Short story, anniversary competition and JPEGs of joy
Updated: Oct 29, 2021
23rd August 2021
Update: I’ve revisited this post two months after publishing the original version August. This latest version is a succinct account of my road to photography. Initially I was editing to improve the writing, although its transpired that a redraft was what was needed. Yet, whenever I start to type in order to tell my story of how I came to call myself a creative photography – the original intention of this post – I end up wandering to the edges of a place that keeps reappearing and then disappearing from view. 'Why can’t I just get the words out?' I thought at first, though observe now that sharing the back story of ‘What Dee Sees’ continues to unfold and needs to sit awhile longer. The telling of a life story is never an easy task so for now the long and short of another tale of a photographer is offered. That's alongside those fabulous dog JPEG’s of joy from the original post, of course.
Today is the one-year anniversary of this website ‘What Dee Sees’. There are details of a competition to win a free print at the bottom of the post (now closed) as I want to share my happiness at the site being a year old and offer a gesture of heartfelt gratitude to followers. There'll be more opportunities like this in the future for sure as this was fun to do.
I walk and I'm free
So why is this post interspersed with dog pictures? Capturing JPEG’s of joy - photos taken with a phone camera that take the form of compressed digital files known as a JPEG - has remained a constant in my life for a number of years.
Time walking four legged friends for 'work' running a pet care business continues to be precious. It seamlessly opens paths to move through nature within my daily life. The action of moving through space is enlivening. I savour the flourish of inspiration floating on the wind or in seeing dew settle atop a blade of grass. The light pressure of my feet kissing the ground is a small bliss that calms and soothes.
Walking in nature is space for sensory awareness and reflection, though it’s also a chance to witness moments. It’s a marvel to see trees in part shadows whilst a ray of sunlight glistens mist across its trunk. Any dog walkers reading will agree that walking with dogs in nature also offers ample hilarity and pleasure as they play, run, sniff, pause, run, and continue on with their explorations and mischief.
The mixed media project titled 'We walk and we're free' was a personal one. I recounted with images and words (also written whilst walking dogs in the woods) and this provided a window into a month of time connecting with the dogs as they moved across the land in a flurry of adventurous activity. (Click here to revisit if you missed this one when it was shared as a blog post).
The long and short of my story of how this website came to be, as well as how I came to call myself a creative photographer and artist, is tied into my walks in nature with dogs. This is because I continued taking photographs of dogs for owners when the craft wasn't holding as much space in my life as it does now. My way of seeing the world certainly changed when I got my first DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera in 2008. The passion for photography has been there from the beginning, although life certainly took me in a different direction for a long time.
I've committed more time and energy than ever before since 2019. The website came the following year. I pinch myself knowing that this year (2021) my work's being shown in exhibitions accepted by 'proper' photographers curating galleries of images on a theme or subject! (See my ‘exhibitions’ page for details). And I'm even privileged to be able to say some folks consider my images worthy of their personal space too, which is humbling to say the least.
With brief and a deliberate concision, I can say that it's been a here and back again journey to this point of sharing work widely and with as much of an open heart as I can muster. It’s not always easy putting oneself out there and my quest to find my artistic voice continues to unfold. Yet it's a delight to be on such a healing journey given the delight image making and writing poetry offers.
I'm going to pause the story here and promise to return to this in future when it feels right to continue with and share. I’ll let this sit awhile, just as I like to sit somewhere quiet in the woods for an hour or two with myself, sometimes writing, sometimes waiting.
I’ll leave you with a few photographs from my collection of JPEG’s of joy. Thank you for reading and supporting my work by visiting this site.
Competition for a free print (now closed)
Thee image below was offered to the winner that was taken during a special sunset over Astley park in Chorley in July 2021. To enter people merely had to subscribe to the mailing list, with subscribers receiving no more than once monthly email updates. This image is now available to purchase from my online store with the New Art Gallery.