I’m not sure why, but this summer was just way too painful. When I was a kid it’s all we lived for; long warm days to play tennis, riding bikes for miles or endless hours on a crowded beach, all activities to definitely look forward to… Here I am in my mid-forties and I hate it. That can’t be right can it!?
As a landscape photographer I thought I’d found the solution for the harsh light and endless green of summer: infrared. Although early spring was rather nice for infrared this year by the time it got to the summer months my interest had wained somewhat and the depression of summer set in. Ridiculously early sunrises, uncomfortable heat and biting insects sapped my enthusiasm altogether in the end and the odd day out here or there did little to change my mindset and spirit. I tried to immerse myself in printing portfolios and creating something tangible instead. It helped a bit but without simply having the right conditions and the cool morning air for company it felt like serious withdrawal from the world.
It was therefore with some considerable glee that autumn finally broke on 19th September with two days of cold misty starts and glorious light, I’m pleased I forced myself to be out there like a fisherman on a riverbank waiting for his passing catch. I was so determined to get something I liked from last weekend that there was a danger I was going to slip into a darker cloud of depression artistically if it didn’t deliver. I mentally willed the conditions to behave. And so it was, Warwickshire on the Saturday and the Peak District on the Sunday, both paid dividends in a different way, but the truth was it wasn’t until the end of two half days of shooting that I felt like my vision was being restored to anywhere near where it had been previously. I was badly out of practice. Clearing your head of all doubt, “advice” others have given you and the general noise of everyday life is not always that easy. Landscape photography for me is instinctive but equally requires careful focus so it feels good to have some confidence again going into the next few weeks.
It might all be misty trees again, much to the annoyance of some it seems, but there is something incredibly uplifting about being in the wide spaces of the Peak District, a place which certainly comes to life by about 11am but often devoid of humans during the hours around sunrise. The one scene that really pulled me in was Autumn Wood – it will probably end up being my Image Of The Month choice but from those minutes onwards I knew I was back in the zone again…
A couple of others from the weekend which help to lift the gloom;