‘I’ve still never used PowerPoint in anger,’ she said, ‘but it’s probably straightforward once you get going. It’s another reason for doing it here. That way I can get some practice using the shop’s laptop – and if I get stuck, I’ll shout for help.’
‘I’d rather you used the phone,’ he said laughing. ‘When do you want to make a start?’
‘Can I do it tomorrow morning?’ she asked, ‘That will give me time tonight both to think about how much I’ll be able to put across in the time, and to think about what images I’ll want to use. I’ll do a rough draft of the text tonight and put some photos on a memory stick to bring in.’
‘That’s great, Mel,’ he said, ‘I’ll brief Jamie and I’ll sort the posters and invitations by this afternoon. Thank you.’
She made her way back down to the shop where Jamie was talking to a customer. When he finished, he came across to her to ask what was going on. She told him that his dad had phoned down and asked for him to go up as soon as he had time.
‘What? Now?’ he asked.
She nodded. In her mind, she was already rehearsing key points for what she’d want to say on Thursday.
Later that week
The evening presentation went every bit as well as Mel had hoped.
It had taken her most of Tuesday to put it all together – screens to display plus presenter notes for off screen. Fifteen people had turned up – more than she’d expected: Some had come without an actual invitation – they’d just responded to the posters displayed in the shop.
Mel had done a first-rate job of explaining and the photographs that she’d used to support the concepts that she was explaining had been excellent examples. After the presentation, several people had wanted to ask questions that had shown their interest.
Tony acted as chairman of the meeting and thanked her. She was given loud applause and, when Tony declared the meeting closed, half-a-dozen or so people from the audience gathered around Mel to congratulate her or to ask further questions. Tony had to ask them to allow her time to pack her things up and get home to her bed.
When they’d gone, Jamie looked at her, nodding.
‘Wow!’ he said, ‘That was brilliant.’
Tony agreed and said that he couldn’t have asked for more from her.
‘We’ll know who to ask to do the next presentation,’ he said to Jamie.
Mel blushed. She was happy that they were pleased with her – and even happier about the overtime pay she’d be getting.
A day out in Malham
It wasn’t raining after all. When everyone gathered outside the shop that Sunday, early morning, waiting for the coach, the skies were blue. Mel had been making a tick against the names of everyone as they arrived. Jamie had introduced her to Damian, the rep for the UK supplier. He had homed in on Mel’s reason for being there. In turn, she had been pumping him for information about the new equipment he was promoting.
Damian was probably in his mid-forties, a good few inches shorter than her, broad, smartly dressed and with a good head of dark, nearly black hair that was greying above the ears. His accent was vaguely of the English midlands, but Mel wasn’t familiar with that part of the country and its regional variances.
The headline item he’d be showing-off was a new top-of-the-line camera with more than 50 megapixels. To complement the camera, he’d brought along two new lenses – a 35-millimetre prime lens and a fast wide-angle zoom lens. The most innovative of the gear he’d brought was the brand’s new mirrorless camera. Mel didn’t expect to be too impressed by this last item. The company hadn’t yet developed a range of lenses to bring out its potential. Other firms were well ahead in that field.
Damian sat with Jamie on the outward journey, Mel had sat near the front with her dad who was a long-established member of the Group. She’d been telling him about what she’d learned from Damian. Most of the members knew each other well – and those who didn’t were quickly assimilated into the conversations around them. As the coach manoeuvred its way around the, often twisting, narrow lanes approaching Malham, the excitement was almost palpable. Mel rose from her seat and made her way along the aisle, distributing details of the programme for the day. These had been planned with supplier some days beforehand and had been printed by the supplier and stapled to some of its promotional leaflets.
The plan was to start with a walk to Malham Cove for the opportunity to take some photographs of the famous landscape ‘pavement’. Damian would be remaining with the Group to demonstrate the use of the new products to them and to let them handle the equipment for themselves – the aim being to stimulate the well-known photographers’ nemesis – GAS – Gear Acquisition Syndrome. This is the feeling that, in order to become a better photographer – one needs always more sophisticated equipment. Even some experienced members of the Group would not be immune.
Staying with the shots that I took in my local park on 28 April. Today’s photo shows a Rhododendron flower.
I used my Pentax KP 24 MM cropped sensor camera with a Pentax 28-105 mm f/3.5 to 5.6 lens. The EXIF data were shutter speed was 1/25 seconds at f/10 and 53 mm. The shot was handheld. I post-processed the shot in Lightroom.