A new year, yet another new start

When I first started this blog, back in April 2012, I had a particular reason.  An injury meant that I was not able to get out with my camera to make new images.  Blogging gave me an outlet for my frustrated creativity and a new lease of life for images I had already taken.  Nearly 4 years later and the injury is still troublesome, but I have learned to live with it.  The brain is amazingly good at learning to live with things, even pain. The problem no longer stops me doing what I want and what I want hasn’t changed – I still love (am obsessed with) photography.

misty minimal picture from Venice

‘Five’: Venice

As I slowly returned to making new images, this blog became more and more sporadic. In the end, I will always choose to go out with my camera rather than spend time at the computer.  That is not going to change, but I would like to see if I can combine the two more effectively.  So I have signed up for Blogging 101 with good intentions.

Norwegian landsape

Still morning, Hamnøya, Lofoten Islands

Perhaps paradoxically, since starting a photography blog, I have obtained a Masters Degree in Victorian Literature and Art from the University of London. Yes, I like to read and write! Accordingly, I never intended Focused Moments to be a picture-of-the-day kind of blog. (Nothing wrong with those, by the way, just not what I intended.) Looking back at the early days, I see the posts that were most enthusiastically received usually had plenty of words as well as images.  A good example is my article about the relationship between photography and mindfulness.  So I plan to make time for more posts like that. I am also interested in exploring how the literature I enjoy and have studied may influence the images I make.

seascape

Tempest

Standard blogging advice is to write about oneself, to ‘make it personal’. I am not so sure about that. I am quite a private person and this is a public blog. The images will always be the heart of Focused Moments; I hope they are more interesting than me! Nonetheless, there are aspects of my photographic life that might merit more exploration. I enjoy exhibiting and have already written about some of my experiences in that area. Some readers want to know more about other things, my role as a camera club judge, for example, or what it is like to lead photography workshops. More on those, and other ‘stories’, will follow.

wey navigation

Frost on the Wey

2015 was an epic year for me photographically. I hope that 2016 will be equally exciting and, if any of you share at least part of the adventure with me here at Focused Moments, this blog will have succeeded. It is up to me, now, to make it worth your time.

norway

Aurora over Skagsanden

 

Focused Moments, the exhibition

A5 flyer side 1

It is a year and 5 exhibitions since I decided to shift the focus of my photography towards the fine art side of things.  This time last year I was exhibiting a series of Surrey landscapes in a joint exhibition with my shooting buddy, Jenifer Bunnett, at The Lightbox in Woking. Then, in March, we showed some of the images from that exhibition alongside new local landscapes in ‘A Certain Slant of Light’ at the Guildford Institute. In August, I hung a panel in ‘Light on the Land’ at the Mall Galleries, and in September, five black and white pictures in ‘Mistresses of Light’ at the Oxo Tower.  It was a lot of work, and the learning curve was steep, but it was also great fun.  However, the climax of all this has to be my first solo exhibition, ‘Focused Moments’, currently showing at Arté Gallery in Weybridge.

exhibition bio

I needed a lot of images for this exhibition and I wanted to make sure I could offer something for all budgets and also remain true to my own style.  I must have spent a small fortune (I daren’t add it up!) trying different papers and framing options.  In the end, I went with three fine art papers in simple black frames and a few prints on aluminium.  I also decided to have two special books made for visitors to browse.  On the advice of the gallery owners, I have made these available as limited editions, and they seem to be going down well.

arte exhibition space

There is something really rewarding about filling a gallery. I have hung 60 images of which most are new pictures, taken in the last year, but there are some going back as far as 2009.  When planning the hanging in this intriguing space with several different surfaces, it helped to create groups of images that worked together and then it was relatively easy to decide the order of the groups so that the exhibition flowed.  I say easy – it still took us two full days to finish hanging the show!

arte exhibition pv

Of course, there had to be a party.  Many thanks to local lettings agents, Martin & Wheatley for sponsoring the opening.  In a bout of last-minute nerves, I worried that no-one would come, but I needn’t have fretted. In the end, the event was buzzing, and we sold seven prints and two of my limited edition books during the course of the evening. Phew!

PV

I think it’s important to be present at an exhibition as much as possible; people like to be able to talk to the exhibitor.  I have had many interesting conversations at the gallery this week, some with old friends and some with new. And today I got to show my Dad around, which was really special.

arte 1

If you have ever thought of trying something like this, I heartily recommend it.  The experience has been amazing – exhausting, but amazing.  It’s nice to sell, but even if I had sold nothing, it would still have been worth it.  Many thanks to Mike and Sally at Arté Gallery for allowing me to bring my work into their lovely space, to my friend, Sam, for all the fetching, carrying and coffee and to my daughter, Maggie, for her excellent work as server and photographer at the private view.  I couldn’t have done it without you!

Of panoramas and exhibitions

Norwegian landsape

Still morning, Hamnøya, Lofoten Islands

It’s been a very busy time since my last post; I can hardly believe it’s only a month!  We have just returned from two weeks in the Canadian Rockies, one of my very favourite parts of the world. In the meantime, the image above, from my trip to Norway in March, won the panoramics competition at Outdoor Photography magazine and was published in the latest issue, which was waiting for me on my doormat when we got home. Outdoor Photography is my favourite photography magazine and the only one I always read, so it was extra special to find one of my images with a full page all to itself. (For those who like to know, the image is a stitch of 7 x 3 bracketed exposures, HDR and stitch achieved in Lightroom 6.)

Lofoten islands

Winner in Outdoor Photography magazine

The timing was particularly nice as that picture is also the main image in a panel I am exhibiting at the Mall Galleries in London this week. The other two images appear below. I hung my panel on Saturday and the private view party was that evening. Much fun was had by all; I caught up with some friends and met lots of new ones and the party continued on afterwards in Covent Garden.

misty minimal picture from Venice

‘Five’: Venice

The exhibition is called Light and Land on the Mall and it is open until Monday 10th August. I am heading up there again tomorrow to meet some more friends and possibly on Friday as well. If you are thinking of visiting, let me know – maybe we can meet for a coffee.

misty beach scene from Sussex

‘Formation’: Winchelsea

Although the exhibition is hung now, the work continues as I am participating in another exhibition next month, again in London, at the Oxo Tower, with a larger panel of different images (black and white this time). Then, in October, I have my first solo exhibition, at Arté Gallery, kindly sponsored by Martin & Wheatley. More anon.

Mall Galleries

A well-earned glass of wine at the Private View party. Phew!

Where land meets sea

The last few weeks have been hard and blogging has been far from my mind. But I wanted to share this slideshow, which I made for a talk I gave in the summer at the Shed Gallery’s ‘Muse’ exhibition in Lyme Regis. It features a few of my own pictures, but mostly inspirational images by other photographers that I selected from the Gallery, on the theme of my talk, coastal photography. Being a very proud Mummy, I must add that my favourite thing about it is the music, an original score composed and recorded for the talk by my very talented daughter, Maggie Talibart. Not too shabby for thirteen!

Spectra over London

London

Spectra, by Rioji Ikeda, is one of several art installations in London at present to commemorate the centenary of the start of WW1.   Certainly an imposing sight.  You don’t have to go into London to see it as it is visible for many miles around.  However, if you do want to see it for yourself, you will have to be quick – tonight’s the last night.

Spectra 1 (moonless)