Our guest speaker for the evening was Margaret Hocking ARPS, who at extremely short notice, shared with us her two trips through the Australian outback. The hard and uncompromising landscape was recorded to gloriously in temperatures which at times touched 40C. We were treated to images road trains hauling their fright on unfrequented roads, and of largely deserted settlements with corrugated iron roofing, where often only a pub survived to serve the few remaining locals and the occasional passing tourists. These images of the red and almost barren Australian interior, made us appreciate the often-damp Cornish climate.
At Birdsville, we saw images of the famous race track. The population of the town swells from around 100 to 7000 during the two days of the races, with many visitors arriving by air to avoid the long and arduous road journey.
In New South Wales, our journey took us to the Darling River, where animal and birdlife reappeared in abundance and civilisation returned in the shape of a vineyard.
Following the break, Margaret shared a miscellany of her more recent work, ranging from images of the people at the school she helps sponsor in The Gambia, a beautiful collection of images of African animals and as a complete contrast, images taken on her trips locally in Cornwall with the Cornish Wildlife Photography group.
I thanked Margret for sharing her work with us. The image that will stay in my mind for some time was of a sheep drive she came across in New South Wales, where the sheep were contained in the curve of the shallow valley and a dog was perfectly placed urging them forward. The image clearly conveyed the rising dust, oppressive heat and noise to perfection.
By Alan Barker