Printing, and more printing

Last weekend, I was having a frustrating time trying to get 50 A3 prints done for the gallery in the USA. One week later and I’m relieved to report that they are nearly finished. I enjoy printing (except when big orders with deadlines arrive during an already busy time!); there’s something really special about printing your work on beautiful fine art paper. The ephemeral becomes tangible, a tactile artefact rather than a collection of pixels on a screen.

Some of the 50 print order destined for Sohn Fine Art Gallery in USA

The joy of printing was very much in evidence on Monday and Tuesday, when we finally managed to run our two-day printing workshop. We’ve had to postpone this workshop 3 times, thanks to COVID, so it felt extra good to be able to meet face-to face (with the proper precautions, of course). Day one is classroom learning, all about colour management, calibration, profiling etc. The second day is my favourite of all the classroom workshops we run, as we work with the clients on editing and printing their work. By the end of the workshop, the classroom is strewn with beautiful prints and there’s an amazing buzz in the air. My colleague, Adrian Beasley, and I are blessed with lovely clients – they encourage each other so much. Eight clients, 60 prints, and a whole lot of fun and learning later, I’m exhausted, but in a really good way.

I am grateful to Fotospeed for their printing support

As the workshop finished and everyone else headed home, I logged in to Zoom to give a presentation to Wymondham Photographic Society. I enjoy presenting, although I admit that it’s more fun in person than online. When the pandemic hit, I found the transition to Zoom quite easy but I miss the face-to-face feedback you get when presenting in person. ‘Never present to your slides’ was always a mantra and now it’s exactly what I have to do! Wymondham is a small club and it was one of the smallest audiences I’ve ever had but they didn’t quibble at paying a proper fee. That’s so refreshing when a lot of clubs with four times as many members expect a professional to give up several hours of their time (when you factor in the endless emails beforehand and the preparation time), for considerably less than you’d pay a plumber. I value my time and I won’t present to those clubs. Wymondham’s audience may have been small but it was fully engaged and asked a lot of really good questions – a pleasure.

Some pictures from Ghost in the Shell

The rest of the week was devoted to online 1-2-1 sessions with clients, a lengthy meeting at the HQ of a potential sponsor and completing a written interview for The Phoblographer. This is the first interview I’ve had about my Ghost in the Shell series and it was good to have some different questions to answer. ‘Ghost in the Shell’ is probably the body of work I’ve enjoyed most since I created ‘Sirens’. The pictures are quiet and don’t demand the sort of instant attention garnered by my more well-known portfolio, so I’m happy to see them having some recognition.

So, a busy week and one in which I found no time at all to create new photos. I’ve diarised some photography time for next week and am excited to get back out onto the shore.

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