It’s rather spiffing to know you’re reading this because most people don’t get this far. You know, they come on this page because they think that they’ll find out about the website here, and when they see an interesting long paragraph they give it up and decide to look at photographs instead. As Adam Lasnik would remark to Matt Cutts over a glass of Chateauneuf Du Pape, “the blighters bounce”.
This bounce term is a bit of an old one to us weathered web analysts. It’a rather a tricky one to explain, but what it boils down to, is if you’re a bit of a bouncer, and you go online, then it’s likely that you will bounce. Something like that anyway.
However, back to the point, it’s good to know you’re with us. You remind me of the Irish geezers who walked down the Broadway together. I think Paddy may have been one of them and he fell down a manhole, or it may have been the other geezer, or maybe another bloke… anyhow, one of the plebs got pipped by this manhole and all in all there was quite a punchline to the story. But the main point is I think they were working together, and I just wanted to illustrate the point that it’s rather spiffing that I can write a short polite little blurb and that you take the time out to peruse it.
So moving on to the whole website thing and about me and all the stuff you really want to find out… I’m like one of those blokes that write poems about sunsets and capturing the warmth of it’s happy glow and all that sort of thing. Only I’m nothing like that sort of person actually, but it’s rather wacky to be able to find a fairly decent sort of landscape hanging about somewhere, and you can shove this piece of equipment vaguely in it’s direction, press a few buttons, and if you hit the right one, you can sometimes capture this colourful patch of sky on a semi-permanent basis. It gives you a bit of a happy glow deep down inside and all that.
Then you get to the part that most photographers leave out because it insults their dignity somewhat... You see, after a while it begins to get a bit on the cold side, and you kind of think, "tally ho! I really should be pushing on", so you start packing up. Then before you know it, the sunset gets all fed up and packs up the show - and the chill really sets in - brassy monkeys comes to mind - and you can't see a bean of what’s going on. You stumble around in the dark, patting the ground to find various pieces of overpriced camera parts and finding soggy slugs instead, usually mumbling comments under your breath about why you were crazy enough to leave the warm, cosy fireside in the first place.
Once you think you have got everything you trudge a mile or so back to the station wagon, only to find that your key is nowhere to be found. You start back again, using the last 10% of your dying phone to shine a pitiful glow ahead of you in an attempt to spot the missing key. Completely in the dark, you begin to conceive notions of sleeping out and mind turns over the options you have available to find some place of habitation, or at least somewhere relatively sheltered to sleep for the night. You count up how much food you think you haven’t eaten and recall stories of lost travellers wandering for days, eventually perishing of cold and starvation. Then about halfway there, you suddenly remember that you put the key in your sock for safety, so you pull it out, and walk back, feeling appropriately joyful about the lost being found… Returning to the trusty automobile you fling the key in the air and catch it a few times in a happy-to-be-here kind of mood, before missing it and loosing it again. After spending another five minutes finding it again, you grip it firmly, determined it won’t inadvertently escape again, and start packing the kit in the rear of the station wagon. Under the cold light of day, (or in this case, the rather weak flickering lights in the boot) you realise you have left your tripod behind.
After saying the sort of things that Buffalo Bill says when he misses a buffalo from a hundred yards, you traipse back, retrieve your tripod (now damp with late night dew), and get back just in time for your phone to run out of battery…
Feeling exhausted and run down, you collapse into the driving seat. Feeling justly overwhelmed by the vigorous exercise, you proceed to journey homewards, travelling at a safe snails pace as your mind runs over the eventful photography shoot.
Of course, once back you get to brag about the wonderful sights and garden-of-eden landscapes you found, throwing in a little poetry to make it all a little more invigorating, and then explain you have to get up early next morning and need to sleep, and you push off to bed, thankful that no one asks if you actually enjoyed it.
You see, this is what photography is all about. Being knee deep in freezing, soggy mud, trying to safeguard extortionately priced equipment from an evil watery death; your clothes are soaked through and you're chilled to the marrow, tired & hungry, it’s dark, you're in some lonely place that's renowned for late night murders, and every sound creeps you out, and you ask yourself why you’re doing this…. You have to remember that you're upholding a long-standing tradition, one that has been respected and feared by many through the ages, one that has been analysed, criticised and evaluated by top professionals in the field, and some in the office too, and one that has produced awe-inspiring, outstanding and unimaginable results. So you grit your teeth a bit, set the old jaw, and wait till you've forgotten about the last time before going out on a shoot again.
This is why us photographers are so tough and resilient, so patient and yet so rewarded.
I will leave you with a quote from Chief Seattle, a Native American Chief who sounds quite a decent type: "Take only photo's, leave only footprints"