Relearning

This blog started off a few years ago as a place to talk about and showcase some of my photographs. Over the years, I’ve found it’s wandered a bit and has become a place where I write about anything I feel like. That’s okay by me (and judging by the hits, likes and comments, it’s okay by you, too). But over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about things in general, and perhaps starting up another blog dedicated to travel, and one dedicated to photography. Plans within plans.

Anyway, that line of thought made me realise that over the last year or so, my photography has become little more than snap-shooting. I know what that is; the preparation of the Kilimanjaro trek meant that every spare moment was taken up with training and I didn’t have the luxury of going out, making time and taking photographs. Almost all the photos I took during the preparation time were little more than snapshots. On the trek itself, a similar situation occurred. There were so many things going on that I had very little time to look and contemplate a scene before taking a picture. Perhaps the only time I was able to do this was at night when I was taking long exposures of the night sky. And that’s the nature of the Kilimanjaro trek; time on the mountain is expensive and trekkers are whisked between camps with little spare time. The time you do get to yourself is mostly taken up with preparing kit of the next day and resting.

What to do? I have to rekindle my interest in photography and make time to get out and do one of the things I love the most. I re-read two influential books that I bought years ago when I was using film. “The Making of Landscape Photographs” by Charlie Waite is a great inspiration. In it, Waite displays and talks about around 150 of his photographs. He explains the thought processes behind the pictures, and discusses why they work or, in some cases, what could have been done to make them better. I like that approach as I find learning in the actions and experiences of others.

The second book is “Light in the Landscape” by Peter Watson. Another book of examples and discussion, this one follows an calendar year and explores the effect on the landscape of the seasons. Both tomes have fantastic photographs and buckets of thought provoking comment.

You never forget how to take photographs, and with today’s technology, you are almost guaranteed good results. But for consistent images that you can be proud of, it takes time and thought and patience. These things I need to relearn, and I’m working on it.

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Fame. I’m gonna live foreverrrrrr, (but no leg warmers, I promise)

Not mine, I should add.

Angie (Doodlemum) is a talented artist and observer of family life as well as a wonderful mother to Millie, Evie and Gruff (pronounced Griff to all you non-Welsh) and mother/wife/manager to my mate Myles. Myles is a Viking (it’s a long story for another blog but it is very handy to have a Viking as a friend). Doodlemum manages to capture an elusive character in her drawings and paintings that I can only describe as the kind of element that makes you stop, think and say ‘oh, yeah’, and smile and recognise the situation. If that sounds a bit vague, well so be it.The best thing you can do is have a look at her blog site. Bookmark it and look through and you will smile, and almost certainly nod and go ‘oh yeah’.

In the last few days, the press and the media have discovered the secret that Doodlemum’s followers have known for a while. It started with one newspaper doing an article and has spiralled to encompass several national newspapers, radio and television (she’s on BBC Breakfast tomorrow morning). It’s a fantastic opportunity, not before time and It’s good to see nice things happen to nice people for a change. I hope that it gives Doodlemum the necessary break into the world of illustration that she so thoroughly deserves.

Because if it does, the original Doodlemum watercolour hanging in my living room might just enable me to retire early!