The Year (and a bit) of Living Dangerously: Turning to Photography Full Time
Hello. Here's a picture:
How easy do you, gentle reader, friend of Mrs Lemon, think it might be to make a living creating such pictures? Not necessarily of beautiful fingers on a beautiful horn, but pictures in general? Well, if you keep reading here over the next 17 months, you might get some insight as this is the adventure / idiocy I am currently embarked on. You might not get a huge amount of insight of course - maybe I'll get so busy I'll stop posting on here. Or maybe my writing won't be terribly insightful. Or perhaps I'll get bored and stop putting down my thoughts. Or any of a million other factors may intercede. But you might find out a little about how a foolish enterprise such as turning professional photographer in middle (stop sniggering at the back!) age might affect one man in the UK at a time when everyone and their dog has a digital camera and fancies themselves as something of a genius with light.
Here's another picture - this is primarily a photography blog after all:
The story so far:
1. Wife offered opportunity to do something in Wales that comes along once in a lifetime.
2. Husband, me, says "okey dokey, we can't let that pass" so both up sticks from West London (population 8 - 21 million, depending on geographical definition - more here) and land on the Welsh side of the border a fifteen-minute walk from a town called Welshpool (population 6,200 - 2001 Census - more here). House in London rented out. House in Wales rented.
3. Husband gives up work in London children's hospital, though employers say "Hmm, not sure Patrick knows what he is doing - best give him a safety net to save him from himself" and offer career break. Patrick says thank you very much - very kind. Very kind indeed.
4. Income nosedives.
5. Patrick and wife wake up every morning to big skies, much rain, and views of beautiful garden and hills beyond. Partly this is due to the fact that they haven't got round to putting up curtains (not too much need as not overlooked, though temp of room could be improved so some to be sought).
6. Patrick spends a while updating website and learns one of hopefully a number of lessons, namely that, like other creative endeavours (painting, writing a novel - yes - there's one in a digital bottom drawer somewhere - or post-processing a digital photograph), creating a website is a task that is never over, merely abandoned. Many hours into this updating process I have done little other than make the site look a bit more orderly and less dishevelled - it is slightly more easily navigated now, I would hazard, though many of the pictures are the same with a few new ones that have made the grade added. I don't think scores of internet denizens are flocking over there as I type as a result of my endeavours - my SEO skills are rudimentary at best, and probably actively detrimental at worst.
7. Other lessons from a month of country living? Well, I am only a stone's throw from a shop that sells gun oil, pigeon netting and fur-lined checked shirts that stand up of their own accord so thickly are they constructed. Also, I am still getting used to the idea that updating my website is actually, now, work. This is both positive (working on my photography website, a job? How marvellous!); and negative (well, ok, it looks better, but where's the payoff?).
8. Other points of note so far: (i) you can't get fresh duck eggs in the winter; (ii) an exceptional cup of coffee that has to be self-made is more difficult to achieve than you might imagine; and (iii) speculative emails offering photographic coverage of music and other festivals don't garner a huge percentage of replies.
So, there we are - the story so far. Add to this the fact that making it Welsh hasn't improved the focusing shortcomings of the Fuji X100 and you have some idea of what has been going on here of late. That said, I'm foolishly rather interested in hearing about when the Fuji X-Pro1 might get updated.... hope springs eternal. Here's a photo from the former:
I'll let you know if and when I buy the latter (what'll it be - the X-Pro2?), though income rather than outgoings is the priority at present.