Recently, over a family dinner, we were talking about photography and what to do with the photos we’d taken. Digital photography (for me) over the last 10 years+ has led to many unsorted photos being stored on my computer and rarely shared with anyone, which defeats the purpose of photographing. I want to share what I see with other people!
We made a quick trip to ‘the big city’ last weekend. We had various things on the agenda and achieved most of them, but there wasn’t as much time as I would have liked for photography, and unfortunately the best light seemed to be when we were on the move. When the warm morning light was picking out the trees in the urban environment, I would have loved to capture some of those last autumn leaves juxtaposed against the high rise buildings, but had to make do with looking, and thinking ‘next time…’. Its hard to see things you want to capture and know you don’t have time to stop this trip (and of course they won’t be there next time – the light will be different, or it will be a different season, or you won’t be back on the same street, or that person who caught your eye has moved on, or that interesting old building will have been demolished).
It reminded me of a quote I had on my old website:
Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished
there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again. – Henri Cartier-Bresson
On our one evening in the city we went for a brief walk as it was getting dark, to try to capture some of the atmosphere of the environment. As it was a cold Sunday evening there were only a few people on the street.
While photographing we heard sirens, and several fire engines blared their way past us. We didn’t realise until a few minutes later that they were heading in the direction of our hotel, a block or so away. Thankfully they didn’t stay around for long, so it must have been a false alarm.
Okay, so the holiday is over and I’m back at work…
Its been an especially busy week because my workplace shifted to a new environment on Monday. This involved a huge amount of organisation before the event, which I missed most of because I was on leave. I was back at work Monday morning though, a full-on day despite lots of extra staff and other assorted helpers. Then I had a few days at home before working a long day on Friday, a crazy busy day when the work just kept coming, and I wondered if I’d ever get to stop & eat! The most difficult thing seems to be orientating ourselves to the new environment and locating everything (‘Where is…??!!’ is a very common question). Activities which seemed simple to carry out before, now take much longer and are more stressful because of that. We are having to get used to the distances between places; somehow everything seems to be much further apart than in the old environment. There are different rules too, so we are having to develop some new routines, such as where to go for lunch. Others outside the workplace have not been as patient as we would like, in some instances. Yesterday evening I had a phone conversation during which I was asked “Don’t you people have anything there?!” when I requested a fax number.
All this with a high workload as we go into the winter months, and less staff than we really need to cope with it. Aaagh, I think I need a holiday! 😉
As you can see, the new area has some disadvantages at the moment, but I’m also finding some positives. It’s new and therefore more physically attractive. There are extra rooms which means people and equipment can be spread out more. Some things are in better places than they were in the old environment. It’s been purpose-built (or at least renovated) for us. The view is great. And the new staff bathroom is way more private than the other one was!
I remember our last workplace move, about 4 years ago. After struggling initially, we gradually became used to the changes and the new routines became second nature. Here’s hoping the same will apply – and we won’t be moving again for a long while, if ever.
Season of Change
Is it better to do what you have to do (first), or do what you want to do? The answer is obvious but its not so easy in real life. The days/weeks/months & seasons go by so quickly and there never seems to be enough time to do both. It frustrates me when there are chores (or other time-consuming ‘boring’ activities) that need to be done before you can do those creative things you look forward to (at the moment for me its photography, the quilting project, and blog posts I want to write). Of course when I procrastinate on the chores they take way longer and there is even less time for the other things. I’m still working on getting the balance right. I find it much easier to be relaxed and creative when I have a clear conscience!
Autumn is my favourite season – possibly because I was born at this time of year, I’m not sure. Every autumn marks the end of another year… I always want to photograph the trees changing colour and feel restless until I can get my annual ‘fix’. However I tend to put it off for various reasons and always leave it a bit late in the season to get any really spectacular colour (also the area we live in, having a milder climate and less deciduous trees than some, doesn’t have the vibrant colours you see in colder places). I still feel refreshed by getting out amongst the trees and capturing them on camera, even if the experience is better than the results.
Wind Blowing Leaves
Here’s the follow-up to my previous post on GOYA, as promised.
The Set Subject for the day was ‘Wood’ – interpreted any way we liked. Some of the group headed off to an area with old buildings, others were talking about a park with lots of lovely trees, so I fully expected some shots with gorgeous autumn colours to appear in the final entries.
John & I travelled about an hour out of town to attend an appointment with a client. When we got there we discovered they lived in a two-storey wooden house surrounded by bush. After we had been there a while and had a cuppa with them I explained about GOYA and asked permission to take some photos inside the house. We saw some of his wooden carvings and she told me a story about a tree near the house – when the fruit ripens at this time of year, the tuis get drunk on it and their birdsong goes all wonky – they make strange sounds amongst their musical notes anyway, but apparently they go way out of tune. I think she called it a strawberry tree (?).
After we left them we visited a local boat ramp with a wooden jetty and boat sheds. A man who lived up the hill saw us photographing and came down to talk with us – when we explained our subject was ‘wood’ he led us up the hill to a group of very tall trees and recommended we lie on our backs in the undergrowth and photograph upwards, which John proceeded to do (earlier he also lay full length on the jetty to get a different perspective; he is much more adventurous than I am). I was a bit lazier and just stood looking up with my camera, but had to lean on a tree to keep from falling over backwards. I think this is called ‘serendipity’ as we had no idea the trees were there.
We travelled a bit further looking for interesting ‘wood’ subjects, and found an old barn which John also got a great shot of, using a wooden fence to frame it (which I hadn’t even thought of). We saw lots of autumn colour but decided not to photograph any of it, as expected we would have some competition from those who went to the park.
After arriving home, doing some editing with Adobe Lightroom / Photoshop, and asking the opinion of other family members, we decided on our entries and emailed them through to Jason (GOYA organiser) on Sunday. Then we had to wait until our camera club meeting on Thursday night to find out how we’d done.
There were a number of great entries but apparently the majority really liked the trees, and so I won the Popular Choice vote! Jason tells me my prize is free coffee & cake at the next GOYA meeting, so I’m hoping he organizes it on a day I’m not rostered to work.