Category Archives: Storytellers

Storytellers – BBC the First 100 Years Movie & About Drone Photography


Chris Webb, Bob Hill, Andrew Gregory & Kieran Kelly

A most interesting evening was held with presentations from guest Andrew Gregory and club member Bob Hill.

Kieran K began proceedings by introducing his friend and fellow adventurer Andrew. Andrew has been a passionate photographer since his school days and his career has been one continuous adventure. He has climbed high altitude summits in Pakistan’s Karakoram and hiked the entire length of the Biafo and Hispar glaciers – the world’s longest continuous ice corridor. Andrew has also been involved in numerous expeditions and in 2007 received the Australian Geographic Spirit of Adventure Award for his Kayak expedition down the Negri and Ord Rivers in search of the lost crocodiles. He is planning more expeditions and adventures and producing films. The Lost Crocodiles of the Ord River and Pageant of the Waters (His journey with Kieran Kelly into Lake Eyre) are now in production.

Those of you who attended the Centenary Book Launch and Club photo will remember well the drone camera hovering overhead. Andrew was the photographer responsible and he actually brought along a drone to show us all. He then provided some background on drone photography and how this emerging technique is being used today.

storytellers-Andrew-Gregory-1Andrew told how that in the last couple of years he had become a licensed Remote Piloted Aircraft (RPA) controller which required obtaining a licence through CASA (in fact getting a private pilot’s licence). Drones are strictly regulated on how you fly them, where you fly them, not above 400 foot, or within 30 metres of people, and not in restricted areas. Andrew uses drones for photography purposes, with lots of work in the CBD in the last 6 months. Companies like Lend Lease want elevated views to show prospective purchasers what they can look forward to from example the 33rd floor of a new development. He then showed some panoramic views which consisted of 8 photos hovering at 130 metres and showed some 360 degree view taken by hovering the copter for about 6 minutes taking some 15 to 20 photo shots. Stability is important and is obtained with a combination of GPS, gyros and stabilisers, and within the actual gimbal, which holds the camera, there is a sensor. Photos still need a couple of hours of processing to correct the levels. Andrew explained how he generally looks at a monitor though being a photographer he can sense fairly much what he’s shooting. He never flies a drone with battery power at less than 80% (a battery can last up to 15 mins) and he hardly flies longer than 6 or 7 mins at a time. He spoke about how he built his drone as few are available “off the shelf’, and how this exploding technology is being put to use today e.g. inspecting under bridges and how Australian Geographic are considering commissioning him to travel around Australia to take photos in the remotest regions. A most fascinating presentation indeed.

BBC-The-MovieFollowing a short break Chris Webb introduced Bob Hill. Webby had thought for some years that it would be good to have a documentary style film on our club, something that says who we are and where we came from. A vehicle that would serve future generations as well as conveniently communicating to interested parties what we are. As Webby explained we had the material thanks to excellently maintained archives by Jackie and others, albeit in varied formats and what we needed was someone with the expertise and contacts to put it together. We were fortunate to have Bob Hill within the club and when Chris discovered his background asked him if he could assist. The Centenary Book of course gave the project some impetus. Bob agreed and the Board was able to provide some dollars so we now have our film for posterity which our grandchildren can view with amusement and awe. Bob then took to the floor and provided some background on himself and pointed out the challenges he and the others faced in the journey to producing a product ‘The Movie’ that will inform in the first instance and hopefully entertain.

Bob has been involved in film for some 40 years, predominately as a Production Designer and Art Director. He’s been a member of the Club for some 20 years, but really hasn’t been swimming regularly until the last 4 or 5 years. He was always doing commercials or film shoots in the summer and used it as ready-made excuse not to compete in racesstorytellers-movie-bob-hill. Anyway, now he’s sort of “quasi retired” he discovered that he should have been doing it all along! He started his career working on documentaries at Film Australia, and now found himself coming full circle with the Beach Club film. Most of his career was working on big TV commercials – a lot for overseas clients but after all that, he’ll probably be remembered for the Pro Hart carpet commercial – where he slides around in the spaghetti. He also designed about 16 or 17 feature films… including the stupendous beach-themed flop “The Coolangatta Gold”.
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The Beach Club – THE MOVIE

BBC-The-MovieStorytellers Tuesday 17th June!

As part of our Centenary celebrations a film/documentary on the Club was produced with help from a variety of members.

Join us on Tuesday 17 June at 7.30pm to see the Film and listen to the story of the process of putting it together.

It will be a full evening starting with guest Andrew Gregory.

Those of you who attended the Centenary Book Launch and Club photo will remember well the drone camera hovering overhead. Andrew was the photographer responsible and will bring along a drone and then provide some background on drone photography and how this emerging technique is being used today.

Next member Bob Hill will explain the saga of The Movie.

Bob has been involved in film for some 40 years, predominately as a Production Designer and Art Director. He’ll explain his approach to making The Movie and the difficulties of combining all the various old formats thrown in from the Archives into something the Club is rightfully proud of.

As usual with the Storytellers format come a bit earlier and join us for a BYO BBQ.

Storytellers – ‘Tour de Pools’ – May 2014

Jenny, Denise and Jan

Jenny, Denise and Jan

The presentation by Denise Elder and Jan Davies of their ‘Tour de Pools’, a pictorial journey of some of NSW’s iconic treasures, was not to be missed. It wasn’t just for swimming enthusiasts but for anyone interested in discovering new places, walks, cafes and the like.

Denise began by explaining how about 5 or 6 years ago she had an idea of walking the Great Coastal Walk which starts at Barrenjoey Lighthouse and finishes at Cronulla. In due course Denise and friends did the walk, covering 170kms undertaking it in well planned stages. Each stage commenced near a beach / pool so they could start with a swim and breakfast or a swim and lunch. Continue reading

La Boheme Explained, Trip to Antarctica and Savage Garden

Considering it was a miserable evening weatherwise there was a good attendance to listen to our three presenters.

Alanp-RobJ-ChrisMAlan Phillips, who has been a great supporter of the Storytellers and generally contributes one or two stories each year, opened the proceedings with his own special interpretation of La Boheme – ‘La Boheme Explained’:

“The main chic is a bird called Mimi – her real name’s Lucia which I think must be like Lucy… how it got to be Mimi stays a mystery; Luce would have been more plausible. She lives upstairs and sews and makes fake flowers. The poor bitch has got a shocking cough – a real rasping bark of a thing. I had it picked for an advanced case of TB right from the start. I even gave the missus a nudge and said, “This sheilah’s not going to make it past Act 1 – check her out with the binos, she’s as white as a sheet.” Ridgey didge I did!
But she’s not a bad looking sort and I can see why Rodolfo gets to fancy her even with all that barking.”

El President Rob Johnson who has recently returned from Antarctica, via South America, gave a glimpse of some of the highlights of his trips with some photographs and video footage (carnival band music and kayaking up to whales). Continue reading

Highlights of Ten Days with the Maasai

Janet Rob BAt very short notice Janet and Rob Bagnall prepared and presented a wonderful account of their 10 day trip last December to south-west Kenya. They set the scene and atmosphere by warming up the meeting with some lovely African choir music.

Janet and Rob brought along a number of photograph albums, some books, maps and then showed a great PowerPoint presentation of their trip. They also covered some tables with a couple of Shúkà (the Maasai word for sheets traditionally worn wrapped around the body, one over each shoulder, then a third over the top of them. These are typically red, though with some other colors (e.g. blue) and patterns (e.g. plaid). Continue reading