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Magazine Of The Nikon World

Nikon Owner Issue 16


Gray Levett

The English poet Francis Thompson (1859 - 1907) wrote in A Corymbus for Autumn “The Summer looks out from her brazen tower, Through the flashing bars of July.”

For each of the past nine years, summer has looked out at me, not from a brazen tower, but through the hazy sunshine of a late July afternoon in the rose garden of a country manor. I am watching Heather Angel and her group of attentive students on the lawns of Saint Hill Manor, and it is, once again, the annual Heather Angel Wildlife & Natural History Workshop. Held at the end of each July, it is this workshop that celebrates for me all that is English and all that is summer.

As the years have passed, word of mouth has spread as to how good these events are, and we have continued to welcome attendees from all over the world. This year was no exception. The arrival of all the personnel that make these events possible, the caterers, the men and women from Nikon U.K., Lowepro, Gitzo, Grays of Westminster, Simon Stafford and finally Heather Angel, signals a rapid setting up of tables and marquees, the aroma of tea and coffee brewing in the background. Then, the buzz of anticipation as the ticket holders arrive for their day in the sun – sometimes one at a time, sometimes half a dozen at once. Finally, everyone is there. I introduce Heather and zip off to set up the next part of a very packed day. A sigh of relief issues from my lips – reassurance perhaps, that, with all the ingredients in the mix, everything will be perfect.

Features Editor Gillian Greenwood has worn many hats over the last few years. The diversity of topics she has been involved in as Features Editor has been wide. In addition to editing the work of every Nikon Owner contributor, she sets up all of the successfully attended complimentary events over the U.K., which have been very generously arranged for our subscribers by John McDonald and his team at Nikon Solutions, the Training Department of Nikon U.K. Limited. Following the very successful and enthusiastic meetings at the Cardinal Pub in London, organised by Nikon Owner founding subscriber Steve Hughes, Gillian is also very keen to help organise similar social meetings and/or self-help groups of Nikon Owner photographers throughout the length and breadth of the U.K.. Please email your ideas and suggestions to: gillian.greenwood@nikonownermagazine.com

The distinguished sports photographer Peter Robinson called in to see me today with a copy of his book Football Days. Peter Robinson is a graduate of The Royal College of Art and has been a photojournalist since 1965. In 1970 he was invited by F.I.F.A. to photograph the World Cup Finals in Mexico and subsequently over a period of thirty years he was witness to eight World Cup Finals, countless European football competitions, Olympic Games and domestic football in over 100 countries. Even if you are not a fan of the beautiful game, Peter’s evocative and dazzling images will capture you. It has a forward by Michael Palin and is published by Mitchell Beazley.

The 60th Anniversary of the end of World War II was celebrated on 10th July with the historic flypast of the R.A.F.’s last remaining Lancaster bomber, Spitfire & Hurricane. Some of our subscribers to Nikon Owner, or their siblings, took part in World War II, and we have, over the last few months, heard a number of stories of heroic servicemen and women. Some flew Halifaxes out of Herne Airport, took part in D-Day in the Royal Navy or flew a Hawker Typhoon with the 182 squadron; others accomplished many astonishing feats. These men and women in question were very reluctant to be named, each considering what they had done was simply their duty. Winston Churchill could not have stated it more aptly when he said: “The destiny of mankind is not decided by material computation. When great causes are on the move in the world, stirring all men’s souls, drawing them from their firesides, casting aside comfort, wealth and the pursuit of happiness in response to impulses at once awe-striking and irresistible, we learn that we are spirits, not animals, and that something is going on in space and time, which, whether we like it or not spells duty”.

The U.K.’s No.1 Jive and Swing band The Jives Aces (and keen Nikon users) found a unique way to celebrate this momentous occasion by releasing their jumping version of the wartime classic made famous by Dame Vera Lynn, “White Cliffs of Dover”. The Jive Aces have teamed up with the Royal British Legion and are donating the profits of the single to the charity. Help The Jive Aces say thank you to everyone who sacrificed and risked their lives to preserve the freedom we enjoy today in Britain by buying a copy in your local record store. www.jiveaces.com

As I end this letter, Autumn, the third act of the year, awaits to shelter in a golden iridescence, coating the forests, parks and lanes of this land. The mists of dawn begin to creep silently around us as the days begin to shorten. The first red berries appear and signal an ageless calling to all to celebrate the rich profusion of a harvest festival. I would like to see any images you capture of this season and I will feature the best in a future issue.

Best wishes

Gray Levett

Definition: Corymbus: A cluster of fruit or flowers