November…

You would think that after ten months of doing this, the eleventh month would be a breeze. It wasn’t.

As winter approaches and the days get shorter, suddenly it is dark by the time I finish work, so I either have to shoot in the dark or race out for half hour during my break. Some adjustment is required.

The darkness…

When you’ve grown accustomed to shooting trees and water for much of the year, not having daylight to rely on poses a few challenges. You have to go looking for light where you can find it –for me that means dealing with the urban world again. Oh, joy.

Daylight this month has been reserved almost solely for weekends and early finishes, but sometimes things worked out.

Forcing yourself to shoot every day does at least make you think on your feet. There were of course days where I pretty much phoned it in and shot whatever was near my desk, but I’m quite pleased with this month’s haul.

What else has been going on…

Windows 11

Oh yes, Windows 11 came out. This is where I really struggle with the technology of today.

I really enjoy building my own PCs. I like to pick out the parts myself, pick out the case and spend time optimising airflow and all that fun stuff, but if you want a system that is supported by the vast majority of software, you have two options –Windows or to buy a Mac. Linux is great, but you very often roll the dice with a vast number of oddly named and invariably clunky applications –GIMP, QTPSGUI and a few others that spring to mind. Darktable is very good though.

However, I drifted away from Linux after too many failed updates that left me scrabbling around in the command line to get the window manager to load again. So, Windows or a Mac then.

Microsoft has been slowly and steadily turning Windows into an advertising platform for a while now. It makes quite a bit of money from Bing and the advertisements that appear on it. With Windows 11 there’s a whole panel of advertising that I find...irksome. You may think it harks back to the fun widgets you’d see on Vista, but no, it’s just ads. You get the feeling that every move you make is being sold to advertisers and it creeps me out.

Bearing in mind a retail Windows license is still anywhere from £100 to £200 depending on whether or not you want drive encryption, having to deal with ads on your desktop as well as app icons for things you haven’t bought from the Microsoft Store, I just can’t pretend that’s ok. So, I spent this month moving my Lightroom catalogue back over to my MacBook. Windows 11 also seems to lock up randomly. I’d give it a miss for now…

After December

I’m still thinking about what to do after this year ends. I’m still toying with the idea of a whole year of black & white, but then I’d also like a year of not having to shoot every day.

As I did this year, chances are I’ll make a spur of the moment decision on 1st January and then see where it takes me. So, on with December then…

305/365 - Daylight savings time...
All of November

August…

Where is the time going, eh? It’s September and we’re heading back into the darkness and well, slightly colder rain.

It also means that we’re closing in on 100 days to go until the end of this current photo-a-day project.

Keepers…

One big reason for forcing yourself to shoot every day is that whilst there will be days where you really can’t summon the energy to shoot, you do anyway and sometimes things work out.

I had many days where the motivation was in short supply this month, but on those days my subconscious seems to come up with a plan.

236/365 - Lemons

These lemons were the result of subconscious me deciding that shooting some stuff from the fridge on the surface of a mirror seemed like a good idea. Luckily I had three lemons in the fridge –rule of odds ahoy! Oddly, it seemed to work out ok.

I did get out for a few walks, but I’m a little bored of walking the same circular routes over and over. This month I took a walk around the other side of the tracks, onto the industrial estates and hunted for some new subjects.

217/365 - A Gloom with a View

Printing…

One thing I did do this month is get some photos printed. I have a store on Fine Art America where you can buy my photos printed on all sorts of things –including phone cases and shower curtains.

I had a large-ish print of what I’ve dubbed “Red Forest” sent out to me, rolled in a tube. From ordering it took around 4 days to arrive and is on some good quality paper. I’m quite impressed.

216/365 - Eating your own dogfood

On the subject of printing, a few photos from this month have been added to my inventory, which is always a good feeling. At least if I decide to stop shooting every day come January I’ll have banked some reasonable shots from all this.

With that said, even though some days feel like a bind, forcing myself to create “something” is good for my overall wellbeing, so I might stick with it in 2022.

