Saturday, December 15, 2007

Some actual photos!

Sadly I haven't picked up my camera for quite a long time now; essays, exams and even (shock,horror!) work has got in the way. I also have a feeling that having ordered a couple of flashes and wireless triggers from ebay has given me some sort of unconscious 'excuse' not to take any photos. I'll just wait until the flashes come. Sure there's no point in trying until I have all the equipment... I have to stop it though! In the meantime, I did finally pick up the camera, and took a few pictures of the Christmas tree. Nothing spectacular, but at least it's something.

Chirstmas Tree (4 of 4)

Chirstmas Tree (3 of 4)

Chirstmas Tree (2 of 4)

Chirstmas Tree (1 of 4)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

My 'studio'

Well, I'm finally back, and yet again the pangs of guilt over my neglected blog overcome me. I'm quite excited about the following photos. They are of an mp3 player. And a Swiss Army Knife.

Why am I excited? Has the stress of two-essays-and-two-presentations-all-in-the-space-of-one-week-oh-dear-god-what-am-I-going-to-do caused my brain to melt into a pile of slush? Well possibly, but that's not why I'm excited about these. These mundane photos represent the future... The future, I tell you!

This is the first time I've ever attempted to use manipulate light to my advantage. It's something that I have been interested in for a while. Nearly all of the best photos you have ever seen contain two things: photoshoppery, and manipulation of light using flashes. Granted, these humble efforts are far from being included in such a list, but the important thing is that I tried. And the results? Far better than I could have expected.

Set up-1

This was the set-up. My studio, if you will... Stop sniggering - a man has to start somewhere! That unassuming piece of tinfoil in the lower right corner? That was held on front of my flash, so that the light would bounce off the piece of paper balanced precariously on the top and diffuse the harsh shadows and uneven lighting with a direct flash.

You're still laughing - or at least raising your eyebrows in bemusement. I asked you to stop, remember?

So, what happens if you pop up the flash, point the camera at the subject, and shoot? This hideousity:*

Swiss Army Knife-1

Or this:

Vision M-2-2

Yeuch. Not much more to say about that.

And with my Super Advanced Super Studio SetUp TM?:

Prepare to bask in the glory of this:

Swiss Army Knife-2


Vision M-1-2

Okay, so they're not exactly Ansel Adams-esque. But I'm proud of them. And hopefully this is just the beginning - the next step is people. And then.... The World!

* Yes it's a word!!! Tsk!**

** No, no it's not...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Just one picture...

I took this in the same place as the photos in the last post were taken, but only realised I liked it after I had made that post. It needed quite a lot of 'photoshopping' (in inverted commas because I actually use The GIMP and Lightroom) to make everything black & white except for the red, and then I replaced the sky with another one because the original sky was completely white and very boring. I constantly look over my old pictures that I didn't see anything in the first time around. There's plenty of rough, but the occasional diamond.

Red Flowers again

Monday, October 08, 2007

Autumn in Adare Manor

I like autumn. All those hues of orange and red. Not having to get up so early to see the sun rise, and not having to stay out to late to watch it set. Cool, but sunny afternoons. The return to the cycle after hectic summers. I mostly like it because it has allowed me for the first time in while, to just post up some pictures with no whinging. I like when things are back to normal...

Click on the photo below for a slideshow.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Evil Eyes

My cat is, by all accounts, a perfectly pleasant cat. It's not a scraggy, old, flea-ridden mog. She's got quite beautiful long black and white fur. She's got a normal cat face - free from blemishes or disfigurements. You could even go so far as to say that she's a rather cute looking cat.

The thing is though, I don't really like her. She's kind of annoying. She runs away every time you go anywhere near her, or god forbid, try to pet her or pick her up. She has an incredibly annoying habit of miaowing constantly if you go out into the back garden, even though there doesn't appear to be anything bothering her and she has plenty of food and whatever else cats need.

She's also quite an effective killer. Every couple of days, she presents us with a freshly killed mouse, or bird, and recently, an impressively large fish from our pond. Behind the façade of the cute face and gentle demeanour, there is a killer lurking, one with all the cold efficiency of a deadly assassin.

None of this was on my mind when I went into our back garden recently to take a few pictures of the cat. I was actually thinking the opposite: I just wanted to get a few cute pictures of the cat because I hadn't taken anything in a while and I had a free model who couldn't really object. I intended to take flattering pictures because I thought it would be good practise for taking pictures of other living things, namely humans.

But flattering pictures was not what I ended up with, at least, that's what I think of them. While taking them and particularly while post-processing them, I ended up with photos that look like the cat is plotting to take over a small country in South America, or perhaps point a giant gun from space and hold the world at ransom. In one picture, somebody commented that she looked like "Batman's cat", and Batman, while certainly not evil, definitely has a sinister, gothic look about him. I suppose it's all that black.

