Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Why do we take so many photos?

This morning I took some time off to go out with the local walking group, 'Let's Walk Cymru', the Welsh equivalent of 'Walking Way to Health'. I had missed the last three walks due to a combination of pressure of work, my son's visit and my 'iffy' back so I decided that my work/life balance was in need of adjustment and made the effort to reach the starting point in time. Not easy because I tend to work very late into the night.

I was really glad I did because, not only was it a beautiful summer's day, but it happened to be the monthly 'out of town' walk, when we have mini-buses to take us out into country - and all free of charge! By my calculations, the trip out should have been last week and I thought I'd missed it but I was in luck. We were taken halfway up Little Skirrid, the small mountain my back bedroom looks directly out towards and we walked through the woods round the mountain, rather than up it because some of our members are in their eighties or suffering from various ailments.

But rather there, in the shade of the forest, than up on the exposed mountainsides in the local area as the sun was very strong and the weather forecasters had warned about very high UV levels.

Of course, as usual, I took enough photos to get left behind at times and it made me think about something I read about taking photos a long time ago. I think it was in a self-help book of some sort and it was suggesting that, in taking photos of everything, we were missing out on really appreciating what is before our eyes, that we are preoccupied with 'capturing' the moment rather than allowing ourselves to enjoy it.

I can see that there could be some truth in this as it conjures up an image of camera-laden foreign  tourists, snapping everything in sight, rather than 'soaking up the atmosphere' of a new place and its individual culture. And sometimes I do wonder slightly guiltily whether I do this myself because I do take an awful lot of photos! On the other hand, by way of justification, I remind myself that I use my camera as a sketch book and wonder how I ever managed without it because you'd have to draw/paint very fast indeed to record the changing light, which is one of the things I find so fascinating and try to convey in my landscape paintings.But then maybe my wish to make paintings from my photos, is in itself just as 'bad' as taking the photos in the first place? It's just another way of 'capturing' Nature's wonders.

However, there's something else going on here! When I look at the way my 'Albertine' rose is blooming so abundantly this year, it fills me with awe and I feel an overwhelming desire to share it - how else can I do this other than in a photo or painting?

So here are a few photos of my 'Albertine' - which, by the way, was in full bloom just in time for me to put some in a vase for my birthday!

Sadly, placing them on the table where I mostly work brought me out in 'flu-like symptoms - I even took my temperature, thinking I was going down with something, before I realised what was going on! - so I had to move them away until the fragrance began to fade.

'Roses round the door'
The roses to the left, around the bell, are the 'Alchemist', just above my fig, which looks a bit thirsty! The lavender (in the bed behind the open door) is just beginning to come out and salad leaves in the little pot to the right of it are ready to eat.

And this is the back of the arch at the side of the house - my view from the dining room where I spend a lot of time working! 
You can just about make out the arch that leads to my dining room French Doors at the righthand side of this next picture (turn left at the potatp barrel!) which shows the extent of the 'Albertine' on the right and the 'Alchemist' on the left! Also just visible at the top is the sill of the window I hung out of to photograph the first blooms!
And just one more close-up - that might have the makings of a painting for a greeting card one day!

Unfortunately technology has not yet advanced sufficiently for me to add the wonderful fragrance to the photos but I hope you will enjoy these photos anyway!


Ulla Hennig said...

these photos are beautiful!And I loved to have a look at the place where you live and work - what a beauty! It is funny but it reminds me of my stay in England in 1974/75.

JudyAdamsonArtandDesign said...

Thank you, Ulla. Whereabouts did you stay in England? My idea for growing climbing plants, some of which will eventually spill over my wall to be seen by passers-by, was inspired by staying with friends who live in a pretty Wiltshire village.

mtaylor said...

Yes lovely to see Albertine in all her? glory.
Winter is setting in here, so it gives me pleasure to remind me what is ahead come spring, as we have a big Albertine, which I have had to cut right back this year (ugh, those horrendous thorns !!)
I live in the mountains in NSW (Aus), which has a similar climate to UK without all that rain, and a lot more sunshine ....but COLD in the winter.(snow sometimes). I love your blog , I am in my seventies, and a grandmother too, so perhaps there is an empathy !!

Ulla Hennig said...

I spent one year from September 1974 to July 1975 in Congleton (Cheshire, but on the border to Lancashire, I think). I worked there as an Assistant Teacher. Manchester was the biggest town near to Congleton. Congleton at that time was a small little town, and I loved it.

JudyAdamsonArtandDesign said...

Hi Mary and welcome! I think I might have to cut my Albertine back later in the year. I had one in a previous house that grew so heavy it fell off the wall and right over my car that was parked outside! BTW, we don't always have a lot of rain. We've had very little in the past few months so I've had to water the garden!

JudyAdamsonArtandDesign said...

Hi Ulla - that's one area of the UK I've never visited but parts of Cheshire are certainly very pretty. I presume that's where you learnt your perfect English?

Ulla Hennig said...

thanks for your kind words! One year in a town where you had to talk English in order to get along - yes, I learnt a lot of English in that time. But since 3 years I have spent a lot of time on the Web, reading blogs, participating in forums and the like. I am learning via reading and writing.