I have always loved taking photographs since I was a child and was rarely without a film camera growing up, documenting various phases in my life and those people around me. I always remember playing around with an old Box Brownie that my parents had long finished using, and was fascinated by how the image would appear upside down in the view finder…I never understood until more recently how this worked!
It was only in 2001 that I acquired my first digital ‘zoom’ camera which at the time took the most amazing images, but at 3 megapixels and the zoom not actually getting me that close to my subjects, which at the time was predominantly wildlife, I opted to invest in a digital SLR camera ‘like the professionals’ used with lenses that ranged between 18-300mm. So in 2009 my journey into photography really began to take off.
I largely taught myself how to use my camera although I learned a lot of skills by taking part in wildlife photography workshops using manual controls and took with me advice I still use now. I have picked up a lot valuable tips and advice by talking to other photographers (both amateur and professional) and began gaining confidence in taking my camera around with me.
Enrolling on an evening A Level course in Photography in 2011 made me fall in love with the film camera all over again and use a variety of 35mm SLR and medium format cameras.
Using a manual film SLR camera forcibly teaches you how the controls and settings work together to create the perfect image in the right environment…you haven’t got a viewing screen or a delete button and with just those 10-36 exposures you have to become aware of what you are doing so that you don’t waste a shot!! By learning to work manually from an analogue camera I now understand to a greater level how to work my digital SLR camera and so you will regularly see me holding two cameras out on a shoot!
In 2014 I completed a full time Foundation Diploma in Art and Design and started to experiment with mixed media creative art and photography which has opened my eyes to a whole new world of ideas.
Viewing life through a lens, I have not only learnt more about the world around me but I have learnt a great deal about myself too and as each day passes I am learning more and more about who I am. Photography and art has taught me a lot about life and the wasteful society that we have become and I appreciate the little things a whole lot more!
A Reflection of your Heart
Watching Me, Watching You…
Since I began posting for 30 days wild my regular walks to work have become a lot more interesting. I still take the same route through the park gardens but I have a new heightened awareness of what is around me.
Unfortunately I did not have a camera with me to document my journey in pictures (N.B. that’s an idea for another day!!) so the image attached to this post was actually taken this evening as I watched the garden birds ‘sharing’ the feeders. I have a background in animal behaviour and I have always wondered while watching animals who exactly is observing who and this example summed up my day of ‘observations’.
My observations began while walking down the hill towards the park, I was suddenly aware of a rustling across the road and out popped a squirrel from an overgrown driveway. It started galloping along the footpath parallel to me and then crossed the road, both of us arriving at the gateway to the gardens at the same time. It seemed really wary so I took a few steps backwards to allow some space for it to pass and it paused to give me a little look (I’d like to think it was thanking me…) and then clambered down the steps and disappeared into a garden.
From the moment I walked down the steps I started to become aware of all the sights and sounds before me, and despite initially thinking the park was empty it was actually breathing with life…wild-life!!
On the way through I saw four squirrels (foraging and scurrying around tree trunks), a family of wood pigeons, three Mr Blackbirds and two Mrs Blackbirds (separately scuffing around in the undergrowth of trees) , eleven feral pigeons (feasting in the distance on some food a passerby left for them), a jay (flying from tree to tree), three magpies, two crows, several gulls swooping overhead (always optimistic), a common blue butterfly, two smaller unknown butterflies dancing and spiraling beneath a tree.
I also noticed the shapes of all the leaves in the trees, the different shades of green and silver, the smell of the elder flowers, the smell of cut grass, the long grasses swaying in the breeze in a wild area and the amazing sounds of park life!!
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A Flower Doodle…
Coloured in doodle…
As a child I was never far from a pad of paper and colouring pens, always doodling and copy drawing, but lately I have realised how detached from drawing and colouring I have become.
I am not the worlds best at drawing, you only have to do a quick search on the internet to see the amazing talent that is out there, but I enjoy being creative and it is great therapy to get lost in a piece of art, however simple!!
So after a busy day at work I decided instead of coming home and feeling stressed about my day I would sit and do some wild doodling!! Whenever I doodle it is always flowers that I find at the end of my pencil or pen and today was no exception.
I am not really sure what inspired this doodle, I doubt any of the flowers are that true to life but on reflection the diversity of the flowers growing from a single stem and grounded from the same roots are symbolic of me as a person and the diversity of life…
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