Croquetwest Grip and Grin

Beloved Significant Other collecting an armful of trophies from Emma Cole, mayor of the City of Vincent, at the recent Croqetwest awards presentation for 2018-9.

Well Beloved Significant Other (BSO) Helen Amyes had a stonker of a year on the croquet front and was invited to attend the Croquetwest 2018-9 trophy presentation. Yours truly was tagging along as the +1 with aim of taking just a couple of photos for her clubs Facebook page. The inevitable happened. Turn up with a camera, couple of lenses and a flash and suddenly you are the “official” photographer and taking the photos for the press and social media. As I’ve said before grip and grin is not my favourite form of photography. There wasn’t a lot of wriggle room for an alternative approach this time so it was pretty basic event photography. At least it was helped along in the form of a jolly jape where fake awards were interspersed with the real ones. Even the recipients were left wondering what they’d actually just won.

Brett McHardy and his partner Janine were winners of Golf Croquet Under Age Doubles. Brett is trying to work out what he’s just won.

 

Chris McWhirtter receiving the prize for being the winner of the Golf Croquet open singles from Emma Cole.

 

All in all it was a fun afternoon

Bash For Cash

 

Time to promote the achievements of Beloved Significant Other (BSO) via the wonderful medium of video. I didn’t intend to shoot a croquet video. No. I was enlisted as a logistical consultant (alright driver!) to take aforementioned personage and a friend to a croquet competition at the Cambridge Croquet Club. While the event was happening I was going bird watching at the nearby ornithological Mecca of Herdsman Lake with the hope of photographing nankeen herons. Alas the herons didn’t know that I was coming to see them and weren’t at home. Couple this with the fact that I was suffering from a deadly combination of Ebola, typhoid, bubonic plague and cholera (BSO says it was in fact a head cold) I went back to the croquet club to find a quiet corner in which I could drown in snot. Somehow news that BSO had made it to the finals penetrated my fever fuelled delirium and I leapt into action to record the event. I was not really equipped to do so as although I had the Panasonic G85 with me that shoots lovely 4K video I only had two lenses. The Panasonic Leica 100-400mm a great lens for birding but a bit long for court side croquet. The Sigma 16mm f1.4 which is another fantastic lens, but being a fixed focal length not as useful as standard zoom for the grip and grin at the presentations at the end of the tournament. All I can say is thank goodness for the magnificent stabilisation which enabled me to get good handheld footage, although it was defeated by my violent sneezing although it wasn’t as bad as that depicted below.

 

Croquet!?!

My partner, Helen, has taken up croquet. It is not a sport I know anything about, I had a few preconceptions about it namely that it was played by the pre-senile and involved eating cucumber sandwiches on the lawn and when that got boring you hit a ball around the garden with a large hammer.Well the other weekend the club Helen belongs to, York Croquet Club, had a tournament which attracted players from other parts of Western Australia and Helen entered. To show solidarity I went to watch one of the morning sessions, the promise of morning tea being the incentive, and like the complete camera bore I am I took my camera. This time instead of shooting stills I shot video. In fact this has become the first solely video project I have done.

Has my view of the sport changed. Well the club’s motto is “Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill!” and watching them play it is very apt. If you do decide to play be warned, those genteel old ladies are merciless, prepare to be humiliated. If you are in the vicinity of York and want to turn up and have a go the club can be found at:

Glebe Street, York. WA 6302  and contacted at croquetyork@gmail.com .

For the technically minded the video was shot on a Canon EOS550d, a Sigma 17-50 f2.8 OS, Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS L, Rode Stereo Mic, and a Zoom H2N audio recorder. The edit was done in Apple’s iMovie.