I had a tough day at the office on Tuesday.
Since having the boys I have my shoots planned in my head from the pose to the costumes, then when I have a chance to take the photos I'm totally prepared and can make the most of my limited time. Tuesday was different. I had an idea I wanted to try at the country tennis courts I used to play on when I was a kid, but it wasn't really planned, it was just an idea. When I was out there it so wasn't happening.
My remote was running out of batteries so I was jumping and balancing on my ribs for way too long. The beautiful flowers I wanted in the image weren't working either. I couldn't find the right composition. I wanted to shoot through the wire fence but again, the remote wasn't cooperating. There were horse riders regularly passing by and I'm not keen on an audience when I shoot self portraits, I get a bit embarrassed jumping around in front of the camera! It was a beautiful day but the light was too harsh for what I had in mind. Finally the horses left and I felt I had some space to make progress, then some people wanted to use the courts. I packed up.
These self portraits are just for me. They're not for a particular series, exhibition or competition. I feel like that gives me the freedom to push myself. Like embracing the sun and shooting at high noon, and creating a 'straight' image. The photograph above, free, is straight from the camera with only a touch of contrast and that's something I'm not normally comfortable with. But for this image it was the only thing that worked as adding textures or introducing different tones was too much. The harsh lighting and the performance within the photograph is enough.
When I was packing my gear in the car my ex neighbour turned up to tell me I could go to his family farm to do some photos if I wanted, but I had to be quick as they were putting it on the market very soon. I drove there straight away as I didn't want to miss the opportunity and I felt relieved, like I'd been given another chance to get this idea to work. The result is see (below). I could have returned at dusk to capture that golden light but I wanted to keep pushing myself to use the sun and now when I step back to look at it, it's a very nostalgic photograph for me. The bright blue cloudless sky, the tin, the daisies. It all transports me back to my childhood, the freedom of growing up in the country. Add the smell of the daises and my brain was about to implode with memories!
I still didn't get my idea to work. It's tucked away for another day...
When I'm running around bare foot in the bush, I am free.