Retrospective: A Difficult Year
It’s been a difficult and miserable year so far. Not for me. But for so many others. And it continues unabated at the moment.
I’m very fortunate to be able to choose to live in a beautiful area, and to be able to structure my professional life accordingly, which has remained largely unaffected.
To so many people who continue to support my photography work, and my YouTube channel, despite many, I know, struggling with the way things are, I genuinely hope that you and yours stay safe and well.
Now whilst my usual level of activity has of course been significantly curtailed, I’ve still been able to enjoy some photography over the last few months, and sometimes even with the old video thrown in for good measure! But as I usually carry a camera when I’m out and about even if I’m not going specifically to make photographs, opportunities often present themselves and it’s good to be able to take advantage when they do.
As I was planning some trips out for when the current second lockdown finishes for us in Wales, it occurred to me that I have quite a number of images which you may not have seen if you don’t follow me on social media. I’ve been lax in sharing them on my website. So I thought I would set up this “retrospective” of the lockdown months and the intervening period during which we still had varying levels of restriction.
I do hope you enjoy these images, and with just a few notes as to how they came about.
Going forwards, it’s my intention to post images more frequently within this blog section of my website when they aren’t created as part of a video release. If you’re not keen on social media perhaps consider signing up to my website newsletter below, and I’ll drop you a line when there’s anything new to see.
And now: on with the show … 😊👍
Dinorwig Quarry, Llanberis
On the last weekend before the first lockdown was announced, we were under restrictions but allowed out whilst doing this new social distancing thing. I visited the slate quarry at Dinorwig with a view to making a video, but in the end just decided to enjoy the photography. Not knowing that just 72 hours later we would be locked down through into the summer.
This image is from the first of the year’s supermoons, at the begining of April. The result encouraged me to try for the next one.
I videoed my shoot of the second one in May, after some planning which came off!
In the early part of lockdown I was able to keep busy producing videos, mostly from within walking distance of my front door. But as the weeks wore on I was conscious that viewers would soon get bored of the same locations. So as the spring weather warmed up I found myself going further afield by bike.
Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey
Spring days on the island were almost surreal. The absence of visitors, especially at the usual busy iconic locations allowed for some enjoyable time out of the house.
Local Coastline, Anglesey
As the rest of the UK was preparing to come out of lockdown we continued in Wales to be limited to our immediate locality. My motivation to produce videos was now waning significantly.
Although, I was still very much enjoying my photography, possibly as a result of making far fewer videos. My camera accompanies me on dog walks in any case.
STAYING LOCAL IN ABERFFRAW
When our lockdown was finally removed in mid July, we were suddenly inundated with hordes of visitors who would normally no doubt have holidayed abroad and saw Wales as an option for a summer break.
And so the mountain locations which would normally feature heavily on my channel during the summer months were completely out of the question. For me, lockdown almost continued on a voluntary basis as travelling any distance from my home was a particularly unpleasant experience.
We were simply swamped with people who don’t normally holiday here. Our experiences of inconsiderate visitors was something of an eye-opener for what the good people of the Mediterranean regularly have to put up with from a minority of us!
Holme Fen, Cambs
Finally we could travel, and a day out with my photographer and videographer best friends was a very welcome trip. We convened in a silver birch woodland with lovely conditions. It was a great get-together, long planned during lockdown and now finally feasible.
Whilst the others videoed our day out for their YouTube channels, when I’m out with friends I’m seldom motivated to make videos. Preferring instead to take them as opportunities to socialise and concentrate on my photography.
So even though at this point in the year I was making very few videos, I still wasn’t really inclined to reverse that trend.
September & OCTOBER
Around Anglesey & Snowdonia with some photographers of generous spirit!
As autumn started to show the first hint of colour, I was still disinclined to make videos. In retrospect I wonder if the newfound freedom to enjoy photography on its own, may mean that my YouTube channel will continue to be quite a sporadic exercise, as I simply don’t have any interest in churning out content for its own sake.
I’d rather leave it until I feel motivated to create something worthwhile, and then do it with more dedication and to the best standard I can manage.
I was now finally able to start working with tuition clients again. I had a huge log-jam of people who had booked during the course of the year and it had been necessary to postpone everything.
In September, I started working through the backlog, and thoroughly enjoyed my time with a diverse range of interesting people. They came to this area from far and wide, luckily enjoying some great conditions over the last couple of months.
I have a strict policy under normal circumstances that I only carry a camera on tuition sessions and workshops in case I need to demonstrate anything. It’s always about my clients getting the most from their time with me, not about me taking pictures (and especially not about me making videos). Some other photographers I know of seem to think that it’s okay to carry on as normal despite somebody investing in time with them. I don’t know how they sleep at night!
But the generosity of my clients over the last couple of months has been touching. Since we have had such great conditions they have been more than happy for me to grab the odd image. Perhaps they share the feeling of having become somewhat stir-crazy this year!
So I will leave you with a small gallery of some highlights of trips out with some wonderful people …
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