expect to recognise faces beyond those of Clock, our hosts and other DNA members.
I soon learned that Patricia knew the Allibones of The Way Forward, so this is indeed a small world. The guest speaker for the evening was David Birss, who was introduced by Syd Nadim, the Founder and CEO of Clock. Prior to the presentation, we mingled, giving me the chance to chat to other DNA members such as Richard Cockerill and sample a Spritzer and crisps.
David with Pebble watch on arm and iPhone in hand launched into his wide-ranging talk discussing the way technology was moving and exhorting us to take a different view; he suggested he was entirely at ease coping witch hecklers, but this audience were far too polite to heckle, but were happy to engage in dialogue, and I have tried to capture those who were unafraid to voice their opinions and add to the discussion. In the level of lighting once David started to talk I wanted to take shots that involved animation, but had to try very hard to choose moments when movement stopped momentarily as even at 6400 ISO I was still often shooting at full aperture at f/4 and 1/8th to 1/10th of a second, which I knew would involve less than 100% success! The audience on my side escaped capture by me in the main!
I am always pleasantly surprised by the quality that can be achieved at these low levels of light, as I endeavour to retain the ambience that comes from not flooding the scene with electronic flash and this venue has walls of unremitting black! David explained at one stage how he was connected from his watch to his iPhone to his MacBook, so I lent over and asked Syd whether he had his number, suggesting he gave him a ring, which he duly did and we awaited David’s reaction. You can’t take me anywhere!
After the formal talk was over we were treated to a wide range of excellent pizzas and more alcoholic and other beverages from a well-stocked portable freezer and we all gathered to network further. I wanted to grab a few shots from above, and Francesca Bonn, the College’s Commercial Manager very kindly took me upstairs, so I obtained an overview. before many of us took a stroll to a local Bodega, Peter asked directions of Claire Weston, and this was so animated I simply had to have a shot! Syd Nadim very kindly bought us a round of drinks, and to round off the evening David autographed Peter Carr’s purchase of his book, and I learned that it was not Magic Roundabout’s Dougal lying across the mantelshelf beneath an array of candles…