I think this says some really interesting things about photography, and how the person behind the lens can influence the picture and use it to create their own representation of something, rather than a faithful rendition of something in the world; be it a landscape or a portrait of a person, or as I've found out, even a cat. Clearly my less-than-flattering feelings shone through to the photos, and whether I wanted to or not made no difference. Honestly, I made no conscious decision to take sinister or dark photos, nor did I mean to post-process them to make them even darker. I just found myself doing it. One picture I converted to black and white, and using a layer mask I painted the eyes back into colour. I did it just because I thought it might look cool. The picture I chose just because her eyes were widest in it. This is what I ended up with:

Eyes of a Killer

Pretty evil, eh? Here are a couple of pictures that I posted earlier in the week of the cat, taken at the same time as this one:

So that's that. The next time somebody takes a photo of you, study the results very carefully. They might just think you're the next Bond villain. Or Batman.

God I wish I was Batman...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Reluctant model

I was going to shoot Declan O'Rourke tonight. Yes, I know what you're thinking: "that's a bit mean!" you exclaim. But hilariously, I didn't actually mean shoot him with a gun, but with a camera! At his gig! I know, I know, I should be a comedian and make lots of money...

Anyway, I checked everything. I was hoping to get some into the college paper or magazine. I checked my lens for dirt. My battery for charge. My ISO. My ISO again. My ISO yet again. Centre-weighted metering, AF-S, and any other acronym I could think of I checked. But then I got on the bus, got half way to the University just to find out that it was cancelled. Sigh. On the plus side, I did go the whole way around the bus route in a great big circle for the first time in my life. That was pretty amazing.

So instead of what hopefully would have been decent photos of Declan O'Rourke singing, I'm going to treat you to some photos of my cat taken earlier in the day. I've never really liked cats - our ones in particular. I don't know whether it's the air of superiority and disdain, or the fact that they spend every waking moment futilely trying to sneak into the house. I mean jeez, get a hobby! Go out and meet people, join a club or society! Gawd.

My reluctant model today was our aptly-named mog Fuzz, who gave me bemused, almost pitying looks as I took her photo. She stretched a bit, and then with all the enthusiasm of a potato, strolled away from me as one might casually leave a bad dinner party, or some other minor annoyance. Slight curiosity for a time, and then nothing.

As usual, click the photo below to be whisked to a Gallery of Earthly Delights.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Anti-speeding adverts

Apparently we're pretty bad here in lovely ol' Ireland for speeding and road traffic accidents and of course drink-driving, and the government have produced some pretty shocking television ads promoting safer driving. However, I've never seen something like this before, and I must say I'm pretty impressed. It's innovative, to say the least. I came in on Monday morning to the University of Limerick where I study, and was suprised to see a crashed car at the front gates. On closer inspection, it turned out to be an ad promoting safer driving and asking drivers to slow down. There are another two similar 'displays' in other parts of the campus. The cars are covered in graffiti-style slogans urging people to slow down - probably to appeal to the 'kids', but it also means (whether intentional or not) it takes longer to recognise that these are not genuine crashed cars, increasing the impact of them.

The cars look genuine; they have stickers from a recycling company nearby so presumably they were sourced from there, but whether or not they are actually as a result of car crashes I don't know (I would assume that it's unlikely, both for legal reasons and for the risk of upsetting families) It's still most definitely impressive. Any advertising that surprises you and makes you look twice is bound to have an impact, and in this case it's even better because it's for a good cause. And now, some pictures!


Slow Down 3

Don't Speed

Speed Kills

Garda No Parking

As an aside, I made the age-old error (well, since digital came in anyway) of forgetting to check my ISO before taking the pictures, resulting in these all being shot at 1600. Oh well, luckily the exposure was ok - I don't think they look too noisy.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Cult of Leica

My poor, abandoned, malnourished blog. Nothing but filler and experimentation for a few weeks. I promise I'll return to love you again soon; I'll re-hydrate you virtual soil with the water of amateur-ish photos. I'll feed you with the fertiliser of badly written rants. And then, my friend, your seeds will re-sprout, and you will blossom once again with the flowers of more than five page views a day. Oh, the memories! In the meantime, I really want to share this fantastic article I just read about Leica cameras. I want one, oh yes I do...

In order to not have to delete you, as per my promise, I went and took some photos to upload. The things I do for you! I hope you appreciate it.

Click on this following photo to go to a web gallery:

They may not look like much, but I'm actually quite excited. By placing one lens on front of the one on my camera, I can focus extremely close up. It's not exactly ideal, but it's fun and it lets me see stuff from a different perspective. Expect more of this poor-quality nonsense over the coming weeks.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Sky at Night

Here's a couple of photos taken over the past year or so of the moon and the stars. This is in no way connected to the fact that I just figured out how to host fancy galleries for free and want to use it...

