Drumstick Primula

Memories of Spring…taken earlier this year while exploring a local woodland garden. These Drumstick Primula’s (Primula denticulata) caught my eye, their delicate white flowers highlighted by the Spring sunshine through the trees.

Two of my favourite seasons are Spring and Summer. Seeing nature spring back into life and burst with colour again as the weather begins to warm up after the colder Winter months always lightens my mood.

As we now slowly move in to Autumn I thought I would look back at some of the photos that I had taken earlier in the year, that I’ve not had the chance to share until now.

Lockdown & Me

The tenth instalment of my #LivingInLockdown series, which I have debated for some time over publishing this particular post. I have written & rewritten it countless times in my head. This entry is more personal than my previous #LivingInLockdown posts, I wanted to document how lockdown has directly affected me, hopefully this series of photos does that to some extent. I much prefer being behind the camera than in front of it, so this self-portraiture instalment feels unnatural for me.

#LivingInLockdown

Back in March 2020 when the first COVID-19 lockdown was imposed upon us I decided I wanted to record the pandemic & subsequent lockdown somehow. It was always going to be a photographic project let’s face it.

Initially I considered a daily self portrait as a way of recording my experience of lockdown. That didn’t last long as 1) I’m not fan of always being in front of the camera, and 2) I’d basically forget to take daily photos. The above photos are my attempt at daily self-portraits. I later decided that recording particular themes during lockdown was more effective way of recording my experience of lockdown.

I proceeded to still take the occasional self portrait as lockdown has progressed to try to capture my mood at that particular moment, some of which I have shared in this entry of #LivingInLockdown.

Social Isolating vs Socially Awkward

Being someone who is socially awkward & a bit of a social introvert the thought of social isolating I have to admit did not fill me with dread like it may have done for some others. It was more like “I can do this”, in some ways I was quite looking forward to being able to work more from home.

Working From Home

Both my wife & I have been able to work from home, which was pretty easy going as our employers adapted to new ways of working. This wasn’t a completely new concept to me as I had worked from home partially prior to the pandemic. I enjoyed the freedom of home working & our own little home office that we created so we each had our own dedicated workspace.

Back to Nature

The first lockdown being during Spring & Summer definitely helped us stay positive. We used our allocated daily outdoor exercise to go on nature walks, which became photo-nature walks. This definitely gave me lots of inspiration for my regular photo posts.

Winter Lockdown

The 2nd & 3rd lockdowns have definitely been harder to stay motivated. Being during Winter has made us reluctant to venture outside for our daily outdoor exercise. I’m definitely not a fan of Winter or being cold. As a result I did not venture out much with my camera.

Furloughed = Demotivated

The last 2 months of our 3rd and most recent lockdown I have spent furloughed, which I have found the hardest. Having 2 months off with nothing to do & no where to go during Winter has completely demotivated me, even when it comes to activities that I enjoy. The novelty of having time off with no work quickly wore off after about 2 weeks. As my wife was still working from home I tried to stay out of our office as to not distract her from work. The highlights of my days have been when she finishes work or weekends so that we can do things together. I’m fairly independent but when it’s Winter and your extremely limited to where your allowed to go, being on your own is now fun. I can’t begin to imagine what this pandemic & lockdowns have been like for anyone who lives on their own. These times have been trying on us all, although I do feel that we have been quite lucky compared to some.

Looking to the Future

As we are now slowly starting to move out of lockdown (again) in the UK and more people get vaccinated, here’s hoping that we are heading towards brighter more normal times.

#StaySafe

Flower of Scotland

I’m sure that I am being stereotypically Scottish by saying that Thistles are one of my favourite flowers, but it’s true they are. These in particular are quite special as they are home grown. We have been growing Thistles in our garden for a few years now and they never fail to disappoint. Apart from being beautiful flowers to photograph they attract insects such as bees and butterflies (doing our bit for the pollinators), I’m not one to waste a photographic opportunity when these insect visitors come calling.

I love the colour of these Thistles, the radiant purple spikey flower heads that always look bright come rain or shine. As well as helping bring wildlife into our garden and giving me another source of photographic inspiration, growing these Thistles is like having a little bit of Scotland in our Yorkshire garden.

Dark Frost

As we say goodbye to Winter and welcome back Spring I thought I would share a last glimpse of Winter for another year. Dark Frost is a set that I actually created last Winter (2019). After these photographs sat dormant in my archive it felt the right time to share them now.

I wanted to try something a little different with these shots, which resulted in a more heavily edited set than my usual work. I normally prefer to apply soft editing techniques such as tweaking histogram levels, saturation, etc. Trying to leave the captured image as natural as possible. This time though I felt the urge to be a little more creative, a little more artistic. So after playing around creating various different effects I finally came up with “Dark Frost”, which in my opinion really brings out the feeling of how cold it was when I first took these shots. I wanted to create something darker than my normal work, which I think it’s safe to say I have achieved that. Sometimes it’s good to go dark, as long as you come back to the light.

Little Robin

On a nature walk a couple of weekends ago we spotted this little chap. Robins can be so tricky to photograph as they rarely sit still long enough to capture the perfect shot. Thankfully on this occasion this little Robin posed quite contently as I photographed him.

As the weather is starting to warm up slightly I’m trying to find the motivation to go out for walks, which I’m not finding easy at the moment. But when I do find the motivation to venture out with my camera for nature walks and you spot sights such as this it makes it all the more worthwhile. It reminds you how important it is to try and connect with nature on some level.

Looking for Nuts

A much needed splash of colour after my last few Winter themed posts. Although I took these shots last October they make me think of Spring. Maybe it’s the luscious green grass, or possibly my longing for Spring to be in full swing after what feels like such a long Winter.

I had forgotten that I had taken these shots or at least forgotten that I’d not shared them. They were taken at Peasholm Park, Scarborough during our only holiday last year. Peasholm is probably one of best parks that I know for Squirrel watching and most of them are fairly tame.

Squirrels are definitely one of my favourite woodland creatures and I could spend hours watching them. Although they are usually quite skittish it is always extra special when they trust you enough to come and eat from your hand.

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