In a rash moment I recently signed up for WordPress’s Writing 101. Writing, on a photography blog? Yes, I did wonder if I knew what I was doing. I suppose I wanted to get back to why I started this blog in the first place. It wasn’t just to share photographs; I had Flickr and 500px for that. When I started Focused Moments, back in April 2012, I was in the middle of my MA. Perhaps the blog was a way of creating my own original(ish) content when I was otherwise immersed in other people’s words. (As my subject was Victorian Literature, there were a great many words!)
Over time, however, Focused Moments inexorably tended towards a photo-a-day kind of blog. Before more touchy readers protest, I am not suggesting for a moment that there is anything wrong with that sort of blog, just that it’s not what I intended. With Writing 101, which began yesterday, there are daily prompts. The first one was to free write for 20 minutes. Well, I didn’t feel like free writing about photography. That prompt seems, to me, more appropriate to the creation of fiction. So I have taken comfort in the challenge’s statement that we can be as free as we like in our interpretation of each prompt, and I have ignored it completely! Instead, I have thought about beginnings.
It must be fairly obvious to anyone who is kind enough to stop by here from time to time that I like landscape photography. For me, setting up somewhere and waiting for the light is a beautiful, and healing experience. But I am not really a morning person, so most of my imagery is made at the end of the day. However, last Friday Pete and I managed to get up for dawn. At this time of year and at these latitudes, that is no mean feat. Our alarms went off at 4am, and I can tell you that, as we were blearily dressing and mainlining caffeine, the planned adventure suddenly seemed far less appealing.
Once we were outside, however, all that changed. There wasn’t much of a sunrise, but it didn’t matter. We had the beach to ourselves. A hush hung over the morning, broken only by the swoosh of the waves and the haunting cry of oyster catchers. Homer’s ‘rosy fingered dawn’ delicately coloured the sky as a solitary fishing smack chugged out of the bay. I could understand why many landscape photographers prefer this subtle time of day to the more spectacular sunset. As my children grow, and need me less, one small but significant compensation is that opportunities to get out for daybreak will grow. The beginning of a new phase in life will involve seeing more of the beginning of each new day. There’s a certain poetry in that.
To have made a beginning is half of the business.
The child of the morning, rosy-fingered dawn, appeared.