A Personal Project Restart

Hi Everyone,

Well we are still in the midst of a hard UK-wide lockdown. This time with a (hopefully) bright light on the horizon which makes such a difference. Many of my friends and relatives have been vaccinated and that’s something to be incredibly thankful for. Such a long way to go but the path is certainly getting clearer.

I mentioned in my last blog that motivation was elusive as we trudge through the dark winter months in the midst of this pandemic. I am relieved to have a little mojo now, more of that later. It's also been almost a year since I stopped working, maybe a time for some self-indulgent photographic reflection. I hope you don't mind...

So where has my little evaluation taken me?

Things I love...

  • I love being out with my camera but not on my own. The company of other, like minded friends brings so much to the party and makes this pasttime of ours so much more enjoyable.
  • Editing and processing images is also enormously satisfying. Playing with new ideas and pushing the boundaries, devoting time and energy into a project; In the right headspace it's so much fun.
  • Selecting a file, printing it and taking that image forward through a physical creative process is such a satisfying way to spend a few hours.
  • Writing this blog should be higher up but without these other points my musings would be a bit thin. I started these posts primarily for personal accountability. Nothing to write about means I have done nothing photographic and that's not acceptable. I am incredibly grateful that you all devote time to read my ramblings.
  • And finally, I am doing plenty of talks to Photographic organisations which I am loving. Zoom allows me to share my thoughts and passions without any associated travel. I know that zoom will fade over time in favour of 'In Person' (remember that?) so I will enjoy this current wave while it lasts.

Things I am questioning...

A shorter list but maybe more important…

  • My relationship with Social Media is haphazard. Sometimes I find some motivation to engage or get involved, but mostly I find it tedious, time consuming and difficult to 'join in'. I don't think it's for me. It's all about give/take so I can't expect others to share anything when I do engage - I am ok with that. I hereby accept that I will never have thousands of followers.
  • Online galleries can also be difficult to navigate (enjoy?). It's fantastic to be given the opportunity to participate but this goes hand-in-hand with Social Media. Without aggressive personal promotion an online gallery presence will bear little fruit but will be time-consuming.
  • Exhibitions 'In Real Life' (or 'IRL' - I love a new acronym!) feel very much like a thing of the past; a couple however loom large. Showcasing your work in its best light is a long-term commitment requiring significant time and energy. I have classed this as a negative with an awareness that this could also be a positive experience, this is a difficult one but listening to and following gut-instinct is important.

When following our passions it's easy to get involved in aspects relating to the 'thing' but which take time which could be spent doing that 'thing'. I will categorise this as 'admin' but maybe this is harsh. Lots to think about…

The mojo returns?

I have embarked on a 1-year course run by the always excellent BaileyChinnery focusing on the principals of art, art theory and design. My goal is to identify and drag out any latent creativity lurking in the deep, dark recesses of my soul. I can then use that knowledge as a springboard for the future; that's the hope anyway. Course content is not appropriate for this blog but tasks (homework!) have forced me off the sofa and back to my computer, not before time!

A specific project still eludes but I am excited to have produced some single images which I've sprinkled throughout this blog. I always work in projects rather than stopping at a single image but any could be the start of something new. Each has its place in the journey.

That's all for now and thank you for getting this far and for indulging me…   After some bitterly cold weather (for the UK anyway) it's so much warmer this week, spring is definitely on the way…  better days ahead (fingers crossed...)

Take care and stay safe everyone.

L  xx

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  • Hi Linda
    I am a member of the Stroud Camera Club and have only picked my camera up again in the last 9 months after a bit of a break. All I used to do before was “Wildlife Photography” and mainly taking photos while sat in my car somewhere in the Cotswolds with my elderly mother sat in the back enjoying the trip out. I got tired of the Wildlife but not the travelling and then I had a big drop in my mental health caused by Severe depression and Anxiety soon followed by the Lockdowns.
    It was not until late June / July time that I picked the camera up again and that was to take part in a Mindfulness Photography Course led by Ruth Davey, we were based at the Gloucester Waterways Museum and took part in a project called “Unlocking the Severn”, there will later this year be an Online Exhibition and all being well a live one in the Museum around October.
    I loved the camera taking my mind away from everyday things and my worries, seeking out objects and colour to photograph, I have yet to face having a go at Lightroom, which I have had on my PC for a number of years, there is a wall that is yet to be taken down with it. I use only Windows Photos or the free FastStone editing software, somethings using both together as it is through this that I found I enjoyed a different type of photography than before, to feel confident that the route I was taking was ok, even if, to my knowledge, others might not like what I do. I was becoming more creative and free minded, I turned a lot of the photos into negatives then played around with the colour, contrast and hue.
    I am at no way at your level but I knew when I heard about your zoom session for the Stroud Camera it was one I would not want to miss, I really enjoyed it and your mindset, the way you approach things, it was good to see and hear 🙂

    I feel the wall that is in front of me with Lightroom is slowly weakening, I am currently taking part in the first of two 10 week Photography sessions with a charity called Artlift, it is helping be more creative, though I have lots of ideas, I still have the daily battle of getting over the fear of doing anything and everything, some days it wins but I am finding the camera is winning more days that it did before, like today.

