After being stuck hobbling around at home for 6 weeks it was a huge relief to be able to get out and about again and get back into nature. To celebrate I attended a 'Wild photography' workshop with Natasha Lithgoe. It combined photography and meditation in a natural environment - 3 of my favourite things!
Surprisingly, in a whole day workshop we took just 2 photos. It was a great reminder to slow right down and really think about why we wanted a picture, what needed to be in it, and how it could be composed. It reminded me of working with film and being much more active and intentional in the pre-editing of pictures so that you took far less and put more energy into making them good, rather than succumbing to the digital temptations of shooting busily, prolifically, and only thinking about quality afterwards.
It was a wonderfully rich experience to wander slowly through the woods, noticing everything and looking for a spot that called to us. I was drawn to a grand old tree with many curving branches from low down, surrounded by an arena of fallen leaves, but when I got closer decided to sit against a pair of younger humbler trees in the arena so that I could see it. I sat for maybe 20 minutes just being. Looking around, listening to the birds beginning to call again and get closer towards me, noticing insects about their business and soaking in the tree-ness. I thought initially I would take a picture of the grand old tree, or perhaps the sump with brightly sunlit fungi opposite me. Then I got interested in the socks of moss that all the trees in the arena wore. A tree in front of me had this sock, and a large root jutting out to one side giving it an asymmetric trajectory, perhaps I'd photograph that. So I got closer and closer, ending up lying flat out in the leaves as the moss filled my viewfinder. A wisp of cobweb blew from one side of the tree, and where it dipped I could see it in a more opaque white, the tails fluttering out in the breeze. I enjoyed the contrast between the deep time of the tree and the moss compared with the momentary cobweb.
The day and these two resonant images also contrast in my mind with the head of snaps I've taken recently of the rocks at Pett. As soon as I have time I want to get back to the beach to try out being there more slowly. I'm curious to see what will call to me and what two images I might end up with next time...