Click on the image to go to the gallery.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Nothing on the top but a bucket and a mop...

After spending a couple of glorious days in Kerry - soaking up the only sun of the entire frickin' summer, I'm increasingly convinced that I have reached a potentially dangerous plateau with my photography. The last year has been largely exhilarating; learning new techniques, in the camera and afterwards in post-processing, as well as rules and tips about exposure and composition. And it worked. I'm not an amazing photograper - I probably never will be - but I'm almost immeasurably better than I was this time last year. Looking back at old photos is (sometimes painful!) proof of this.

However, the whiny emo at the back of my mind is finally telling me that my best stuff may be behind me; I reached my level and this is where it stays, ridiculous though this may be for somebody who has only taken photography seriously for less than a year. I've spoken previously about how my will to learn new techniques drives me forward and motivates me to take photos, and even though I view this as to some extent negative, an even worse scenario is one where I don't feel I can learn anything at all.

Perhaps I've just reached a stage where I am a technically competent photographer. Perhaps it is time to learn other, more important skills; how to think creatively and how to 'see' a photo before putting your eye to the viewfinder. I'm also extremely interested in the other side of the lens - controlling lighting and in some cases subjects. Skills I certainly don't possess at the moment. While I realise I have much to learn, I have a feeling I'll never get that concrete satisfaction you get from seeing an obvious, indisputable improvement in your work.

Gear is another issue; Somehow I feel that acquiring new stuff could be the key to moving off this plateau and back to an upwards slope in my photography, despite the irrational argument here. I have an almost painful lust for an ultra wide-angle lens (the Sigma 10-20mm), and although I try not to, I often think that it will be the answer to all my problems. Which it won't be. As it could be a long, long time before I can afford even that inexpensive piece of kit, I'll have to make do with what I have and not let it make me complacent and lazy.

After that musing, I should probably post some photos (the first time I post something without photos I will probably delete this blog - I'm bad enough as it is) As I mentioned above, I was in Kerry for a few days last week; one of the most glorious places on earth in good weather: one of the most miserable in bad. Luckily we had the former. Despite the weather, I came away with fewer 'keepers' than I was hoping for. It's difficult to make time for photography when you go away with one other person, but that's a subject for another day... Without further ado, some photos. Click on the image below to go to a slideshow of my favourite images.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Ultimate Collector

Another short post, this time by time limitation rather than design. The man who owns the apartment in the following photos is fascinating; one of the best photo subjects I've ever come across. He has an interesting, time-weathered face, a head of shockingly red dyed hair, and the most amazing apartment I've ever seen. He collects everything. Absolutely anything. His living room is like some kind of deranged museum. Personally, I would go a little bit insane living here, but he obviously gets a lot of joy out of it.




The Mask

He could charge people to come in and take photos of it. I would have stayed there all day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Some Macro

I really like macro photography too. I'd love to be able to get in closer, however. My 70-300 'macro' telephoto zoom can get decent photos of full flowers, but what I really want is more abstract compositions.


Eaten Leaf

Someday I'll get a proper macro lens or some extension tubes!


I like pictures of pigeons. I think they need unusual composition and some of their 'natural habitat' - the city:


Also, this is my shortest update ever! Woohoo!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Kinvarra and Fanore

Some more photos taken - thankfully - so I can stop whinging about photography for a little while. Or maybe not. Again I wasn't particularly happy with my lot, and I still have the sinking feeling that I'm regressing rather than progressing with this photography business. I love landscape photography. It might be cheesy, or perhaps even in the main non-artistic, but it certainly is a craft, one that can to a certain extent be mastered through hard-work, perseverance and of course creativity. It usually gives tangible results; you can look at yours or other's work and to some degree say "that is good" or "that is bad". It relies slightly less on taste - at least as far as recognising the skill and talent that went into a particular photo.

My problem is in 'seeing' the picture well before I take it, and specifically, getting to the right location at the right time to take the picture. My trip to Fanore had all the right elements: we were by the coast in one of the most beautiful locations in Ireland. The sun was setting over the sea - it wasn't a completely clear evening, so there were dramatic hues and shapes in the clouds and sky. Further down the coast, well within reach, was the famous cliffs of Moher. All in all a landscape photographers dream.

All very well, but it's all useless if you don't know where to go. We drove too far, for too long, and it eventually got to the stage where you need to leave the car and just get the hell out and take photos. But why? I knew I hadn't found a good place, and I've taken a million sunset pictures before - no need for more boring ones - they need something else now. The act of taking photos was just a reflex; just going through the motions to prevent all the driving from having been in vain. Here are the 'results':



Interestingly, on the way home we came across this little valley steeped in fog:


Personally I don't think the photo does it justice; It was too dark by the time we got there, and the valley was completely in shadow while the sky was still quite bright. It was also far thicker than it looks on camera. I love fog - someday I'll take good photos in it!

