20 February 2015

Hidden Ham

For eight years now I have been compiling the Ham Photos blog. This basically consists of me walking around the place that I live and taking photos of the things that I like.

I do a lot of walking and I take a lot of photos and so far just over 2,000 photos have been added to the blog. I once thought that I would run out of things to photograph but that is clearly not true and there are enough changes happening for me to find new interesting things.

Thanks to this blog, I was asked by the Ham Amenities Group (HAG) to do a presentation on Hidden Ham. The title was their suggestions but I liked it as it gave me a means of selecting photos. I took a wide-definition of the word "hidden" and used it to mean things that are hidden because they are out of site, in plain site but easily overlooked or are now gone.

It took me a little while to decide on the precise structure of my presentation but I liked the way that it developed, I started with a few slides explaining what a blog is, what I am trying to do with Ham Photos and the mechanics of producing it. Over the eight years I have used three cameras so far.

I then did a quick-fire run through of eighty of the photos with brief stories of why I took each one and where it was before opening it up with a quiz of twenty more photos.

One of the early photos was of these elephants and I was very surprised that several people in the room did not know about them. They were pretty well hidden but were so unusual that I just assumed that word of them had spread everywhere.

Normally the only way to see them is from the top deck of a 65 bus where they are still heavily obscured by trees but I was so desperate to get a picture of them that I held my camera above the front gate and took the picture blindly.

I picked this photo because I liked the story that went with it.

I assumed that the unusual box-like structure was part of the chimney and said so when I posted the picture. Then, much later, I got an email from the man who used to live there who explained that he had built the structure to house a water tank. I duly updated the description.

One of the nice things about running the blog is that I get emails from people who have moved away from Ham or who had family who lived here and who are delighted to find photos of the place. Usually it is the common things that they like, things like shops they used to go to, rather than the grand buildings.

This anglo-dutch sign was in the quiz and I was not surprised that nobody recognised it. The sign is quite small and is around knee-height so is very easy to miss.

I enjoyed producing and giving the presentation and I was thrilled with the reception that it got. The meeting room at Ham Library was full and there were many comments and questions as I went through the 100 photos.

I've posted the presentation on slideshare and it has had a few reads already.

I could be tempted to do something like this again. I just need to take another 2,000 photos first!

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