With the Snowdon and 50km challenges I've been walking a lot, spending time in the countryside along with cameras and pens. I've never really stopped walking, regularly covering 6 to 8 miles but now of course I am having to walk longer distances. Yesterday I walked from Bognor to my home town of Worthing, a distance of over 16 miles which took about 5 and a half hours.
Walking gives you time to think, to remember. When I was younger, I used to walk a lot. I used to walk an awful lot! I grew up in London, holidays were always in the UK, one I remember being 1974 in Middleton-on-Sea in 1974. That holiday involved sharing a house with some friends from dads work in a big white house set behind some trees, a games room and an inflatable speed boat which kept conking out. Middleton is near Bognor and these memories were sparked as i passed through the village.
I moved out of the city down into Sussex when I turned 18, soon after we moved we got a dog (apparently we had one when I was very young but I don't remember that) and I walked that dog in the morning, evening and weekends (when I was not working). I'll be honest, I have had a number of very difficult times in my life and during those times I tended to spend a lot of time time alone in the countryside, photographing and drawing/painting.
Things are very different now - as photographer I meet many people, see so many things in so many places and I feel very lucky, enjoying my life so much. The walks I am doing now are the longest walks I have done for maybe 5 or 6 years and to say I'm really enjoying this time is an understatement. I'm not really a landscape photographer (my work is certainly all about people) but a change is as good as a rest and I am enjoying trying to represent my feeling for the environment around me.
Quite often, when browsing online photography social grounds on sites like Facebook and Flikr, I often see the question alongside 2 versions of the same picture "Black and White or Colour?". I think this question without doubt hi-lights the differences between a professional photographer and and amateur (or as some pro's call them, wanna-be's). All of these photographs here I pictured in Monochrome before I took them, I knew how they would look, I set the Fuji to a Hight contrast Monochrome settings. I pushed the hi-contrast a little further in Photoshop in the way in olden days I would have selected a hi-contrast paper in the darkroom. Conversely I also read a blog earlier today which said "If you take photos you are a photographer, if you paint, you are an artist".. I don't call myself a landscape photographer, but by that token, if I carry on like this, maybe it should be a second string....