I am now 56 days into lockdown and I am a week into a three week furlough period from my day-job. I started my YouTube channel to learn new skills (making movies, learning to talk to camera) and to begin to get down, if not on paper, some of my ideas about what I have learnt on my ‘journey” (gag!) as a photographer in the past few years. I bought my first digital camera in 2006 (some 20 years after my first SLR camera was stolen) and I spent the first number of years trying to work out how to take photographs with little or no effort, studying or training. My hit-rate (number of decent pictures as a percentage of all pictures taken) was poor. In recent years, I have upgraded cameras, and undertaken some study (reading books, watching, videos) and have begun to understand how to take better images and how I might maximise the impact of those images in the digital darkroom. I now have an inherent passion and desire to make the best pictures that I can; to justify my investment in equipment, and my investment in myself. As somebody once said “anyone can have a world record, but only you can can have a personal best”. I am working hard to being the best photographer I can be. In short my hit-rate is getting better, and my tolerance of poorly images is reducing as I analyse why a particular image does not work.
As I try to distill my learning, I am producing a number of entry level tutorials for Lightroom (and eventually Photoshop), that were I brighter 20 years ago, I might have benefitted from. Each video will only be three or four minutes. This one introduces the series and talks about why the histogram is important and how to use it. I hope you enjoy it.
So I just read back through my reflections on 2018 and my thoughts and plans for 2019. I can’t believe this year is already six months old. I have been chasing my tail perhaps more than I have in the past couple of years. The beginning of the year saw three long haul trips to Turkey, Oman and Johannesburg. Each was fun and had new adventures – I got to visit Soweto and Nelson Mandela’s home in the township.
All three trips were also long and tiring and hard work in preparation and during the trips. For my birthday I spent well needed time walking on the SWCP. April saw Sarah and I make a 10 day trip to India. My first time to this amazing, enormous country. I got to see the Taj Mahal and other incredible palaces. I got to see poverty and people living simply both in towns and villages. The heat is remarkable and unyielding. The hotels and tour bus offered air conditioned relief and we were very conscious of living “behind the wall” – the guided existence of people living in relative luxury. I did get sick at the end of the trip and the exhaustion of that trip plus the three earlier in the year really hit me. I then had a week where I spent a night in a tent in Southwold in beautiful weather a few days in rainy and wet Cardiff and then a few days in my flat in Cornwall where I got to bodyboard and soak up some lovely weather. All of a sudden I was back into work mode with two back to back trips to Hamburg with planning for Amsterdam next week and then some more time marking theses in August back in Cornwall.
All in all I feel like I’ve stuffed a year of adventures into six months and not sure if I’m coming or going but, on the whole, I’ve had an amazing start to the year. As for my New Years resolutions. I have read some good book but haven’t done so well with keeping up my weekly walks or lost any weight. Recent events also meant that I have been doing more like five day rather than four day weeks. As for photography, I’ve taken a few nice photos on my trips and some very good gig photos. India was not an tripod friendly location but I managed to get some good shots there too. But on the whole I don’t feel I’ve progressed my photo business as well as I would have liked. I do, however, have nice gigs coming up with Stageworks graduation show and a wedding at the end of August. I am excited about a trip to Bali in September and hopefully a quieter end to the year to consolidate and relax a bit