We spent the Easter weekend in Newquay, on Cornwall’s wild Atlantic coast. While the others surfed, I explored the rocks on Fistral Beach. Although the day we had set aside for exploring further afield was rained off, I had two lovely afternoons with my camera and long exposure filters. Fun.
I was rummaging around in an old hard drive today and came across this forgotten image from 2009. It reminded me that I have been promising myself a return trip to the American Southwest for a long time. Monument Valley and a full moon; a magical experience. I didn’t really know what I was doing with the camera back then; I’d love to have another go now.
Fields of oilseed rape are in full bloom right now.
Oilseed rape is not a subtle crop. Each Spring it blazes out its presence in the English countryside, briefly turning this ‘green and pleasant land’ into something far more extroverted.
I took the opportunity to capture some of its moods twice last week, near Wisley in Surrey and the village of Northchapel in West Sussex. It was interesting how the colour changed with the light, from acid yellow to something far more mellow, with a hint of amber.
The farmer of this field has sown his crop right over one of the many public rights of way that criss-cross the meadows here.
If you are not a fan of swathes of yellow in the countryside, you might be interested in this news item from last year, although after seeing the artist’s impression of how the future of oilseed rape farming could appear, you might feel that yellow is not so bad!
I am delighted to have been accepted into Landscapes by Women, a collective of inspiring photographers with a growing presence in the industry. My fellow members not only have strong portfolios but they also educate, lead tours, inspire through lectures and contribute images and text to prestigious publications here in the UK and beyond. I am honoured to be in their company.
By why Landscapes by Women? In this emancipated age, do we really need a group specifically for women? Landscape photography is a male dominated field. There may be purely practical reasons for this. Issues of personal safety complicate being out alone with expensive kit in remote locations and low light. Although there are many exceptions, generally women take the larger role in raising children. It can be hard to chase the best light when tea has to be made, homework supervised, bedtime stories read. I can’t count the number of times I have watched beautiful light through the window while cooking dinner.
I hasten to add that I wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel privileged to be a mum and consider it the best and most important job I will ever have. But you can see why landscape photography might favour the men.
However, there are more female landscape photographers now than ever before. Landscapes by Women celebrates that fact and aims to ‘show that regardless of any challenges women face, we can bring unique and compelling images’. I would love it if you had time to visit the website and see for yourself. You can also find us on Facebook.
I can’t believe it’s been well over a week since my last post. I am really neglecting Focused Moments at the moment. Shame on me! But there have been good reasons for my lapse. It’s been an eventful few weeks, photographically speaking. There are some really exciting projects beginning to come to the boil but they are time-consuming. I am not ready to write about most of them yet but there will be lots of news in the next few weeks, fingers crossed. In the meantime, I can share a nice little surprise from this morning. One of my images of poppies from last summer is presently featured in the window of a gallery in Barcelona. If you have been around here for a while, you may remember that I love Barcelona, so you can guess how pleased I am. The picture below is courtesy of The Shed Gallery. I wrote a post all about The Shed in the Autumn; you can find it here.
As I am going to be recording lots of news about my photography, I am also going to write occasional posts featuring other photographers and artists whose work I admire. Any small successes I enjoy would never have happened without the inspiration I derive from the work of others and I want to share that here.
Are you on Facebook or Twitter? I have been developing my pages there and would love it if you had time to pop by and say ‘hi’.