Cast Your Bread Upon the Waters……….

“And after many days, it will come back buttered” – This is a quote from Louisa May Alcott – author of Little Women….

My father used to quote this to me all the time, and to be honest I didn’t always get what he was saying.  As I’ve got older though, I’ve come to appreciate that it’s true…

For the last two months, and for one more (at least) – I said that I would give away 5 prints of anything on my website, to which the public have access, to the first five people that ask for them.

The motivation behind this was from a book I’d read, called ‘The Gift’,  and it talked about the art of giving.  I’d hesitated for quite a long time before I went ahead and made this offer – partly because I wasn’t sure that anyone would actually WANT anything (or that it could be seen as arrogance), and partly because I was afraid that they wouldn’t…. I wasn’t sure which was the worst….

So, for better, or for worse – I made the offer.  What really astounded me was the number of requests – and not just the requests, but the responses afterwards.

The images have been sent entirely to people I have had some contact with – people from camera clubs as far afield as the North West, and others (including individuals), more locally in Derbyshire, Leeds and Lincolnshire.  There has been no contact at all from complete strangers which is interesting in itself.

It was fascinating to see what people picked to have, and more fascinating still that three people said they wanted a particular sort of image, but left me to choose which one of that set to send them.  One person said that if I picked my favourite, then he would know that when he hung it on the wall….

Another talked of being a little ‘down’, and how much receiving something nice in the post cheered them up – and yet another sent me a photo of the image already in a frame, hanging on the wall, within a couple of hours of delivery.

All this has left me feeling cheered too – there are good things happening all around us, which maybe we don’t take enough notice of.   It’s not just about the giving (though I have to say I have enjoyed it very much), it’s about the response to an unconditional gift.

I realise that this is not something for everyone, but honestly I can recommend that everyone should try this – at least once.

I will do the ‘give-away’ again at the start of June, and then see how it goes from there.

In conclusion I also want to say a massive THANK YOU to all the people who have requested images – to those who have sent such lovely messages back afterwards – and to those who have sent me pictures of the pictures…..

To those who asked for images who were not in the first 5 – you have one more chance…. at the start of June….

Get your fingers ready…..

Thank you………

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Make a Picture, Take a Picture

It’s been chucking it down with rain today – so what better to do than work through a few images taken over the last week.

I’ve been away visiting a friend just outside Liverpool.  I’ve not been there for ages, and my friend is not a photographer.  She came out with me for a couple of walks, but was obviously not interested in what I was doing.  “Let’s go for a coffee…” she said.

Now, I did go to visit her, so the invitation to coffee, was not really that; it was translated loosely as “stop ignoring me, and lets go sit down and talk”…  we sat down and talked.

The next day, we travelled into Liverpool centre to visit the Walker Art Gallery, where there was a Charles Rennie Mackintosh exibition.  He’s a Scottish artist I’d not heard of, but I was assured it was worth the visit, and it was.  It was very much reminicent of the Art Nouveau / deco style.  I loved it.

What interested me too,  was the fact that the gallery welcomed, and in fact encouraged, photography.  Even in the paid exhibit section.  They were asking photographers to share their images on social media, though having looked at their Facebook Page, there doesn’t seem to be any way to do so.

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It was an experience to be able to sit still and gather images together – I’d had a shot like this in mind for some time, but needed the space to do it.

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People watching is one of my favourite pastimes too.  I think the bloke at the back might have spotted what I was up to though.

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Lost in their own worlds.  Totally absorbed in the drawings in the Leonardo Da Vinci section of the gallery.

In the few days of my visit, I was able to take quite a few pictures, and on my return home, make a few as well.

Here’s a final one of a windsurfer on the lake at West Kirby.

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Normal service will be resumed ASAP…..  Enjoy your week…

A Lesson in Humility

I have brazenly stolen the title of this blog piece from another blog that I read – to remind me what photography is all about, and how we (as photographers) sometimes forget that a lot of the images we take can be  mostly due to the actions of others.

When we go out as a group – we have to remember that sometimes it was one person who organised the trip, and without them we didn’t get to do the shoot. It was maybe a different person who drove  you there, and yet another who suggested that rather good lunch in a cafe / pub.

There are the mentors, the friends, the people who just encourage you – the ones who are there for you no matter what.  The ones who don’t always tell you that your photographs are ‘amazing’, but actually tell you to get a grip, and realise you’re not as good as maybe you think you are.

Plus the ones who tell you that you ARE in fact better than you think you are, and push you on your way.

These then are all the people I want to thank for my photographic trip through 2018:-  I can’t name all of them, and besides if I forgot one name, I’d be eating more humble pie than I could comfortably consume – but I’m sure you know who you are.

So….. to all my family (they have to come first after all), the friends, the mentors, the groups, the naggers, the pushers.  The drivers, cafe finders, sweet suppliers, makers of phone calls, companions, and supporters.  Models, make up artists, dressers and lighters.  The photoshop gurus, lightroom experts, camera tutors and computer experts.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Without you I couldn’t be the photographer person I am today.  I certainly wouldn’t have achieved as much as I did during 2018.

So, as this year comes to a close – remember that without family, friends and naggers behind you – the world would be a pretty dire place.

Take care everyone, and enjoy 2019…. because it’s coming, whether you are ready or not……

I’m ending with probably one of my favourite images taken this year. One that helped me achieve my ARPS in October.

See you on the other side……..

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