Getting more in demand during this year and working alongside professionals. I decided I needed a professional-level Nikon to match their standards, a mixed blessing until I had it properly under control.
Jan 2013: Snowy January - The snow lasted for several days this year, providing a number of opportunities to capture snow scenes in different areas.
12 Feb 2013: Bargain Hunt - The Town Council were keen to get some publicity photos from the visit of the BBC antiques programme to the town, and arranged for me to join the team on the day. Strict instructions not to interfere with the process!
20 Mar 2013: John O'Gaunt X-Factor20 Mar 2013: John O'Gaunt X-Factor - The camera club was invited to supply photographic support for the technical rehearsals of the John O'Gaunt School X-Factor singing competition. This was one of the first shoots with my new Nikon – lack of practice in using it and unhelpfully harsh stage lighting meant this was one of my least successful ventures. An experience I was to encounter many times again trying to get the best coverage possible for Hadcaf events performed in indoor venues with low ambient lighting, particularly the Croft Hall.
22 Mar 2013: Freedom of Town Awards - Two of the three recipients were present to receive their awards - John Hollister received his from the Mayor at a later date.
24 Mar 2013: Diccon Day display - Local artisan Diccon Day put on a display of his popular metal sculptures hosted by the Hungerford Arcade.
29 Mar 2013: Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race - The usual turn-out for the annual canal race with supporters and spectators gathering around the lock for the portage and revictualling operations, with good weather for once.
9 Apr 2013: Tutti Day - Greg Furr's last Tutti Day of his tenure - ladder ceremony this year at the residence of Tuttiman Jim Smith.
14 Apr 2013: Constable Sunday - Mrs Susan Hofgartner was the new Constable - she approached me on the morning of the parade as she appreciated the publicity value of getting photographic coverage for the local press and other community publications
23 Apr 2013: St George's Day - The display of flags for St George's Day was one of the items on the Town Council's list of public events for their next Hungerford Calendar.
2 May 2013: Twinning Meeting - A Hungerford - Ligueil Twinning Association meeting at the Town Hall.
May 2013: Railway Bridge repainted - I was concerned that the distinctive figured brown pattern of the railway bridge would be lost on repainting, so I was delighted to find it emerging from its protective wrap in fully lined-out GWR locomotive Brunswick green livery - an even more distinctive asset to the town and one which was regularly to feature in my railway photography. I developed a speciality in taking photos of trains crossing the bridge, easy sounding except that you get no visual warning of the approach. In the early days the back end of an HST was a do-able target if you count the carriages passing. Later on, the availability of real time railway maps on the internet gave me the vital information about when a train was imminently due. It was then just a matter of quick reflexes to get the front of a train.
23 Jun 2013: Hungerford Hares' public 8km race - I was asked by the Hungerford Hares organisers to cover the race for them and found myself standing in for the professionals, setting up podium shots, for the NWN photographer who was due elsewhere.
25 Jun 2013: Camburn Trust Award - Publicity shots of the grant award to the Hungerford & Camburn Education Trust by the Town & Manor.
28 Jun - 21 Jul 2013: HADCAF.
11 Jul 2013: Angling Association Grant - More publicity photos for the Town & Manor, this time their grant to the Canal Angling Association, partly funded by fly-fishing revenues from fellow anglers in the adjacent chalk streams.
23 Jul 2013: Royal Birth (Prince George) - Proclamation of the birth of Prince George, first born of Prince William and heir to the throne of the UK, read from the official scroll by the Bellman accompanied by the Mayor and Constable and issued at various points up and down the High Street.
27 Jul 2013: Hungerford in Bloom - Day 1 Gardens - visiting winners of awards in various categories - as requested by the Town Council to provide pictorial inserts to the winners' certificates.
28 Jul 2013: Hungerford in Bloom - Day 2 Allotments - Day 2 at the allotments in Marsh Lane.
22 Aug 2013: High Street Flowers - Pictorial record of the summer floral decorations in the High Street which for many years were organised by Rod Desmeules.
29 Sep 2013: Food Festival - Pictures of some of the many trader's stalls assembled for the Food Festival held in the Corn Exchange and outside in the High Street.
13 Oct 2013: Camera Club Awards - The Hofgartner Cup is the principal award in the Camera Club's internal competition, and Stewart was there to present it, accompanied by his wife, the Constable, who presented the other awards. I wonder what happened to the other photographer's pics?
10 Nov 2013: Remembrance Parade - I like to stand on the canal bridge for sweeping shots along the High St towards the Town Hall and railway bridge, giving me good coverage of the Parade but making it impossible to get close enough for proceedings at the War Memorial.
1 Dec 2013: Christmas Lights switch on - The Town Council arranged for me to have access to a room at the Three Swans so that I could get better coverage of the switch-on event above the crowd. The CO of 6REME is the celebrity. My shot was lit by the flash from another camera - what's the chances!
2 Dec 2013: Christmas Lights - If you can't beat them, join them! It was difficult to take long exposures in the low light without traffic appearing on the scene, so I made a feature of the light trails this time. The ghost images do not register the offending vehicle in the low light.
13 Dec 2013: Victorian Extravaganza - After a number of years photographing the Extravaganza and several months familiarisation with the full-frame Nikon, I'm beginning to feel satisfied with the quality of the images I'm getting in the difficult conditions.
Trains: The shot of Clan Line on the Common was exposure no. 4 with the new camera. With a graduated ND filter to tame the steam in the sky, I already realised that this was going to be a brilliant camera for outdoor action shots.
Local Views: Odds and ends 'stock' shots including building the new Fairfields.