• Audio Visual Presentations by Sonja Hoxey

    We were delighted to welcome Sonja Hoxey to our club this week and were greatly impressed by the quality of the ten audio visual or AV presentations she had brought along to show us. Although a member of Maidstone Camera Club, Sonja has her roots in Selsey - her father, Ernst Meyer, was a member of our club for many years and is still an occasional visitor.

    Sonja began by showing the assembled twenty five members and visitors her first ever effort at creating an AV presentation - a short but delightful piece about a grey squirrel craftily extracting food from the bird table in her garden. This was followed by a sequence entitled, "Heathland Dawning" featuring Hothfield Heath Nature Reserve in Kent. The beautiful misty morning scenes in this piece blending with close-ups of wild life and dew-laden spiders webs clearly demonstrated Sonja's growing technical AV skill.

    She explained how she had benefited from the mutual support of other like-minded club members with an interest in sharing AV ideas. Certainly as the evening wore on, we saw an increasing sophistication in techniques with the way the images blended from one to another and the use of appropriate backing music, sound effects, video sequences and commentaries.

    The first half continued with a presentation entitled, "A Gardener's Year" featuring Sonja's own garden through the seasons. This was followed by a very moving AV, which focused upon the thousands of hand-made poppies at the Tower of London in 2015 to the music of John Williams' "Hymn to the Fallen". We were next treated to a clever sequence about a Morris Minor van superimposed with its owner upon various famous holiday destinations; and finally a documentary style AV entitled "Rubbish" which combined a commentary with pictures about a local council's waste disposal systems.

    We then had a half time cup of tea, organised by Louise Satturley and Dave Johnson, followed by the fortnightly raffle, organised by Beryl James and Bob Hoare. Needless to say this twenty minute break also provided members with a good opportunity for a catch-up and chat !

    During the second half, Sonja treated us to four further AVs: "Sound of Silence" featured close-up views of contemporary statues and installations to the music of Simon & Garfunkel but sung in a rather haunting voice by a more recent but lesser known singer. "Think Pink" was a sequence of restful images of pink flowers and blossom, whilst "The Artist's Palette" gave us a very colourful tour of Chichester Cathedral's biennial flower festival.

    Sonja's final AV, entitled "Sails and Sextants" took us on a cruise aboard the Royal Clipper five masted sailing ship. Once again, the accompanying music, the theme from "The Onedin Line" (Khachaturian - Adagio of Spartacus and Phyrigia) really helped to set the scene which included views of the ship's operation along with shots of sea gulls and whales.

    Before the evening drew to a close, Sonja showed us, via very simple steps, how she composes an AV sequence using the Pictures to Exe software along with the Audacity free software for editing a musical accompaniment and the Freesound software as a source of sound effects.

    All in all, this was a most fascinating evening. Sonja's AVs were greatly enjoyed and appreciated by us all and I believe, as a consequence, many of us may now feel sufficiently encouraged to take the initial plunge into the art of AV presentations.