April 2020

What to do in uncertain times?


As we look back on this first week of social distancing and to some self-isolation it’s really strange to think that this could go on for quite a long time. Immediate thoughts are with the protection and care of ourselves, family and friends, but we know there will be an end to it and it is important that we maintain a sense of optimism and look forward to life getting back to normal, whatever normality will be. What is all the panic-buying all about? There’s plenty of stuff to go round and I still can’t understand why people needed to hoard toilet rolls?

Toilet Roll
Toilet Roll – Who remembers when you got to this point and didn’t give it a second thought

What is apparent is that whoever we are, whether it’s a member of the Royal Family, or the Government, no one is immune to this virus. We all share a common vulnerability. And with that comes a realisation that we also share a common humanity. There has been a remarkable increase in kindness. Morton-On-Swale, the village where we live, ahead of the game I would say, organised a scheme to ensure that the old and vulnerable were able to access support from those of us more able to carry out a normal life. Hopefully when we emerge out of this period it will instil a greater sense of finding collective solutions and help us all strive for the common good.

Lowered industrial production and vastly reduced local and global travel means that the world’s carbon footprint will probably show a big fall this year. It might be these gains will be lost the moment that business as usual is resumed; or we may realise that business as usual is not the answer? This pandemic does give us a pause to consider that.

What am I doing in my spare time?

So what I am going to do with my enforced spare time? Well, apart from the garden (which is small) and as long as Boris allows us to continue doing so running, I have quite a large photographic archive to look through. Currently I have about 12,000 photos on my computer, that’s quite a small number I think compared to some photographers. What I am looking forward to though is being able to reprocess some of my old images using the techniques that I have learned recently.

Thanks must go to members of the Camera Club in Northallerton for their help and to professional photographers like Mark Banks and Carmen Norman who led workshops that I’ve been on in the last few months. I am conscious though that I can’t spend the next however long sitting on my computer. At point of writing this we are still allowed to leave our homes for exercise and I will on occasions take my camera with me when Anne and I go out for a walk. If, heaven forbid, we get even more locked down and are not able to even leave the house/garden, then I guess some macro / indoor photography might be in order. I thankfully still have a borrowed macro lens and would like to give that another go.

In my online shop a very large selection of Notecards are available and all prints have 20% off until further notice. These can be posted directly to anywhere and I can include a message if you wish them to be sent to any friend or family member. I will also be bundling groups of cards together and offering them at a ‘special’ price of 5 for £8 – watch this space! They’ll be available in the ‘Shop’ shortly.

Packed cards
Greetings cards and envelopes are cellophane wrapped – soon to be available in packs of 5 for £8 plus postage

Two trophies to polish!

The Camera Club season ended early due to the current situation and that also meant that we cancelled the Annual Dinner. This means that I will not be able to bask in glory as I get presented with not one but two trophies this year. I’m delighted to have won The Oak Plaque for the best Intermediate Print in our Annual Exhibition with ‘A flock of Seagulls’, see below and The Hudson Trophy for Intermediate Class Projected Images (that’s for scores built up over the season). So I need to buy some more duraglit! Am seriously pleased to have progressed this far and some of that is due to the help I mentioned above. I must say though that Congratulations go to all the other Trophy Winners, especially Chris Morton, who’ll need a very large SWAG bag once things return to normal and we have our Annual Presentation evening.

A flock of seagulls
A flock of seagulls

Each day I seem to get an Email from a company or organisation telling me how the most important thing for them at the moment is the safety of their staff and customers. I’m really grateful for the one I received from a company I bought a pair of socks from nine years ago, so glad they’ve got me on their priority list. Seriously, I do wish everyone good health through this challenging period of life – we will come through this and hopefully after it it will be a better world. Take care and thanks for reading all the way to the bottom!

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