The Farnborough GTG, 5th March 2011


The 5th of March saw photographers meet for a day taking photographs and generally exchanging ideas and anecdotes about all things photography.

First, they met at the Rushmoor Cafe in North Camp for a hearty breakfast on the chilly Saturday morning. Simon Taylor of welcomed most of the photographers there, with people travelling from places such as central London, Southampton and even from Tubingen near Stuttgart in Germany.

German photographer Chris Marquardt produces a weekly podcast called “Tips From The Top Floor” along with an online forum to support the show. This forum is a community in itself and was responsible for a large number of the people attending.

Members of Aldershot & Farnham & Farnborough Camera Club also attended, swelling the numbers to nineteen.

After breakfast, the group moved to the FAST Museum on the Farnborough Road, where the museum manager Brian Luff and the other volunteers there welcomed the group, explaining many aspects of the exhibits and even giving some special access to the visitors to allow them the best opportunity for some unusual images. Aspects of the museum’s history, the large model aircraft display, history of the Spitfire, Hurricane and other details such as navigation systems were explained. A large attraction was of course the full-size replica of the Cody Flyer which those attending were able to ask detailed questions about, even down to details such as the spokes in the wheels used and the knots of the tension lines that support the aircraft!

Special interest was given to the darkroom at the museum, especially as Chris Marquardt was unusual in the group, being the only one to have solely film cameras, three of them, 35mm and medium format.

Cockpit of the Harrier

Vintage Road Signs from Farnborough

Photographing one of the exhibits

After the museum the group moved onto the Airship Hangar at the north of the airfield for the opportunity  to get some abstract and unusual shots. Before that, they took a small break at the Village Hotel to get a warming coffee. The airship hangar is a large structure, constructed without the skin that it would have had in use, but creates a stunning landmark in the Farnborough skyline.

A short time there, then the group moved on again to Farnborough Rugby Club for some light lunch before the main event of the day, the Farnborough First Team in league action against Southampton.

Simon got everyone in the group to pose between the posts for a “Rugby Team” style image for everyone to remember the day by.

Gary Allcock, Farnborough’s coach even welcomed the guests, suggesting some of the possible action to get pictures of. The guests even had a special mention in the match day programme from Club Chairman, Robin Moses. The Farnborough News photographer, Chris Whiteoak, even turned up, so the match would have a total of twenty photographers to cover the game!

Click image for full size or to download

Many were to find out what regular sports photographers such as Chris Whiteoak and Simon Taylor put up with. Poor light conditions that make high speed photography challenging, together with the added challenge of judging where the action will occur along with the bitter cold!

After a shaky start, Farnborough picked up in the second half and beat Southampton quite convincingly.

Everyone retired after the game to the bar, and rounded off the day with a curry at the Gurkha Palace, opposite the FAST museum where the day started in earnest.

Links to pictures :

Chris Matthews

Alan Ager

Brian Jones

Simon Taylor – GTG picturesRugby Pictures

Chris Marquardt – these images all on film