Once in a while managers and their staff are expected to have face-to-face meetings or 1-2-1’s as they are known. Today I went over to Ilford to meet up with Steve and discuss various work-related things including training, caring for my Wife when she has her operation and the planned workstack for the applications that we look after.
This was an opportunity to take the Fuji X-E1 out for the sort of photography it was bought for – journeys to and from work when I’m also carrying a laptop. The run out to Ilford is a fun one for me as I can route via the London Overground to Stratford before picking up the local Shenfield service from there.
First photo opportunity of the day was a Class 66 on the 6L98 service from Didcot to the Ministry of Defence site at Shoeburyness passing through Upper Holloway. The 66 had one van in tow which was probably sufficient to carry de nails to fix de fence but not a lot else 😉 Suffice to say that with over 3000 horses, when the driver cracked open the throttle that 66 started accelerating pretty briskly! I lifted the camera up and realised that I really wanted to zoom in a bit. The resulting shot is badly out of focus as you can see 😦 I’m not sure how that happened but I suspect that in my rush to alter the amount of zoom I accidently moved the focussing ring at the same time – they’re right next to each other. You have to remember that I’m used to the acres of real estate between the controls on the Canon 5D and currently the Fuji feels tiny in my hands! Anyway, put it down to experience and move on as my Union Branch Secretary used to say.
At Gospel Oak the weather turned to rain and I was able to get a photo of one of the regular class 378 units arriving to a platform still busy with commuters at 10am. That one turned out really well – I like to catch passengers as well as trains 🙂 At Stratford, where I changed from the very modern 378 to a nearly 35 years old class 315, I took a shot of one of the Class 317’s employed on the Stratford to Bishops Stortford service. No issues with that one – it was standing still after all 😉
At Ilford I descended Ilford Hill to Mill House for my meeting – by now the sun was coming out and I found that the electronic viewfinder is more difficult to use in side-on light conditions. This is an issue that I had read about and I found that providing some shielding with my left hand after setting the required amount of zoom largely overcame the issue. After the meeting with Steve, I took the opportunity to take a view from his office on the ninth floor overlooking Ilford and the farmland to the north-east. If the colours look a little strange that’s because the windows have blast resistant film on them… Oh! and I don’t think they’ve been cleaned since the building was completed 😦
Back to Ilford station and a chance to photo a class 90 at speed – 90015 ‘Colchester Castle’ in this case. I chose to set the shutter speed at 1/1000 and let the camera choose the aperture for a change (normally I work aperture priority by choice except when photographing footie at night). The result was an aperture setting of f3.2 and as a reult the distant items in the view rapidly blur – nice if you want that sort of thing… It should be noted that the east end of Ilford station is in deep shadow most of the time. Then, back on aperture priority the camera chose a shutter speed of 1/1000 when I set the aperture to f7.1 for a photo of a Shenfield bound class 315 unit – that’s very nearly 3 full f-stops difference between opposite ends of the station!
Back at Stratford and an opportunity to photo 90007 ‘Sir John Betjemen’. If you look closely you can see that I wasn’t the only one taking ‘photos’ – there’s a video camera in the cab! By now the sun was out most of the time and the shutter speed for that shot crept up to 1/1100. These later photos were all taken on a rating of ISO800 for comparison purposes. Then it was time to head home and complete the day’s work.