Five Minute Photography

I have been practicing five minute photography.

The days are short now with it getting dark at half past four already, and you have to grab your chances when you can.

November is doing its usual dance between hopeless gloom and impossibly glorious light, and on those light days, when I’m office working, I run out at lunchtime and practice five minute photography.

Mellow trees

The principles are simple.

Just: go outside. Continue reading “Five Minute Photography”

Affirmation (Why Photography Matters)

Photography is an affirmation.

An affirmation of light.

An affirmation of the significance of the moment (this being all we have).

An affirmation of the shared planet we walk on, and run on.

An affirmation of our shared humanity.

Sometimes, often, I wonder why photography matters.

Why I do it, and why so many others are gripped by this obsession.

There of course a thousand reasons why, but one of them is this:

That when we’re lost for words, when we’re reminded of darkness, when the news is full of toxicity, we have a choice towards silence, or continuing to share however humble it might be.

To offer up a painting, a poem, a story, a photograph –

prayer flags blowing in the wind.

Affirmation of what matters.

(Written in the days after the Boston bombing.)

The Thirty Minute Challenge

I came across this challenge the other day, and couldn’t resist it.

The challenge is as follows:

Travel no more than 30 minutes from where you live to somewhere you have never been before, walk around, explore, take some photos, or make some notes, then come home and reflect on it.
You can travel any way you like – walking, cycling, driving a car, public transport. Doesn’t matter if you live in a city, a town or in the country. The key to this is to explore somewhere NEW.

My day went like this. Continue reading “The Thirty Minute Challenge”

Doing the Work

I took and shared a photograph a couple of weeks ago which got a little feature within the Hipstamatic community on Instagram.

(This is both a tiny deal, in the grand scheme of things, and a big deal, for me, as this community has been so welcoming, and because Hipstamatic photography is so creative and energising and I want to learn how to do it well.)

The photo isn’t the best picture in the world – it’s a little bit dark, and one of those images that probably works better on a phone than a big screen – but still, people liked it.

I think there is just something about the moment, the geese, up-flying, against the gothic background of the trees. Continue reading “Doing the Work”

Five Minutes Only

I work part time in a busy office. It doesn’t leave much time for photography on those days.

I try and squeeze in photo stops on my drives to and from work, but recently I’ve been trying to go outside for a little while at lunchtime too. I don’t have long – only 30 minutes in total, so by the time you’ve organised and eaten lunch there might only be five or ten minutes left for wandering outside.

It’s enough though. Continue reading “Five Minutes Only”

Panning for Gold

I’ve been gold panning for years.

Years and years, night and day, often last thing at night, first thing in the morning.

Yes, the first thought on waking:

Perhaps today.

Perhaps I’ll find it.

Perhaps this morning.

Hafiz caught me out the other day.

All day long you do this, and then even in your sleep… pan for gold. We are looking to find something to celebrate with great enthusiasm, wanting all our battles and toil and our life to make sense… All day long we do this with our movements and our thoughts… pan for gold.

He has a knack of doing this; it’s one of the reasons I love to read his words.

He made me laugh, reminding me how we do this, have been doing it for centuries, gold panning night and day.


golden morning

Morning after morning, the day breaks, and the sky cracks open, scattering gold.