Rainy Wye Valley at the end of Autumn, 2018

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Woke up this morning feeling incredibly sad. Hard to express the emotion but I just needed to get out of the house and away from my life for a little while. I really am not well enough to have done such a thing but occasionally you have to push if just for your own sanity, I suppose.

It was absolutely pissing it down with rain but the escape of it, it felt like a somewhat charming addition. Not a warm one, I certainly wasn’t comfortable, but it’s good to be out in the fresh air.

I had a drive around the Wye Valley, revisited Bigsweir bridge, where I’d been much earlier in the fall. It’s interesting to see the contrast from then and now, how different the feel of it is in the early fall in cool sunlight to the grim looming cloud of the oncoming winter. The rain was just incredible, with roads flooding everywhere, water flowing down paths in the hills underfoot. 

I confess I’m not a fan of rural life, or of trees, I have a lot of gripes with its inaccess, and the rising levels of poverty as jobs leave the area and support is being reduced are startling. Trying to see beauty in an area with so much isolation, destitution, and suffering, I find it very hard to separate the aesthetic and the living, not least because the rural setting is what has been responsible for so much of it. It’s difficult not to be resentful, but I can appreciate that it’s beautiful, even if I do have wet socks.

Self portraits, self absorbed

Inspired by a ‘quickfire’ photo competition I took part in the other day where the subject was ‘laid bare’, leading me to avoid primer and foundation and highlight my freckles with a cold, stark light.

I’ m really having fun with lighting still, and taking part in these is giving me the chance to give photos a go that normally I’d avoid or not think of. Highlighting freckles in self portraits is one I immediately find myself wanting to shy away from and I still find myself trying not to cringe when I see them show up so prominently, but it makes for interesting character in an otherwise quite stark picture.

Tintern, Fall 2018

I’ve been wanting to get a very particular shot of the Abbey at Tintern, at the peak of the autumn colours, bathed in sunlight, with blue skies, for years now. This marks the fourth time of trying this year (first two were too early, third and fourth both with the wrong light/skies) and it’s perfect, so much that I almost want to cry about it. To have finally captured it how I’ve always wanted to is practically a weight lifted, achievement unlocked.

I got up this morning and saw the mix of stormy but bright skies and practically rushed out the door. As well as of the Abbey, I decided to take a little time out in the town too. It’s a beautiful place and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular in summer, but this is definitely my favourite season for it.