I’m a canine-loving, tree-hugging, caffeine-chugging, half-century-surviving owner of a Rhodesian Ridgeback. I’m also married, a mum to a teenage boy and a journalist of some thirty years. From Woman’s Own to BBC Watchdog, The Guardian to Sainsbury’s Magazine… over the years there have been people who have actually paid me to work for them. Some still do.
I love photography, but while some of my images – like this shot of my son on the High Line in New York – hit the mark, it’s more luck than anything and over the years there have been albums-worth of images that have failed dismally. Thank God for digital, eh? At least nowadays it doesn’t cost me a fortune in developing fees every time I muck up.
Over the past few years I’ve started going to art galleries more and more. And, increasingly, I’ve found that it’s the photographs on display that I’m drawn to. Photographers such as the astonishing Paul Strand; Evelyn Hoffer; and Jim Dow just leave me entranced. And at Tate Britain, surrounded by iconic Old Masters, it was The Restless Image by Rose Finn-Kelcey that I could not tear myself away from and wanted for my own. Be it abstract; portrait; landscape; reportage; still life, whatever – the ability for a photograph to steal my breath away seems endless. And each time it happens, there’s the same question in my mind: just how did that artist manage to capture that moment in time so aptly and seal it up for eternity?
So the NCFE Level 1 course was the first step in trying to find out. Sick and tired of being stuck on Auto, I decided it was time to learn my way around my Canon EOS 600D; stop worrying about all the mistakes that I would no doubt make and, most importantly, have some fun. Doors to manual, you might say.
And I did learn and I did have fun. And I got a flipping certificate at the end of it.
So now I’ve taken the even bigger plunge and signed up for the Level 2 course. It’s a year long; which is kind of scary as I have no idea what the next year will chuck at me. But I figure that if I don’t keep on clicking, I’ll be back on Auto before I know it.
And that would be a ****ing disaster.