Absent without leave

I have been remiss, have I not? Such a state of neglect this place is in. What excuse do I have? None at all. It is certainly not that I have not been taking photographs. I may well have been taking too many. It's just that old thing, Life, getting in the way.

I suddenly realised a couple of days ago that I am months behind on my Changing Seasons project. I will catch up.

The summer was filled with DIY nonsense and when all of that was done, we felt the need to escape in the camper van. My time has been filled with trip planning, van preparation and packing, going away, coming home and unpacking the van, dealing with the photos... and then promptly beginning the cycle again. We have been away for a long weekend to Hoy, then had two ten-day trips to Scotland in rapid succession.

The van is now mothballed for winter so I should have time to get my house in order soon.

I recently joined the Orkney Camera Club as an Islands member. My first monthly competition entries went in before I left on my last trip to Scotland. I had a difficult time in deciding which six to enter so in the end I chose the ones that I most wished to have feedback on. I'm not sure why they call them Monthly competitions as there are just three of them per year!

These are my entries for M1, Texture/Pattern:


Today I tackled the gargantuan task of selecting a dozen images to submit for the club's Battles and Exchanges programme. The deadline is a little way off yet but for once I thought I might give the vague impression of organisation.

Embarrassingly, I seem to have lost the ability to count. 10 to 12 images are called for and I have sent 13 by accident.


It was an interesting exercise. Along the way I learned that photographs that I used to think excellent no longer appeal to me. My eye has become more critical in many ways. It is not all loss however. I read a post recently in which somebody said that you should not ditch "poor" images as developments in editing tools raise new opportunities all the time. Happily, as a seasoned paper crafter, I already heed this advice as many "poor" images can be tortured unmercifully in various editing tools to yield interesting textures or abstract art.

It is certainly true that new tools can rescue old images but it is more important that a re-educated eye may see merit that escaped it previously. Today I fell across a previously disregarded image, ten years old, that I fell completely in love with in the here and now. True, it was Lightroom that showed me the way but there was nothing originally wrong with the image - it just had not leaped out at me back then (or at any other time since). Today I appreciated its subtlety and it took its place in my Battling Baker's Dozen, superseding several images that I would have sworn hand on heart would have been in the cut.

Glenlivet MorningChrismastime in Glenlivet

What do you think - would it have passed you by too?