At the July meeting of Photography Group 1 two illustrated talks were presented. The first was ‘Approaches to natural history photography’ from Robert Edmondson. He showed how photography of natural history subjects – especially butterflies and moths – can show much more than their shapes and colours.
Using photos taken in our local area – even opposite Waitrose! – he showed aspects of their ecology: pollination, camouflage, feeding, mating, parasites and life history. His subjects included two recent arrivals: the horse chestnut leaf miner moth (6mm long) and the life cycle of the Harlequin ladybird.
The second presentation, ‘Initiation’ from Peter Crook, was very different. He started with some images of the landscapes and specific wildlife of the semi-arid Samburu region of northern Kenya, including Grevy’s zebra, elephants and reticulated giraffe. He then showed photos of his experience as an invited guest to record the initiation of a young Samburu boy, aged 15, through circumcision to warriorhood.
Peter was made an honorary elder in order to be welcomed within the closed circle of warriors and elders. The complex and colourful rituals, lasting over 18 hours and attended by men only, have rarely been photographed.