Keeping The Faith
I hope we are all staying safe and well. Autumn is well underway here in the South of England although there is very little colour in the trees still, let’s hope when the colour does arrive it's spectacular even if short-lived.
Lots going on here to keep me busy as the nights draw in. My lovely little puppy is getting used to lazing around as I work, she has her own furry heated throw to snooze on all day now which helps keep her quiet and in one place (I know... so spoiled...). It's a bit of a game-changer, if only I could teach her to turn it on herself!
Last week was spent in the beautiful Lake District. The trip was run by Lizzie Shepherd and Alex Hare of Tripod Travels and was very much geared around hard-core landscape photography, something I haven’t really been exposed to for a good few years now. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip but it did make me question my photographic approach which hasn’t happened for a while. Spending a week in the company of serious and highly accomplished landscape photographers with tripods and large bags of lenses and filters did make me feel very self conscious.
My pared down single camera and smallish lens all carried in what is essentially a handbag made me wonder if I could still come away with something from the trip. Some locations were incredibly challenging, particularly in low light, others less so. Maybe others were finding some locations difficult too, I didn't ask. I did lose a little confidence in myself and started to question what was important to me photographically, maybe no bad thing.
Reflecting on the trip, when I did stop worrying, overthinking and overanalysing and just focused on playing around and having some fun the world around me disappeared and I found my happy place again. I don’t think having all the ‘kit’ would’ve made much of a difference, it's good to ask the question though.
So, what did I come away with. It’s very days and very little image processing has taken place so far but here are a couple of minimally edited images from a rather fabulous quarry, our last location and a lovely way to end the trip. I am not sure I have enough yet for a series or project but that would always take time anyway.
Mirror in the Bathroom... (not the song...)
Not having a chance to get the camera out before I went away I thought I had better get the muscle memory going before the workshop started. Pottering around my hotel room looking for something on which to practice I took a few snaps of the bathroom mirror. An hour or two later I was still photographing the bathroom mirror! Here are some completely unedited images from that session, it really was great fun... maybe I am not a landscape photographer after all.
News, News, News...
And now for some exciting news... I have worked with a local gallery for a number of years, originally as a member of a group photographic exhibition but subsequently just the odd image here and there. They have very kindly offered to host my first solo exhibition running through July and August 2022.
Having agreed I am now realising what a colossal amount of work this will involve so I am now devising a plan which will take me through to next summer in one piece. Hopefully I will have enough work prepared in time. Printing my work has always been incredibly important to me but it’s amazing how scary it is to have a deadline. I will photograph the pieces and share as I go…
That’s everything I think. Such exciting and incredibly busy times, I am certainly going to enjoy the coming months as I work through my list…
Please leave a comment if you get this far, I will always reply.
Stay safe everyone
Quick Links to Previous Blogs
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The Drug of Creativity
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Wow I love both sets of images.
I think it is good to question yourself and push further, I actually did a long exposure course with Alex a few months ago and had an experience not a million miles from your own, as far as producing long exposures that were not landscape photography, when everyone else produced excellent images of classic landscape long exposures that were fab.
Your exhibition sounds fascinating I am sure it will be hard but enjoyable work getting it all done, no doubt you will let is all know where closer to the time.
Stay well and keep making your fascinating lovely images.
Thank you so much for your kind comment. I am so pleased you like the images… it’s odd to have come away with small sets that are so very different, but exciting all the same. And yes, I agree that it’s good to question yourself from time to time – it’s easy to just drift along doing what you’ve always done without standing back and evaluating. Alex is such a good photographer and has given me loads of tips about how to photograph my finished pieces so hopefully I will able to share them as I go.
And yes, exhibition all a bit daunting but exciting too… so much work but it will be good to have some pressure.
Congratulations on the forthcoming solo exhibition. I have no doubt that you will produce beautiful work in time. I always enjoy your blog, it’s so honest yet interesting. I must say that I am blown away by your bathroom mirror images, they are fantastic. All the best, Juliette
I am so pleased you like the bathroom images, it’s complete madness to go so far away to such a lovely location and then spend hours in the bathroom messing around!! I am not sure how I will use them but just taking them in the first place ticked so many boxes.
And yes, I have a spreadsheet now for the exhibition so that I can work out what I need to do and then tick things off. I know time will fly!
Take care and thanks again…
I can’t say how much I love both sets of images, particularly the mirror ones!
Don’t question your practice and art, it is unique and very beautiful.
Thank you so much Karen… it’s easy to let the doubts creep in sometimes. Really pleased you like the images too – the mirror ones prove that we are never far away from an image, it just not always obvious…!
There are hundreds of photographers taking beautiful landscape images but no one else is going to come away with the same results as you, so you should feel super-confident, not in any way self-doubting! Two lovely sets of pictures.
And best of luck with the exhibition – I wish I lived near enough to visit.
Thank you so much Linda… I think it was good to be amongst photographers who look at the landscape in a different way – it has been good to question and for the answer to be ‘keep calm and carry on’. I am starting to work through the images from the trip and I think I have some which I can work with so that’s all good.
And thank you re the exhibition, it’s going to be loads of work but hopefully worth it. I am sure I will find a way to share a video or similar when we get there.
Thanks again and take care
Another very insightful blog Linda. I love both of these sets, who’d have thought a bathroom mirror could be so inspiring. My favourite set though is of the quarry. The colours and textures are fabulous.
Congratulations on your exhibition. I’m not far away and am really looking forward to seeing it.
Really pleased you like the images.. so very different but I feel certain that each will have mileage going forward – they are definitely on the list to explore further.
And yes, really excited about the exhibition and sharing the work as I get everything ready. It’s a bit of a colossal commitment but exciting too… at least I can’t complain of not having much to do over the coming months.
Lovely sets, both, and I especially love the bathroom images. Possibly you’re having fun making them transports through the images, because I find them quite delightful. You are one unique and wonderful artist.
How lovely of you to post such a delightful comment. I think you are right though, I had such a great time playing with the bathroom mirror despite being in such a beautiful part of the country – I still smile when I look back through them and it is really does prove that there are images anywhere. I still don’t have a clear idea as to how I can use them more creatively but I think the memory of just taking them is probably enough. It really was great fun…
Thank you again and take care
Your images taken in the quarry and the bathroom are intriguing.
Your hotel bathroom images gave me an idea: I noticed that my wife has a makeup mirror in our bathroom. The one side is concave and as I looked at it, I noticed that it reflected all sorts of abstract shapes. The more I moved it, the more shapes appeared. I tried to capture some of the shapes using different lenses but to date, I have not been successful.
I haven’t tried my macro lens and this may be the answer.
Watch this space.
Really pleased you like the images… I have revisited the quarry since and have lots more to play with now, definitely enough to start a project.
Very exciting to hear too that you’ve found a mirror… just goes to show that there really are images all around us if we allow ourselves to ‘see’. The fact that you can see the shapes must be infuriating though given that you haven’t found a way to capture them. All you can do is keep trying. A macro lens sounds like it might help as you say, maybe your phone could work too. I have recently started playing with the camera on my phone and am quite astonished at the possibilities. I am sure you will work it out and solve the puzzle.
Thanks for getting in touch and do please let me know how you get on.