My goal was to write ten posts for this retrospective series – I think I am going to be able to make that easily!
The second and third days of the workshop, the weather was completely different – beautiful clear skies and sub-zero (celsius). This required many layers, making the taking of photos and carrying of gear just that much harder.
Had to face my vertigo today as we headed up higher. The Lake District doesn’t have massively high mountains but we did trek up some steep slopes to get the views. Whether it was the fear of looking down, or just that I had way too much new info in my head, but I found it much harder to get a good shot. A couple of nice ones but it was much harder to pick a top 8 for the evening clinic. We all struggled a bit on this day. It was interesting to see that even the ‘pros’ could have improved things in their images, so we all had things to work on.
After dissecting our images, we were treated to a presentation of some of the framed prints of two of the attendees, an older married couple. I am very ashamed to say I had pigeon-holed these fellow workshop attendees. We are very used to seeing cool young people doing all the creative stuff, and are sold the idea that if you aren’t young, cool, fashionable, hip, attractive, then you probably won’t have anything creative to say. These were not people that fell into any of these categories! In fact, if you saw them you would instantly dismiss them as the kind of older people who would barely be able to turn on a smart-phone, let alone be able to create images using a variety of complicated post-production digital techniques. These were people who used Photoshop in ways I couldn’t even begin to understand!
I was reminded very strongly as I looked at these cutting edge, stunning, creative and exquisitely beautiful prints how much we can miss out on if we judge people by how they look, dress and act. This is I think a challenge for many of us in today’s social media- influenced world. It’s so easy to buy into the prevailing youth and ‘coolness’ culture and this was a timely lesson for God to teach me. It’s also increasingly easy to stay in your echo chamber and never get to connect with people who are different to you. Over the rest of the week I had the chance to get to know them a little, and their story was inspiring and fascinating. They were truly amazing people and my life was enriched by getting to know them. Very humbling.
(It also gave me some hope as an older person myself that I still have creative potential in me!)
Day three we were back out in the field – my leg muscles were so sore – I think three days was the equivalent of three months in the gym. Despite feeling like I spent the whole day ten steps behind everyone else and getting to a spot just as everyone else was packing up to move to the next; the vista was unbelievable and everything started to come together in terms of understanding what I was trying to do. I did realise I need better landscape lenses but that’s a whole different story!
I could only do the shorter version of the week and in fact had to cut the fourth day very short, and leave extremely early to catch up with Christian for the day in Cambridge (he had scored tickets to the Cambridge panto for us) so it was time to say goodbye. What a privilege to spend time with such talented people who had been incredibly gracious and kind in teaching me and sharing their expertise.
Again below a selection of scenes from the unbelievably beautiful Lake District.