Bottled Enthusiasm

Last Autumn/Winter was a difficult time for my photography as I spent very little time producing new images or doing anything revolving around photography due to family commitments and renovations to the kitchen. I’ll admit at times it made me a little depressed not being able to get out to the coast or in the hills, but thankfully Helen (my suffering wife) booked a surprise weekend away in Northumberland for myself and her father to do some photography. The weather in Northumberland was pretty benign very little wind so weather fronts weren’t moving in/out regularly so waiting from breaks of magically light didn’t really happen (makes a change from the usual stormy weather I’ve encountered on previous visits). But that didn’t dampen my spirit as I was just happy to be out and about with my camera, and if anything it made me work a little harder to create something meaningful. Although the majority of my work was digital, I did manage to make some pinhole images (iPhone record photos – film not developed yet). That was back in March and was the start of my photographic year.

In April I knew there was ‘Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day’ so I checked the official date and it was to on Sunday 24th this year, so I thought about doing a little project with my 6 year old daughter Evie. In the week up to it we made our own 4×5 pinhole cameras out of card and a drinks can before heading to Saltburn on the Sunday for a few hours to make a couple of exposures each.

In May I’ll be heading to the Snowdonia National Park, North Wales with Andrew Atkinson, Andrew Gray and Damien Taylor to spend a few days doing some photography. These are the same guys I went to Scotland and the Isle of Skye with last year and we had an amazing time and fortunately we all enjoyed each others company so much we thought we’d make it an annual thing. Each of us has a very different approach to our work so do check out their websites. Location planning is very relaxed as we tend to see what the weather is like and what our thoughts are on the day ahead. After a few hand bag fights we’ll agree on a location I’m sure 😉

As you can see photographic opportunities have been few and far between so I’ve had to adapt my photography and embrace any opportunity I get, be it an impromptu couple of hours locally or a planned trip away. What I’m finding though is that I have what I like to refer to as “bottled enthusiasm”. I liken it to letting a puppy off the lead for the first time 😉 . For me its the storing up of creative thoughts between photographic sessions and when unleashed it has made me a little more bolder and dare I say creative with my work. I’m focussing more and more on the pinhole/alternative side of my photography, I’ve not ditched my DSLR as not everything works with a pinhole camera but this alternative style of photography for me is a detachment from reality and I’m enjoying my photography again without worrying about what others think. I’m now at a point where I should really get a notepad and jot ideas down as they are coming and going quick.

So some food for thought for photographers out there and hopefully some interaction on the subject (please use the comments link below the main header).

“Do you find you are more creative/productive when you’ve abstained from photography for a while or do you suffer from a creative block (missing photo-mojo)? “

I look forward to hearing some thoughts, thanks for the read.

P.S.: If you’re interested in participating in a workshop please check our latest one here


2 thoughts on “Bottled Enthusiasm

  1. I can’t answer the question at the end as I never stop taking photos, being hopelessly obsessed, and selfish to boot. But I enjoyed reading your blog and I empathized with the feeling of release and liberation you have from trying new creative approaches. I have been messing around with creative in-camera techniques and I’m loving it (though they’re not ready for sharing!).


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