I've worked at a University in Leicester for the last three years and a five minute walk from my building takes you to the calm waters of the River Soar. Like any British waterway there's an abundance of life there, a large number of Mute Swans, Canada Geese, incredibly noisy Black Headed Gulls but most interestingly of all two very large colonies of city pigeons. They're almost like anti-subject matter...
I've been there before. The expectation of a glorious season is around the corner and then follows weeks of rain, flat conditions, endless grey cloud and a limitless lack of atmosphere. The key is to be prepared to travel, follow the conditions when necessary but above all, be out there early in the season if it presents the opportunity.
After being incredibly jealous of the likes of Joe Wright, Valda Bailey, Tim Parkin and others who have all previously been on the John Blakemore book making and image sequencing workshop, I made sure I was eventually in line not to miss out on this wonderful opportunity to spend time with one of Britain's artistic treasures. I genuinely didn't know what to assume but I was told to "expect to examine your photography in terms you have never considered before". They weren't wrong.
As I look outside at an autumnal rain shower hammering at my window this morning, I'm reflecting on the fact that somehow I managed to create something in each month during the summer that I was actually happy with. Looking back now I'm not even sure how I managed that given that I set out with purpose to take some images on no more than three or four occasions if that...
What a great track, Freddie Mercury and Queen were the sound for a whole generation, but that's not what this blog post is about today... It may or may not have skipped your attention that I have finally broken free of Zenfolio as my photo and website host, switching instead to what you see right here which is a Wordpress website.
As I said in last month's Image Of The Month, the summer of 2015 has totally flattened my spirit some how. Autumn certainly can't come soon enough. I'm not great in the sun and burn far too easily, I can't stand biting insects which drive me to distraction and despite having an Infrared option up my sleeve the idea of actually using it had become uninspiring. When I get like this I often seek out a change of scenery and there's nothing I like more than the peace and tranquility of North Devon.
Although late spring was finished off beautifully with a trip to the Brecon Beacons, June fell somewhat flat for me with the conditions somehow sapping my enthusiasm. This is often the case for many landscape photographers in the summer months of course and even a trip to the Kent coast did little to lift my mood.
Those of you who follow this blog and my various social media posts will know that I declared 2015 to be my year of print. I was very serious about this objective - I've already completed a significant slip-cased A3 sized general portfolio of work with a fabulous high-end product from Hartnack & Co and I always had in mind to produce something a little more intimate to contain a project series like Backwater.
Once again I find myself way behind on these blog commitments! Writing my May pick of the month towards the end of June really needs to improve, though hopefully you'll have got something out of my three part Building A Print Legacy mini series which took priority instead. The final product is fantastic but once again the learning journey was significant.
In the final part of this series, and now I've sourced the protective hand-made outer shell and slip case from Hartnack & Co, I'm going to cover off the most important aspect of the portfolio - filling it.