Looking at oneself is always an odd experience. Not in the fleeting way you glance at yourself in the mirror early morning when you’re brushing your teeth, but more when you really look, stare at yourself… You see things you know are there. And of course a camera makes you look in the most excoriating way. As a photographer, I quite dislike seeing myself in photographs. Too uncomfortable. Intimations of mortality and all that. Better to photograph the next generation, the youngsters. They might dislike being photographed (in Charles’s case, rather intensely), but at least they look good!
I did a shoot at a theatre company the other day. I loved the eagerness of the actors – the faces of the future. Here they are, blimey they look so young!
Studio work is really hard, and I’m crap at it. There’s too much to think about. Lights, pose, camera, focus, exposure, nerves. Fingers and thumbs. I’m a beginner and it shows.
Soft focus (exposure cock up)
Wispy hair in the way
That tattoo should be readable,…
rescued through post processing
horrible catchlight on the nose
Bloody hell, no wonder she was giving me the look. Amateur. Never mind, I will get better with practice. (I hope….). Forget these, and check out a master, here.
I went to visit my Dad this weekend. Bit of a crisis, Mum had to go into hospital, so I zoomed up the A1 to York to give my Dad a hand.
A portrait in the garden
Whenever I visit, we always walk around the garden. A chance to stretch the legs and get some fresh air. My Mum’s garden really, certainly the flowerbeds are – she put years into those deep borders. But the areas that catch the eye now are the orchard and the meadow. The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is almost upon us.
The old bench
This is a garden that has matured and settled into a slow rhythm. It has its secrets and surprises.
An angel in the undergrowth
That slow rhythm is wonderful though: Flowering, ripening, setting seed, rebirth. And memories, gardens always have lots of memories.
My Mum came back from hospital. We were relieved and thankful. Life goes on.
hands that have held each other for over 40 years
Last weekend I visited my Mum and Dad back in York, and my Uncle was there too. A long planned weekend, a chance to tell some of the old stories and record them for the family files. Do we all reach that stage when it suddenly seems important to capture these stories and save them for future generations?
Good stories they are too. A wealth of happy times, full of laughter, excitement and quite a bit of travel. The dining table has heard them all before, and probably will again. But where else should you tell family stories apart from round the family dining table!
Mum doesn’t really contribute too much now. Several strokes mean she finds it hard to join in. But she is present, and if she doesn’t listen, she does at least hear. And that makes her part of the stories too.
Uncle in full flow
An uncle is always good for a riveting story, all the more riveting when tongues are loosened by fine wine (Gigondas, Domaine du Cayron, awesome!)
Listening and hearing
That arm doesn’t work, the legs have given up, and the wheelchair is a bitch, but Mum’s still present and we hope she hears the stories too.
And occasionally an awakening and some shared laughter by all. A ray of sunshine.
Still time for laughter