Feel free to head over to the store and have a mooch around. In the meantime, on with September.

213/365 - Haunting, familiar, yet I can

March…

As months go March was pretty good, at least in the photographic sense. Spring was most definitely in the air and the sunshine we did have had a touch more warmth in it than we’d have in “winter” mode.

However, I’m already feeling as though I’m exhausting the points of interest within the neighbourhood. It’s been a year since we retreated to our homes to wait out the pandemic, but I get the feeling that it’s still not quite done with us yet.

068/365 - Yes, yes I know...
Yes, there was still a fair amount of water to shoot this month…

I’m starting to reach the limits of the equipment I have where water is concerned. It’s a nice problem to have, but it’s just too bright in the evenings at the moment. A tripod and an ND filter has been added to my shopping list.

Fortunately, there’s some water in some very dark places…

077/365 - Ghosts
Back to the mine…

I decided to return to the mine tunnel, the former Cwm Dws Colliery that I shot last month, but spent a bit more time setting up the shot using some flat rocks I found nearby. It is said that the tunnel goes back around 400m into the hillside, but the light only penetrates through the grate for a few feet. This was with a 30 second exposure too.

079/365 - Hall of Memories
Trinkets…

This month I also got the chance to take a look around a local carpenter’s workshop. Arthur has been keeping himself busy here for half a century already and his shed was filled with interesting pieces.

060/365 - Spring...

As we head on into April I am very much hoping there will be some travel outside the town that I live in, but if not, I guess limitations breed creativity, don’t they…

February 2021 – The Difficult Second Album…

As we headed into February, I could sense that there would be headwinds this month. Another month of not really going anywhere new, treading old ground both physically and metaphorically.

January gets a lot of flack for where it sits in the calendar. It’s yet another dark month straight after the trials of Christmas are over with. The trimmings are down, the credit card bill is a mile long, but there’s something about the promise of another year ahead. January is a time for reflection and planning, which is something I can get behind.

February on the other hand…it’s still just more winter. It’s still dark, but many of our grand plans from New Year may have already fallen by the wayside. February is the month you have to endure to reach March.

A niche…

Meteorological winter in Wales… Short days, invariably murky, usually raining, but every now and again the sun would break through and give us a glimpse of spring.

Sometimes you step out of the house wondering what to shoot, but lately I’ve been having great fun standing in streams, with a camera balanced on my feet. I sold my tripod in the great purge of 2018 and I’ve been improvising with a sturdy pair of boots ever since.

The making of 054/365

It doesn’t always work, particularly if you find yourself on uneven ground, but every now and again it does.

054/365 - Dam that river...

I do wonder if shooting parts of the various streams around here became a bit of a crutch after a while –I did take a lot of watery photos this month rather than try to come up with something original. Fortunately, these are images from this month I’d be quite happy to add to the store when this project is over –although probably before, to be honest.

I’m hopeful that as the year progresses we’ll start getting out of the neighbourhood a little more, until then…

046/365 - After the rain

History…

One bonus of living where I do is the number of relics that can be found here. There are old mine shafts, ventilation tunnels and all sorts here. I started delving into the local history back in the summer, curious as to what various ruins were that I’d see on my lockdown walks.

Some of the tunnels are blocked off, for obvious reasons, but there’s one that is still completely open, although I’ve not crawled that far into it. I don’t really have the nerve for confined spaces…

052/365 - Further into the mine
Garth Iron Mine
035/365 - The rules...

So, it’s already March and I’m a bit tardy putting this up. I’m hopeful that there will be a vaccination in my near future and I can start heading further afield. It would be nice to leave the village, if only for a short time.

Is it spring yet?

Hello again, world…

A couple of years ago I had a photo blog to my name, but then something happened that forced me to take a long hard look inside in the hope of finding a way forward.

I got rid of a heck of a lot of stuff, physically and virtually, including the photo site. Now it is back.

Here we’re going to talk photos, living intentionally, whilst shining a light on works of art and fiction that ask us the pressing questions of our day.

Oh, that sounds quite heavy. It’ll be fun, I promise…