Some days are worse than others and new South Georgia work
30th September 2020

It wasn't a good day yesterday. Just one of those days where it feels like I have wasted it, where nothing is achieved and everything seems so un-interesting. I'm sure many people can relate to this, well those that have the guts to admit to it anyway. It's why I say it, so that others can get some strength from it too. We all have these days and I suspect right now, we probably have more than we ever did. Just those "feeling down" days. 


The day started with an aborted trip to see Derek the Hare. I was all ready to leave when something just told me not to get in the car and go. It's happened a few times before in my life and I've learnt to listen. Call it what you like but I had an uneasy feeling so didn't go. Of course the weather turned out beautiful and I can't go now for another week...that did not help my mood!


The morning got worse...tax. God I hate tax, one minute you have money then you have none! 


So by lunch I was on a real downer. Counselling has helped me so much here, I knew to recognise it and what to do. I know some people will laugh at counselling saying they don't need it - usually men - well let me tell you real men admit they need counselling and do it for those around them! So I knew what to do, I had to retreat to my goto safe place and take time for me. Time for me, to think, to kick start the day again. 


First job turn off the depressing bloody radio news, it just gets worse and worse. 


So what's my goto safe place? You'd think it was outside taking pics right? Well yeah that works too, but I need sometime to really really switch off. So my happy place is processing my images that I have taken over the years, trust me I have a lot waiting in the wings. So turn off all the lights in my office, pull the blackouts mostly down (to allow me to see colours correctly and set the mood), light a couple of candles and stick some music on. Then I pick a set of pictures and start a journey with them, I look at others I have processed previously from the set and get into what the mood and vibe was. Then I just go into a journey with each image, I remember taking it, I remember the feelings with it and I just go with it and see where the journey ends. Notice I haven't mentioned any software, because that's not what this is all about. It's about taking yourself back to the feelings that you had at the time. It's why others cannot process my pictures at all, and I have had many try, because they have no idea of what I was trying to achieve and how I felt. Emotions govern the photography we take.


Musically, well Chris Packham says I have a dodgy choice, I call it eclectic!!! I started with Calvin Harris and by the end of the afternoon I was belting it out to the Carpenters. It's amazing how music can trigger emotion and memory, one song took me back to a Sunday evening when I was very young, sitting there with my parents listening to that very song on the radio. I could remember every detail of the room, the sideboard, the 70's sun clock, the Redifusion TV with 4 channels including the radio (that takes a certain age to remember). I love it when this happens.


Picture wise I had chosen South Georgia, it was on my mind as I've an e-Talk next week on it and I fancied adding some new pics. I've been many times but the one time I went with the Royal Navy had a lot of unprocessed images so I went to that first. So here's a few I did for you, I think of all my South Georgia images they aren't the best I have taken, I know that, but I took them for a reason and I owed them a chance to breathe.




The first is a landscape with me in it, free and walking in nature as I love to be, it made me feel so good seeing it....and so sad too that these times in these places are impossible right now. They will return of course but for many reasons I may not.



The second is morning at the beach, a busy time in King Penguin land, I can remember the noise of being there...and the smell! 



The third is just a standard low light shot of a king penguin calling to the world, rare to get out there but worth the effort if you can. Light is everything.



No4 is a landscape, taken of Grytviken on South Georgia with a dusting of snow, I'm not a natural landscape photographer but I know enough about composition and lighting to take something decent. It's the decay here that is the message I wanted to show, as I processed it I could remember walking around in this living museum and that helped with how I wanted the image to look.Hope you not bored yet!!!



No5 shows a group of king penguin chicks huddled together to keep warm, no faces present just simple lines and form. 



And finally something completely different. King penguins can be quite static, mostly standing around flapping occasionally but generally looking like they are on "standby" mode. When you get the chance to inject some life and motion into your shots you should always take the chance, so here when a sudden appearance of a Skua walking through caused some concern, I gave the image a slower shutter speed to introduce some motion and interest. Not to everyone's taste but that's ok as it doesn't really matter, it's to mine and that's the most important thing.

So anyway writing this I feel energised again and ready for today. No tax today just recording webinars all day listening to the rain pounding down outside. Hope this finds you in a good place and that you "get" what I'm trying to say here, find things in your life that make you happy, don't be afraid of memories as they define us and don't be afraid of "me time".

And as always if any of you wanna attend the e-Talk on South Georgia it's here, I am looking forward to sharing my love of penguins with everyone.

Talk to you again in a few days, hope you enjoy this!

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