Friday, August 20, 2010

The re-return!

So when I said I was back I'm not entirely sure I was. I certainly had valiant intentions that I would catch up on the ginormous pile of un-posted photos, the recollections of numerous unrecorded tasty escapades, banish the swinging Japanese sploggers that were haunting my comments and get my blog bang up to date. So where do I start on exactly how badly I managed all of this? Firstly an update on my unwanted Japanese visitors who are attempting to arrange their dubious rendezvous via the curious medium of highjacking the comments on selected postings of mine. And I don't like it! I tried asking them to stop nicely and in probably broken maybe even incomprehensible Japanese. And finally I just have to vet all comments going forward to stop them appearing amongst my genuine comments. This has not stopped the messages however nor made the tiniest dent in the flow of them to my inbox and at least once a day I receive some curious missive that if I do bother to feed into one of those instant machine-read translators, I generally raise a quizzical eyebrow and even occasionally a slight blush!
So not entirely curtailing that little avenue of pleasure has been one niggle but I'll just have to accept it and not let it taint my blog.
I've been trying to think why I have been so incredibly lax, what has filled all those moments that I used to blog? And sadly I can't report some wild tales of constant partying and decedent excesses. I think it probably started with me getting a new camera obsensively to facilitate more creative food photographs, which apart from the obligatory scenic shots whilst on holidays seem to be the mainstay of my picture collection. But this camera was clever! It had all sorts of new manual modes that I'd never really had to come to grips with before And clearly if I was going to take my photography to a new level I needed to get me some education. So with such thoughts in mind I hit the Internet armed with a handy guide to photographic workshops and holidays conveniently attached to an arty black and white photography magazine and before long I had a weekend booked in Norfolk. Okay no one seemed to be offering food photography, the choice seemed to be portraits, scenery or Photoshop. Even though I'd never really considered scenic photography I was more interested in this than portraits. I read the list of necessary equipment, saying "okay, why not" to the tripod but balking at the alarming list of waterproof hiking boots, rucksacks, waterproofs and all manner of all weather gear. Now I realized why I'd always loved food photography, unless visiting the birthplace of a particularly photogenic lettuce or checking out the tempting displays at the local farmers' market most of my photography had been indoors. The place where I'd never needed to don waterproof trousers or strap on a pair of clumping hiking boots. Clearly this photography lark was going to demand a whole change of lifestyle. I was able to procure some not too alarming black hiking boots but really felt that a weekend 'holiday' in Norfolk didn't mean I was going to abandon my principles and adopt a kagoule or some other hideous hooded anorak affair. No that was a step too far for this diva!
Well the weekend shooting windmills and cavorting bluebell woods was an eyeopener. The instructor turned out to an internationally renowned landscape photographer and the other students were very far from needing instruction and turned up positively festooned with bursting rucksacks, bags and let's say 'fully tooled'. I had the diddiest little camera bag with barely nothing more than a polarizer and neutral graduated filter (I hadn't entirely ignored the list of necessary equipment when venturing forth into landscape photography!) I also had the tiniest of camera compared with the beasts they were all armed with. When I made the decision to upgrade my beloved Leica, I realized that size really is everything for me and if I tooled myself up with a Canon or Nikon I'd be lusting after a couple of extra lenses, a tit and shift and other geeky camera-holic paraphernalia. So I got a more grown up Leica, not one of those the price of a small car but with the manual mode I need, an abhorrence of interchangeable lenses and frankly rather gorgeous styling! But my new little Leica baby D Lux 4, even with a handy attachment to allow a filter or two looked like a toy amongst all the big boys. But the skinniest of chilies can pack a fine punch and my gorgeous little oh so black camera has hidden talents.
I'm still getting to grips with abandoning the safety net of the set scene modes and walking of the wild side of totally manual but I do know all about apertures, shutter speeds and ISOs now.
All this immersion in all that is photographic has kept me away from blogging, it wasn't my intention when transitioning from a point and shoot plus the work stuff that invariably gets in the way but I can only promise to do better.
I have been so flattered recently by how many times I've been asked about my blogging dry spell and if I will return to it. If you're reading this you'll already know the answer to the second question. I just needed the impetus and a break from the nagging inbox. I'd also rationalised that furnishing myself with a shiny iPad would give me the tools to write more and this theory is being put to the test. I'm writing this on the train at the beginning of my holiday, I have composed this post in a writing app (necessary if you feel the urge to write when the Internet is unreachable), a typography app to add a bit of visual interest and the ministrations of a blogpress app to connect all the dots. I even got a dinky Apple gadget that allows me to upload the pictures I'll take from my lovely new camera into my iPad and a couple of editing apps to help with the inevitable white balancing (the bane of poorly lit restaurant shooting) so really, there's no reason for me not to blog. With that in mind I'm crossing my electronic fingers and seeing if these ramblings will be launched successfully into the ether.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


jrussell said...


J said...

Oooh if that's who I think it is, old neighbour, where in the world do you live now?

Anonymous said...

So glad you are back. I check your blog often and was frankly a bit worried about you!

Please continue blogging. :-)