    I shall look forward to your next blog and if I had one question for you at the moment, it would be, can you make the font a stronger colour to read as I found it a struggle with it being so light.

    Best Regards

    Paddy Doyle

    • Hi Paddy,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to post a comment. I am really pleased you enjoyed my talk to Stroud CC, I certainly remember there being plenty of engagement and good questions on the evening which certainly makes a difference.
      I am sorry to hear about your struggles, this is such a difficult time and getting through each day can be a real challenge, taking a break from the constant newsreels has helped me of late but I also find it quite addictive which doesn’t help.
      Picking up the camera again is a big step although it’s important not to overthink and put pressure on yourself. Your course sounds like it’s the right challenge at the right time which is positive too.
      In terms of Lightroom, if it helps, I don’t use it! I know so many people who use it as a core part of their image processing and wouldn’t be without it – I could never get my head round it and have now uninstalled it as it just annoyed me seeing it on the list of applications. If you have found applications which work for you then it might just be worth sticking to them, if it ain’t broke etc. The main thing to focus on is being creative and free, that doesn’t need fancy or complex software… just a willingness to explore, play and focus on the fun.
      And in terms of font, you aren’t the first to raise this… I will give it some thought, I am always surprised when someone actually reads it at all so I need to be mindful of that.
      Anyway, take care and thank you again for taking the time to post a comment.

      L xx

  • Love the new blue piece. It has the richness of stained glass. Hopefully, this will be one of a series…

    • Hi Linda,

      Thank you so much… I will admit that this image is growing on me. I wasn’t sure if it was ‘finished’ or not (whatever that is!) but the more I look at the more I think it has all the elements. Thank you for your encouragement – I will definitely give it some space and time and see if a project emerges… fingers crossed.

      Take care

  • Ah – I can relate to so much of this. When time is at a premium, social media is definitely a burdensome encumbrance. I am appalling at it – but, as you say, we can’t really expect our stuff to be shared if we don’t engage. Admin too. Eats up the hours.
    I really look forward to spending time with you this year and seeing how your ideas develop.
    Excellent blog, as ever.
    Now back to the admin…… 🙂

    • Hi Valda,
      Thank you so much for taking a moment in your busy schedule to take the time to comment… it’s always really appreciated…
      I know I am not the only one who struggles with Social Media and I know it’s so important in this day and age. Maybe I will get my head round it at some point but right now, it’s just another source of stress which I don’t need. It feels good to admit it and let it go…
      And yes, already very excited that the course has started and really enjoying doing the work… going to be a game-changer I think… great stuff 🙂
      Take care and don’t drown in that admin

      L xx

  • Hey Linda! Great to see another blog. This second lockdown (i went into self imposed hermitage at the start of December, out of concern for my asthmatic partner) has felt SO much longer than the first one to me.
    I think you might have a series out of any of the new images, but i love the second one especially. I can’t get over the fascination of “flat” pixels making glittering metals or swirling light out of images that have none of those!
    On the social media front, the one thing i would say is that I’ve found Instagram a massive source of inspiration recently. I started a new account when i began taking my photography in a more abstract direction, and looked for others doing similar work (which i think is how i found your blog). I’ve been quite strict about only following people whose work i love, and have had many days when something someone else has made has set off all kinds of fireworks in my brain related to images I already have but hadn’t made anything satisfying from. I’m constantly amazed and delighted by the creativity that comes into my feed. So maybe there’s something of value there, which doesn’t require too much effort beyond seeking out the folk who interest you?

    • Hi Kate,
      Lovely to hear from you again and thank you for your kind comments on the images. All a bit random but I am hoping that they each have possibilities given a little time…
      And you are of course right about Social Media. I tend to be a bit ‘all or nothing’ but the best approach is to settle somewhere in the middle and I think Instagram is the least aggressive of the platforms… might give it another go… 🙂
      Take care and lets hope this lockdown ends soon, we are all at the end of our tether I think…

      L xx

  • Hi Linda. Lots of good points and interesting thoughts. A coffee and discussion will just have to take place one day!
    Maybe not too long now.
    Zara x

    • Hi Zara,
      How lovely to hear from you… and yes, really trying hard not to get too excited about being able to have some sort of social life again but it feels more than a vague possibility now… everything crossed…
      Meeting up for that long postponed coffee and a chat would be so lovely… putting something in the diary in pencil just in case doesn’t feel too reckless. Will drop you a line separately…
      L xx


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