Back in the day, when my Uncle Harry was a camera enthusiast, photography was a seasonal activity. You would take most of your photos in the summer – in his case this would usually involve cycling round Europe with my Aunty Ida, taking pictures as he went or going on day trips with the Camera Club. Rolls of used film would be put on one side until the winter.
Winter was for spending hours in the darkroom developing and printing. It was for sharing results and expertise with fellow enthusiasts at club meetings. It was for going to evening classes to learn German and poring over maps to plan next year’s holiday. It was about making the most of the darkness and preparing for the return of the light.
I’ve done a lot this summer – some projects have involved getting out and about, whilst others – notably getting to grips with Shakespeare’s history plays – have involved sitting in front of the TV or working through printed text. The problem is that there’s always that pressure to get those pictures processed and uploaded, review that exhibition or write that blog.
So I’ve decided to take a leaf out of Uncle Harry’s book. This year, the summer will be for going places, sitting by the duck pond, and taking pictures – the winter will be for reading, writing, processing and reflection. Life’s too good to be rushed.
“Now is the winter of our deep content …”