Friday, 30 December 2016

It's only stuff....

In my last post I spoke about how having too many photos (or anything else come to that) can be overwhelming and stressful instead of giving joy. But progress is being made as I organise my photos and wrangle with what to keep and what to delete. And while doing this I remembered an article written by Mark Slade. He was 
badly affected by the floods at Hebden Bridge earlier this year and many homes and personal possessions were destroyed. For many, caught unawares by that unexpected torrent, there was no time to gather belongings. And many photos were lost. Those timeless sepia, and black and white photos, handed down through the family, with memories of family past. And photos downloaded onto computers that were not backed up onto the Cloud.

In a disaster there are bigger things to worry about than photos. Along with other tangible things, well, it's only stuff. But is it?  Mark Slade wrote:

"While every image captured is in me and part of me, without the photo, the faces and colours, places and people trapped on the paper, they will slip away like smoke".

I know what he means.  Photos, for me, provide a link between the past and present.  And while I don't want to spend my life looking backwards, these photos are part of me, and who I am. And so I was touched by what Mark asked: that friends and neighbours of those affected by the flood look in their photo collections for copies that they could share. The weddings, christenings, work does, clubs and sport days. A small but priceless gesture. 

This Christmas I made my Mum a photobook. The kind you create online and have printed into a book.  I put in some of the black and white photos, handed down through the generations. And as my Mum sometimes tells me that she doesn't have many photos of her great grand daughters I added these too. The book bought a tear or two to her eye, and I know she will spend many hours turning the pages and smiling at remembered memories.

I hope those families who lost photos have managed to gather some back. Pouring through my albums makes me appreciate that perhaps abundance is not such a bad thing after all. Especially if the photos are organised.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Time to Photo Prune and Propagate

It's too cold to work in the garden but there is much pruning and propagating to be done indoors.  And so here I am, at my computer, slowly working my way through six years worth of photos that have been downloaded but not organised into folders. It is overwhelming. 
It is something I keep planning to do. But don't.

And so in the quiet days of post-Christmas I am making a start. I like going through old photos but there is a bitter edge because it would be more enjoyable if there wasn't so many. I know when I took the same 20 photos of my baby grand daughter that I planned to keep the best one or two and delete the rest. But I didn't, and many more photos followed. She is now 6.

I am never without my camera. Just ask my friends and family! Photos make memories, capture magical moments like the sunrise, and they give the mundane meaning. But I began to feel like I was drowning, and after several years of taking Project 365 photos I stopped. Because, well, what was the point? They just added to my photo piles and gave stress rather than enjoyment. It's quick and easy to take a photo, especially now that I use one on my mobile phone as well. But having abundance does not always give us what we want. No. 

Photography was once a passion, a part of who I am. But this overwhelm has taken something away. Something that I want back. And so here I am taking steps. My husband bought me a new camera for Christmas, and I also received a new book called 'Adventures in Seeing'. It is about contemplative photography, which connects with me. It is a reminder to slow down, and think before I take a photo. I am planning to pick up Project 365 again and to put time aside to organise my photos as I go along. I am beginning to feel excited about taking photos again.

But for now, it's time to get back to my pruning and propagating!  

Sunday, 25 December 2016

It's Christmas!!!

Wishing you a fun filled Christmas, time with family and friends, and joy and laughter. 

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

5 in 5 - Melanie - December 2016

Melanie is my friend who lives in Australia and she loves photography.  Every month since the start of this challenge Melanie has taken part in this monthly meme and as she doesn't have her own blog I post here. I love that we have found a way for her to take part, so over to you Melanie:

"The 5th of December saw me surrounded by a card production line so I thought I would use that for my December 5 minute photo shoot.  Certainly 5 minutes didn’t delay the production line.  One of my hobbies is card making and I try to make cards for all those I send out Christmas greetings to.  I have three groups of cards to make.  The first lot I posted out by December 1st they were to all our family and friends that live overseas.  This is the bulk of my cards.  Then the next lot to hit the post went a couple of days later they were to friends that live in Australia whom we do not see very often.  By December 5th  I still had quite a few more cards to make for those friends whom I hand deliver cards to so the cards in my collage are the ones destined to be hand delivered.  My card making at this time of year occupied two rooms in our house and the top photos left and right of the bauble card show the mess in these areas.  On the right hand side is my cutting area.  The overworked items in this area are my cutting machine and my guillotine. In the left hand picture is a table in our front room which was useful to assemble the cards.  There was lots of glue and sticky tape used here.  I also used a third room not in the photo which was our dining room.  I didn’t quite take over the dining room just when a pile of cards were finished I put them on the dining room table.  Later I would sit at the dining room table, write inside the cards and address the envelopes.  The two bottom photos show card designs which I made multiple ones of.  If I use the same design on several cards it is much quicker than thinking of a different design for each card.  Some cards are unique but I usually make at least two of one design.  Now with Christmas just two weeks away almost all my cards have found their way to their destinations.  My favourite part of the Christmas card tradition is the hand delivery side when I call in and have a chat with friends.  Unfortunately this past week several of the people I have called round to have been out so a catch up with them will probably take place after Christmas".   

Thank you for sharing these photos, Melanie, and as always, for taking part! 

I am impressed with Melanie's production.  I always mean to start my card making early and it never happens. I have just four more cards to make and will feel a huge relief when they are done. Sadly I have already missed the date for some oversea postings, best intentions sometimes don't work out. I hope your own preparations are going well and that you are getting into the festive spirit. Hopefully Melanie will be back next month and I look forward to you joining us. Thank you for popping by, it is great to have your company.


If this has inspired you to pick up your camera and join in please go to the original post where you will also find out how to link in.

And to find out more about this monthly photo challenge, and how this started, please go to this post.

Monday, 5 December 2016

5 in 5 - December 2016 - Jack Frost

    Welcome to '5 in 5' where on the 5th of
each month I post 5 photos that I have
taken in 5 minutes.

And November flashes past into December.... and with it the buzz of Christmas and excitement begins. I am trying to get into the festive spirit and have just got the decorations down from the loft. I was going to take photos but there is not time to unpack so as an after thought I'll save those for another day. And I will go back to my original plan, because a visit to the museum the other day made me stop and reach for my camera.

At 10am the frost was still thick. The cold has only reached us recently and we notice the change, but I'm not complaining. We have been blessed to have a summer that seemed to go on and on, and a splendid autumn that was rich in colour and warm days. So with camera in hand I took photos as we walked across the lawn:

A good frost with blue skies is a start to a good day, and I hope where ever you are that the weather is being kind and gentle. I will be back with another post before Christmas, so enjoy your own preparations and festivities. I have two Christmas meals next week and other good things planned. December is looking good so far...


It is always fun to have company in this photo challenge so a big thank you to Maggie, Melanie, Miriam, Karen, Paula, Mary Lou, Barbara and Borqna for taking part last month. And to all those who visited and left comments. 

And YOU would be very welcome to join in too, so I hope you are inspired to get out your camera. Here is the plan, and there are more details here

1.  Choose a location.

2.  Have your camera ready.

3.  Set a timer for 5 minutes (I use my mobile phone).

4.  Take as many photos you can until the time is up.

5.  Choose 5 photos to download and share by using the link tool below.

                              You have until the 25th of the month to add your photos.

Thank you for visiting and please feel welcome to leave a comment or link with 5 photos.


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