I was brought up in the age of black and white film. I spent hundreds of happy hours perfecting my darkroom skills. Sadly redundant if not long forgotten.
Then I started processing my own transparencies. You could bulk buy the film, put it on your own spools and dowse it in chemicals and light at the end of the day. It was the days of Tri-X, FP4, Ektacolor and Kodachrome.
They were the days of manual focusing, light meters and the classic twin lens cameras as well as the ever developing slrs.
My point is, photography wasn’t cheap. You learned, as an amateur and as a professional photographer, to frame your shots because when you only had 12 pictures on a 120 film or 36 on a 35mm, every picture had to be worthy of that camera click. Today you can take a thousand pictures in a morning (if your batteries last) and I see so many people just standing and clicking away. They are like statues, rigidly upright. If they took a step to the left, bent their knees, even crouched down, if they worked at the composition then far fewer of their pictures would end up in their computer’s recycle bin and they would survey their day’s efforts with far more satisfaction.
BESIDE THE SEA
There are always pictures beside the sea whether it is in a placid or turbulent mood, at dawn or dusk, filled with people or forlorn.
This selection embraces Essex, Suffolk, Northumberland and Spain. More locations will follow, inevitably.
IN THE GARDENGardens, rarely mine, can be a joy to behold. Sometimes their designers create the most amazing landscapes while paying attention to the colour and position of the individual flowers. For the photographer they can be a nightmare and a treasure, trying to frame with the camera what the eye has already edited. A challenge.
Obviously there is Bamburgh – castle, village, Grace Darling, huge beaches… But then, within view one way there’s Lindisfarne and in the other direction Seahouses. Brilliant Berwick is just up the coast and if you venture inland there are houses, parks and amazing landscapes in every direction. With very, very few people.
The light is good. But with or without a camera you can indulge in the Goudy bustle of Barcelona, the quietly, gentle inland villages or the peopled but not packed beaches. Plenty to see and do, and just as good for those do nothing days. Did I say the light is good?
Some things don’t naturally slot in anywhere, and some things overlap. Sometimes you aren’t looking for a picture but you end up with one and you say, ‘Mmmm, I like that.’ So these are some of they.