Overcoming Technical Faults

Given how long it has been since I last posted on this blog, it’s no surprise that a particularly dedicated reader (my mum) started raising some concerns a few months ago. She was worried that there is a technical problem with her new computer, because she was no longer getting emails about my blog posts. No mum, I had to admit, there’s no technical fault on your computer, if anything it’s a technical fault in me, because there simply hasn’t been a blog post for a long long time.

There has just been too many hurdles. The inner photographer, in particular, has been very grumpy and lacking inspiration. The light just has not been very good for ages (complains the inner photographer), and there just isn’t anything very interesting to photograph. It’s just so boring to photograph the same old garden plants in the same old garden over and over again. Why can’t I be well enough to travel somewhere more interesting? I’m sure I would be more inspired if I was looking at some spectacular mountains or something. Or even just being able to walk more than 50-80m would help (moan, moan, moan), at least then I could come across a plant that I have not photographed thousand times yet. And in any case, my legs are way too wobbly to stand up for long, and it’s too painful to try to hold up the camera. It’s just too hard. Can’t be done.

And on the rare occasion that the inner photographer has managed to produce something vaguely worthwhile, writing a blog post to show you those pictures just seemed to require too much stamina and concentration.

You can see the issue here.

In addition, last year I was trying a new strategy to overcome my illness which meant that I was doing much less of anything. It had been my concern that perhaps I just push myself too hard, always use up all my energy trying to do this or that – perhaps that was holding back my recovery? So I decided to learn to pull back a little bit, trying not to flatten myself with all the ideas that keep popping up and things that I would like to or feel I should be doing. It has certainly been a useful lesson to learn that it’s OK just to be sometimes, not continuously push myself to get everything done.  So it has been beneficial, to some extent, perhaps even a kind of a relief, but I can’t say it’s been particularly successful in helping me actually improve. But it was good to learn that pushing myself is not what is holding me back and I need not worry about that anymore.

So that’s what was going on last year. But then, in the late autumn, around November time, one Monday morning I woke up full of artistic inspiration. The inspirational ideas were about my textile work, but on the same day, the inner photographer obviously had come to the conclusion that there’s no point waiting for the perfect light, you could just get on with it and see what you can produce in an ordinary light. Suddenly a flower bed full of dried stems of Eupatorium cannabinum from the previous summer looked incredibly inspiring and full of photographic promise. And as it turned out, the light was very nice too.

Dried Eupatorium stems in the late autumn

And from then on, there has been many such days. No matter how wobbly the legs, I have been out there with my camera, even if afterwards I was pretty flattened. It’s still true my arms are too weak to hold up the camera for any length of time, but it has just forced me to actually use my tripod (I’m normally way too impatient to set it up unless it’s absolutely necessary). It does slow down the process, but that has been a good thing too, forcing me to think about the photo I am taking, rather than keep snapping away at high speed.

Now that my favourite photographic season (late autumn and winter) is coming to an end, I am thinking that since there are now all those photographs available, it would be nice to show them to someone (and not just my husband). Perhaps there’s a way I can blog without flattening myself too much in the process? Could I learn to write shorter posts, just to show my photos? After all, it doesn’t have to be 1000 words or nothing. I could do what most other people are doing with their blogs, write little and often.

Clearly, I haven’t learned the last point yet, but there’s always hope…