New Fern design on RedBubble

Some of my photos and digital designs are available to purchase on RedBubble! You can deck out your phone cases, clothes, furniture, and more! Check it out. šŸ™‚

fern photo

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Insects

Being such a lovely sunny day, it seemed like a good idea to get out my 300mm macro lens. Here are some of the results!

Instacrap

Yes, I took this with Instagram. I'm being ironic. Or something. But only ironically.

You need one of these.

It is incredibly rare for a photo to look better, or even decent, due to being Instagrammed.

What else is there to say on the subject, really? That’s about it. Instagram is shit.

Now I don’t want fanboys/girls coming back at me with, ‘Oh, you’ve never tried it, you’re just a hater, blah blah blah.’ IĀ have tried it. IĀ always try things that I suspect might suck, just to be sure, and so that I can come back to you lot with my findings.

For quite some time I’d been seeing Instagram shots come up on my Facebook feed. Clearly some of my friends had iPhones and weren’t afraid to use them. I always looked at the photos and went, ‘Umm, meh, whatever.’ And then Instagram became available on Android, and then I got an Android phone, so I could check it out first hand. I could take photos, put shitty little effects on them, and ‘follow’ other people doing the same thing.

Now I want to say straight up that in my ‘following’ adventures, I did come across some photos which were stunning. Beautiful. Gorgeous. Very skillfully manipulated. However, the editing that had been done to those photos was clearly beyond the capabilities of Instagram alone, and thus I call shenanigans. People clearly can and do uploadĀ any photos, not exclusively Instagrammed ones. So that’s cheating, and I don’t count those.

But virtually every genuinely Instagrammed photo I see still makes me wince. Are you scanning and posting your grandmother’s photos from 1971? Why is your lunch blue, and your family orange? Is your phone camera malfunctioning? Is that your family or just a grouping of blobs? Those are all questions that cross my mind frequently as I peer and grimace my way through Instagrams.

Maybe I’m missing the point. Is the whole idea to create images that look old, faded, washed out, and blurred? Does the entire point of Instagram lie in the denial of beauty? Does it exist purely so that people with no technical skill in photography can gather together and congratulate each other on that fact?

Perhaps I am a lone voice in the wilderness crying out for photography to be an art again. Perhaps nobody else in this instant-everything world feels the need to learn a skill, to practice it, to create not only memories but beauty; imagesĀ worth remembering. I may be the only person left who doesn’t think that a yellow tinge improves every image.

So by all means, keep posting your digitally over-exposed happy snaps, keep showing me how your lunch can look amazingly like vomit. But never ask me to be enthusiastic about it, to tell you it looks delicious, to compliment your hipstagraphic skillz. Never try to tell me that’s ‘photography’.

Colour photography

I love to photograph inks and dyes. I don’t get much opportunity, for various reasons – like the ease and safety of doing so when two small children are scurrying around the house! I would like to do more, and get better at it. But here’s a couple that I’ve taken when I could.

Dye in water, taken this morning

 

Dye on a baby wipe, taken this afternoon

 

Dye in oil, taken in February

Lacking creativity

In weeks, months, and years gone by, I’ve tried my hand at various crafty or creative things. I’ve scrapbooked, I’ve photographed, I’ve done NaNoWriMo (several times), I’ve even tried needlepoint – which I found rather boring, to be honest! I’m a creator on the Discworld MUDĀ (my only currentĀ creative project). And obviously I’ve blogged.

But as time goes by, and children enter the equation, creative energy has become limited. I wantĀ to do more scrapbooking and writing, I would really love that. I want to do NaNoWriMo again this year. I want Evelyn to grow up and see her own life celebrated in scrapbooks as well as her older sister’s! But I feel that these things require more time and effort than I can really spare to invest. They require the re-engagement of my imagination, which is currently limited to thinking up new ways to get my family fed!

I begin to wonder about my priorities. It is clear that my family, my children, must come first… but where do I draw the line, when is enough simply enough? When do I get to follow my own interests, free from distraction or guilt? And how important does something have to be before I feel justified in trying?

Ultimately responsibility lies with myself. If I feel the need, I must put aside the time and make the effort to create something. I think, right now, I shall organise to have some digital photos printed out nicely to scrapbook! Wish me luck.