It’s been 4 years since I started this blog and it’s been over a year since I posted anything. Sorry about that. Life has changed a lot in the past 12 or so months.
My last blog was a record of a walk out in the wilds of Northumberland. Because of travel restrictions imposed because of the pandemic, that sort of outing hasn’t been possible and I’ve had to completely rethink my approach and priorities in my photography.
I’ve continued to take photos throughout the last year, but the subject matter and locations have changed, governed by where I’ve been able to go and what I can do.
Like all of us, I’ve had to adapt and change to the circumstances. To be honest I wasn’t happy at first, resenting the restrictions imposed upon me. I saw similar moaning going on on social media and the sense of entitlement was palpable. I gradually realised my selfishness. Ok, grand vistas and wide open spaces were now off limits, and yes, that’s a shame, but come on – in the general scheme of things, it could be worse, right?
It’s only now that I’ve been able to look back on the past year or so and reflect on how my photography has changed.
Take this photo for example.
I took this image on 26th March, 2020. It was my first time outdoors in a fortnight. 2 weeks previously, I had been on annual leave from my job when my partner, who works in the NHS, tested positive for Covid-19. I spent the next fortnight self-isolating at home.
Fortunately my partner made a good recovery but by the time I was able to go outside, my workplace had closed indefinitely. I was now furloughed and the first National Lockdown had been in place for a few days.
I walked along Marine Avenue in Whitley Bay. There was hardly anyone about and there was no traffic. I’d never seen this normally busy street so empty and silent. Although I was grateful to be outside at last in the spring sunshine, the sign painted on the road seemed to sum up my uneasy feelings about those early days in lockdown.
So what’s changed? Out of necessity my photography has become more local. At first I found this limiting but as the past year went on (and on) it no longer bothered me so much, especially as I started to notice more.
Last month I submitted this photo to an open call by Amber Films and the Side Gallery in Newcastle for images documenting the North East of England during lockdown. You can see it and other submissions here.
It’s only now that I’ve reached a clearer perspective on the images I’ve been making over the past year. I hope to share more of them over the next few weeks and months.