I longed for real silence, the kind you can’t find
but stumble upon, in some cabin,
on a lake without a moon, where you hear the cigarette burn
and the candles flicker
and your mind dances alive to the symphonies in the black…
Shot on my Hasselblad 500c/m using Kodak Tri-X film
A man who lives with nature is used to violence and is companionable with death. There is more violence in an English hedgerow than in the meanest streets of a great city
– P D James
Oh my God, what if you wake up some day and you’re 65 or 75 and you never got your memoir or novel written;
or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy;
or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life,
of imagination and radical silliness and staring into space like when you were a kid?
Its going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.
You could break my heart into
And I’d still pick them up
and put them back in your hands….
Wow, 2014 has been such a whirlwind of activity and inspiration for me. I still have a massive passion for Photography as a visual art, but I very rarely seek creative inspiration at ‘Photography’ sites instead I enjoy drawing influences from Instagram, Pinterest and concept magazines like Kinfolk. Instagram is very underrated, there are some amazingly talented creatives sharing ideas and images here. I am not a professional or commercial photographer, not would I choose to be, I love the intuitive opportunities offered to me living in The Lake District, who could fail to be inspired living in one of the most beautiful places in the world, as an amateur photographer or as I prefer ‘A Crazy Enthusiast’.
Next year the roller coaster of travel is ongoing, in February I am returning to Iceland, I chose to return in February as it is the ‘snowiest’ month of the year. April sees me heading north to Sanna Bay on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula in Scotland, which is the most westerly point of the UK. Swapping the turquoise sparkly Bay of Sanna behind me I am going home to spend a week in August, photographing the beautiful Northumberland coast. In September I am flying solo across the pond to Boston, USA for a 10-day trip. I have also booked accommodation on Cape Cod for a few days to photograph the Cape Cod National Seashore.
I want to be written by you,
in the edge of your soul,
a footnote –
of what you love
in this earth…
The moment that you feel that
You’re walking down the the street naked,
exposing too much of your heart and your mind
and what exists on the inside
showing too much of yourself.
Thats the moment
that you may be starting to get it right…
You can be in love with one thousand views and skylines and souls and minds at once.
Don’t apologize for your burn, your passion, or your enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm propels the world.
– Victoria Erickson
You are not delicate
You are skinny dipping at 2am.
You are the reverberating echoes of a curse word
Ricocheting off the steeply sloping sides of a mountain.
You are snow on bare skin
In the deepest depths of winter.
You are the heat of a wildfire,
The rage of a storm.
Delicate things are pretty – cute, even.
But you are not delicate.
You are wild and lewd and unpredictable.
You are breathtaking.
You are beautiful.
Last week my friend and I walked up to Angletarn Pikes and Angle Tarn which is part of the Eastern Fells of the Lake District. There was plenty of low cloud, mist and heavy rain to keep us company, especially on the descent, but this coupled with soft diffused light, creates a beautiful photograph. This is Oxford Crag, shot on our ascent from Patterdale, I just love the compression that the mist creates, I also edited this keeping the look soft so that it looked classic, timeless and rather romantic.. Brilliant hike despite of getting soaked.
I started writing this blog in the summer of 2011, at that point I had been shooting digitally for two years. Most of my images from 2009 and 2010 have been crunched and blotted from memory, but that’s okay, taking lots of naff pictures is a bit of the journey and it’s still fun experimenting. You may notice that hundreds of my older posts have been getting crunched too, this leads nicely on from the image I showed you yesterday and my quote about continuously innovating. I like to do that very much, but I didn’t want some of my best and favourite images to just disappear. So over the next few weeks I will be looking into the vaults and showing you some older work, but showing you them with a fresh makeover.
So the summer of 2011, I was standing on the west coast of Cumbria at Allonby Bay and I took this shot which I entitled ‘Into the Blue’ on a really gorgeous summers day. You may remember that I was exclusively shooting in portrait orientation early on and I was drawn to blues and golds – that hasn’t changed. I do love the layers that shooting in portrait emphasises. The other two sunset images were from opportunities arising from puppy walking duties, I live in a high/hilly area of town and we get a good view over to Lakeland.
This is where I live, Penrith in the Lake District. I haven’t shown this image previously as I am not keen on images where there is lots of evidence of man-made structures and industrialisation, but in the context of this post I think it represents Penrith well. I live in what was, a small market town now is fast becoming a quite large township, the gateway to The Lakes. I am grateful every morning when I see (a partial) view like this from my bedroom window, that my back yard is, the eastern mountains of Cumbria and I live in such an astoundingly beautiful place.
I go to sleep alone, and wake up alone. I take walks. I work until I’m tired.
I watch the wind play with the trash that’s been under the snow all winter.
Everything seems simple until you think about it.
Why is love intensified by absence?
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger.
I was asked by one of the editors at WordPress to participate in a round table article for The ‘Photography 101’ series on The Daily Post. You can read this article here. Part one is photographers discussing our workflow, part two is coming early December. I will share the link once it has been published. In the meantime I am praying for some good snowfall in the Lakes like the winter of 2010…
I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race – that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.
None of those things, however, came out of my mouth. All I was able to do was turn to Liesel Meminger and tell her the only truth I truly know. I said it to the book thief and I say it now to you. “I am haunted by humans.”
The Book Thief, Narrated by Death, written by Markus Zusak
Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house…..Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully. – Norton Juster