Photography and me

This probably won’t be the most coherent blog I’ve ever written, I am struggling with my health at the moment. I miss writing though, but it feels hard. I will in the future post a better blog about what photography means to me, but for now please bear with this filler of a post.

Taking photos has always been a huge part of my life – my Mum bought me a camera when I was around 6 years old (pre digital) where I experimented in Snowdonian mountains taking photos of sheep and cutting the heads off of various family members. I’ll never forget the excitement of getting my photos developed (the less said about the disappointment of when things went wrong the better!), I suppose in a way it meant more when you did get things right, it somehow had more of a feeling of hard work than digital photography does. As a teenager/young adult I got myself a digital SLR and progressed onto arty black and white shots, also enjoying taking photos of graffiti (before it became cool) and skate boarding. When digital came in I was hugely into music so took lots of gig photos for various bands, never expecting a payment, just enjoying being there with a focus of something to do, to take away the anxiety of needing to socialise. I suppose a camera has always been my social crutch, if I have my camera I can throw myself into that, it takes away the anxiety.

These days I have used my camera to photograph and learn about nature, I’ve taught myself the names of many plants and mushrooms through looking them up by my photos when I have returned home. I also love taking macro (close up) photos, the detail of things fascinates me, as does approaching things via unusual angles. I go caving in my spare time (when well) and often delay the group trying to get the perfect close up of a formation. I love to share my images to inspire others, some may misinterpret this  as a need for validation, but it’s the last thing I seek, I don’t gain enjoyment from praise by others, I just want others to see what I see and to feel they want to get out and enjoy it too. I’ve donated photos to various community causes including an exhibition to celebrate an open space under threat, a caving exhibition, community groups and an arts project. Over the last 2 years I’ve created a display for an art exhibition within a fantastic community festival, I’ve followed the same theme of celebrating the open space which is next to the community, Stoke Park. This year due to being unwell I’ve not had the chance to print or display anything. Someone did take the time to contact me to ask for some photo files in case they had time to print and display them, which I have done this evening. It’s likely I am too late, so I am sharing here for others to take a look at – the choice I had this year was limited, which shows how hard things have been with my mental health – I’d normally have hundreds to choose from, but I’ve found it so hard to get out to the place I feel most comfortable at times. I am hoping it’s food for thought in terms of trying as hard as I can to get better now I am being offered a helping hand.

Please click through the slide show below for the photos I’ve submitted.

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