As we come to the end of another year, how many of us could have foreseen, last Christmas, how 2020 would turn out? On the 9th March I did my last live photo-club judging, at Bramhall in Cheshire. That night I suggested that we bump elbows but, of course there’s always one or two who insist on giving the usual hug and kiss. We knew something was coming, but not how fast! I had already decided that I would cancel a talk on the 11th March, which would have been given to an audience of about 100 people…they were very good about it and re-scheduled for November (which of course they eventually cancelled themselves). From 15th March, we began shielding…a week before the Government ordered the first lock-down…and have done so ever since.
Then came a string of judging and lecturing cancellations as clubs and Federations shut down their programmes. Almost everything photographic stopped, until the forward looking clubs became organised with Zoom meetings. I managed two full weekends of salon judging via Zoom, something most of us hadn’t heard of last year, and remote meetings have become the norm for now.
Work on the studio that we were building, at home, ground to a halt and the dresses that I had bought for models to wear were mothballed…there would be no meeting indoors for the foreseeable future, but there will be opportunities again. Like many others, we had our share of difficulties this year and were unable to see some of our closest family, even at Christmas.
Throughout all this, my photography kept me sane…my work this year has not been the most exciting, nor the most competitive, but I would say that it has given me as much pleasure and satisfaction as any photography that I have ever done, even though I was mostly confined to home or places within a short drive. Although few will ever be seen in competitions, the majority have been uploaded to my stock agency, so something might come of them yet!
I’ve published a round-up of a year’s work in the past and it has been mostly competition work…this year my round-up comprises a small number of montages, made from elements from my back catalogue, but predominantly local landscape and nature and mostly taken within a couple of miles from home. I still found it extraordinarily difficult to choose my favourites, so in the end I just went with instinct and picked the ones that stood out and probably too many.
I hope that you enjoy looking at my lock-down image retrospective and that you have found a way to preserve your sanity too. Here’s to a better and safer 2021!