I’m suffering from sluggish brain cells (yes, plural…) this morning so I thought in an effort to warm them up, and for the duration of a large mug of coffee, I might write something on here about what has been going on in the mikeyverse of late.. other than kayaking and riding.
A couple of weeks ago I gave a presentation on my two-wheeled South America adventure at a photographic club. When originally asked last year if I would I was very reluctant.. my brushes with such clubs and societies in the past have not always been entirely positive… especially when it comes to street photography and/or the graphic and sometimes abstract images that I like, some folk just don’t think it counts as photography at all. The requester however was very persuasive so I agreed to put together a presentation of about an hour. It was mostly street photography, some landscape stuff although I’m not a landscape photographer, and just enough cycling pictures to tell the story of the journey… The latter I was particularly worried about .. would people understand my love of bikes and cycling and accept the pictures as a fundamental part of the story or would they just be wanting to see pretty postcard pictures.. To my surprise and relief it was very well received.. they loved it. I did wonder at times though whether they were seeing the same pictures as I was when an elderly chap at the back asked why there were “people standing in the lake” when the image of the flamingos in the high altitude saline lake in central Argentina appeared on the screen…
Given past experiences with photo clubs I do also, I must confess, do quite like the idea of being provocative if I can.. without being outrageous.. so my carefully edited soundtrack was most definitely not what one might expect for such a presentation.. but it worked for me and they surprised me by liking that too. A really good bunch of people.
Speaking of street photography.. I generally fail to find inspiration when I am at home in Cornwall, too busy on the bike or on the water perhaps. It is a source of frustration for me as I look at my cameras collecting dust on the edge of my desk. I think Cornwall may be just too familiar and my head is usually too full of other things to be able to settle into that meditative state I need to to be able to photograph well. I need to kick myself into spending more time locally with my camera.. and with that in mind I’ll point you, if you’re interested, at some terrific mostly UK-based street photography I came across recently: http://www.claireatkinson.net/ Her work is fantastic and I especially like the fact she uses film and a rangefinder. Go take a look, it’s ace.
Other news… well on the non-career front you may have seen below that we just delivered our first major project for a client. I really enjoyed working on that, there was enough technical involvement to keep things interesting.. especially wrapping my head around Twitter’s apparently convoluted authentication system to allow my app to be able automatically post new opportunities to twitter as they are created.. but in the end all that confusion was down to Twitter’s own documentation being terrible. The best bit about it all was the satisfaction of working with a good client to give them exactly what they wanted, and then some. I’m also spending a few hours each week attending a business start-up course, learning all sorts of useful things to do with marketing, branding and so on that are not always obvious to the engineering flavoured brain. A big benefit of it is the general energy that comes from meeting people in similar situations, sharing of ideas and so on. The course is funded by Cornwall County Council as a way to promote the growth of small businesses within the Cornish economy. It’s a great course delivered by very engaging people so it is very sad that funding is being withdrawn at the end of this financial year. I squeaked in just in time.
I have a couchsurfer coming to stay tonight for a few nights. I’ve been hosting people on and off for a few years, it’s a great way to meet interesting people when not travelling myself although I must admit I am quite picky about who I let stay.. a request that starts “yeah, we’re a bunch of 5 lads, we thought we’d come to Cornwall for a few days to surf, have a bit of a party” suffers an immediate kiss of death. I generally can’t be bothered with more than one person at a time and only if they’re the kind of person that I’m going to enjoy having them around – i.e they make some time to engage with me as well as doing their own stuff. For some reason I am yet to fathom I seem to be very popular with French girls… not that I’m complaining mind.. I just find it interesting although exactly why in particular is beyond me…
Right, enough of my ramblings. I’m down to the grounds at the bottom of my mug.