Hello Dear Reader
Three Counties Open Photography Exhibition 2017
As some of you may have noticed, I have begun to blog about my interest or rather re-interest, in photography. I have found this to be another of those art forms that hundreds aspire to produce that one amazing picture in life. Like with my writing, I decided to take my photography a couple of steps further and decided to explore with the help of others.
I joined a local club to help improve both my confidence and my photography. One of the things I wanted to explore was taking the camera of automatic. Part of pushing myself in writing has been to place my work in the public domain. Hence the self-publishing route.
Now, I decided to push my photography that step further and enter my very first competition. So I placed three photographs into the Three Counties. I did not expect one to get in but was very pleasantly surprised to hear that two had been accepted. I don’t know how many entered but for me, it was a major success and another step forward.
I did not win anything other than my satisfaction that people will see two of my pictures and that I know I can take good pictures. So what next? Well, taking more pictures, pushing myself further, entering competitions and posting more online.
Hello Dear Reader
On a recent train trip, I was reminded of how pleasant it can be to just talk to someone. I don’t often travel by train but this was for a conference and the last leg was late at night. Overcrowded trains, an empty seat and not wishing to spend the last leg sitting on the floor again, I ventured to ask if could use the empty place. A polite yes, a smile and I sat down.
As a general rule, we human beings aren’t very good at communicating sometimes and almost find it awkward to do more than hello, excuse me etc. Over my many years, it seems, I have not had that problem. We did engage in a rather interesting conversation regarding people, culture, and certain people’s food choices. We did touch on how difficult people found it to talk particularly on trains or the underground. It reminded me of my very first trip to London aged around 11 years old.
I recounted the story, a school trip to the big city at a time when school trips were very different. At one point, the school party took a river trip down the Thames. Now, I was one who at aged 11 had no worries about saying hello to people and was watched over like by hawks. True to my exploring and inquisitive nature I moved forward to the front of the boat. There at the front was a woman and her husband enjoying the trip. She asked who I was, noting one of the teachers keeping close to me. I really can’t remember the conversation but I do remember having my picture taken. The reason I do is that a few weeks later after the trip, I received a letter from Canada. I did not know anyone in Canada or so I thought. Inside was a picture of me, this one.
The letter of the woman I met. It was my first pen pal letter so to speak. I was rather pleased with myself and took it to school to show everyone. for the next 15 to 20 years we were pen pals. I never met her again, many pen pals never met in the first place. I do remember how it ended. There was a final letter, note really, the handwriting was like that of a spider and I know she was very ill. I never heard from her or her family again, despite me sending two further letters.
We both chatted on the train exchanging stories and interests on a few things. Besides the pen pal story, we spoke about photography. I did mention about how I was enjoying black and white these days and mentioned that I had written a blog on the subject of trying to pass quality control. What I forgot, was that my photo on that blog was colour. What was pleasing was the comment from my fellow passenger. Almost like a new version of pen pal letters, the internet or this blog is acting like a letter.
So in some respects, it is a thank you for the enjoyable conversation, Also to honor a promise. I did say that I had some black and white pictures and here is one. It makes me think, are these blogs the new form of letters to ourselves and others?
Tagline: “Letters stand the test of time, no matter what media you use”
Posted in 2017, Conversations, Letters, London, Pen Pals, Photo Blogs, Photographs, Photography, Trains
Tagged 2017, conversations, London, Pen Pals, Photography, trains
Hello Dear Reader
Shoot the Moon
It has been a while since my last proper blog and here are a couple of reasons why. I have worked on a small guide to my first book, Zen and the Art of Timetabling. Christmas and the New Year appeared, as normal. Also, I have begun to rediscover the joys of taking photographs to the point I want to mix two of passions. Writing and photography do seem to go together. So much so, that for me after attending my first open shoot, I found myself writing two poems based on my night’s work.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and maybe that is true. Yet, I feel some pictures might generate a thousand stories or ideas. As I have mentioned in other blogs, using a picture can be a very good method to prompt a writer. As with writing, each photographer see’s something different in what he or she captures. Although there is only be 360 degrees in which some photos can be taken, each degree has thousands of interesting points.
Take the Moon. Over the past few weeks, I have taken the odd photo of the moon at various times of night. I am forever learning after all. Each time I take a picture I see something new. I can see a crater just a bit differently or the shadow from the Sun. The Moon does not change in reality, but as I photograph it, I see changes.
The same can be said of all photographs. Simply changing from colour to black and white, can have a huge impact on what you see. Black and white appears wrong but, there is a beauty in stripping away the layers to see even more details. I love black and white, the look of a building exposed of its colour just bare. There are those pictures which hide and tease, you want to see what is in the darkness. What is in the darkness, can we ever find out? Do we want to find out?
We like to see pictures of the Moon. It creates a magic sometimes, the mystical thoughts and dreams for some. It can be photographed as the background to a scene, passing behind a snow-capped mountain or wandering above a deep red dessert. It is just one of those things to see.
As said, a picture says a thousand words, so here is my picture of the Moon or one of them. Enjoy.
Tagline: ‘Blue Moon… or saw me standing alone..’
This gallery contains 5 photos.
My first Gallery