Well, that's all. Hopefully my next post will be 100% whinge free!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Moment of Clarity

I was going to write a post with a couple of pictures - nothing special, but mainly as a celebration of how I had overcome a (fairly) lengthy period of photographer's block. But, I just had a slight epiphany while out smoking a cigarette so I felt I should commit it to virtual paper while it's still fresh in my mind.

I was thinking, as one does, about the reasons why I enjoy photography, and came to a somewhat depressing realisation, which may or may not be entirely true but certainly made me think. I've noticed a certain pattern in the way I take photos and my motiviation behind them. I spend a lot of time looking at photos I admire, and trying to emulate the ideas and techniques behind them. This I have no problem with - I think it's something everyone does and it is probably the best way to learn the craft.

My epiphany revolves around the way I do this, however. As I try to emulate these pictures, I will often try it out as a 'proof of concept'; I will attempt to take a certain type of picture, and even when I don't entirely succeed I am happy if I think that I have got the basic technique right and with a little more effort, or perhaps the right conditions, I could take a picture 'just as good' as the one which I am copying.

I think this probably started with those long-exposure water shots. I always wondered how they were done before I bought a digital SLR and was using a completely automatic point and shoot camera, and it was one of the first techniques I tried to copy when I bought my Nikon D50. I had some success, then read up on filters and bought a cokin filter set with an ND filter. Even though I haven't taken any photo of flowing water that I am particularly happy with, I am satisifed that I have the technique mastered, and unfortunately this has subconsciously made me think that this is ok - it's as if just believing that I could take a picture as good as one I have seen somewhere that impressed me is all I need to do. The picture itself has never materialised and up until now this didn't really bother me.

If the above situation was a one-off, then perhaps I wouldn't be worrying so much and writing a blog post whining about it, but the more I think about it the more examples I can think of. The following picture is a particularly good example:

Star Lines

As you can probably see, this picture is nothing special. However, it's perfectly indicative of my problem. I was always interested in taking photos of star lines, having looked at and admired many photos of the night sky with amazing circles of stars taken over a period of a couple of hours. So I researched what I needed - a tripod, a full battery, a wide-ish angle lens, a light-pollution free sky. I tried a couple of times with little success; I didn't realise just how bright the sky around cities is, or how much of a drain on batteries long exposures are. Finally, I was somewhere dark enough to take a picture, and I tried it out. I left the shutter for about half and hour or so, and got this. It wasn't very good, but I thought that if I had just left the shutter open longer, and perhaps composed the picture a little bit better, then I could have taken a picture just as good as those I admired. Again, unfortunately, the picture never materialised. This was enough.

Again, my infra-red pictures followed this pattern. I looked at photos. I read up on filters, which lenses didn't produce hotspots, and how to post-process the pictures. Eventually, after many failed attempts, I finally produced some pictures like these, which I blogged about in my last post:

Two Windows

I'm repeating myself now, but again, I wasn't happy with the picture as a whole - I don't think it has anything special. But, yes you guessed it - I was happy enough to leave it at that.

It's the same for others. Those ubiqutous long-exposure, sunset-and-rocks photos, the photos of a huge sun reflecting on the water, the list goes on. It's hard to believe that I've only just realised what I have been doing all this time, and worryingly, if this trend continues, I'll run out of techniques to try and stop having fun (I can't deny that I enjoy what I do - no matter what the problems are with it) That would be a disaster.

So I'm drawing a line in the sand. I'm going to take an infra-red picture that is as strong compositionally as it is technically. I'll do the same for good ol' sunset-water-and-rocks, and I'll take a well-composed picture of proper circular star lines. This post will remind me why I'm doing it, and I won't rest until I've posted at least one good example of everything I've tried. I've 'mastered' the proof of concept, now it's time for the real thing.

Monday, July 30, 2007

It's infra-red, but not as I knew it...

I've tried this before. Infra-red photography intrigues me; the chance to turn the familiar and cliched into the strange and interesting is intoxicating. But it never works out. I've followed tutorials to the letter, I've tried playing about just about every button (even the ones I don't understand!) in Adobe Lightroom but nothing ever looked anything like the sort of stuff that I saw on the internet. I was in Kinvara, in North Clare over the weekend, and the shots I got finally looked at least a little bit like those I've seen before. Here's a couple:

Tent and Car

Three Walls

Two Windows

IR House

Ignore the hot-spots - I desperately need a wide-angle lens that doesn't do this, the 18-55mm kit lens is notorious for the blue spots in some of the pictures.

While infra-red is fun, especially when the results come out the way you wanted them, I wonder if it could make me a bit lazy. I don't have 'normal' versions of any of these pictures but I would imagine they would be somewhat underwhelming. The trippy and interesting colours take the focus, and to my eye anyway they take it at the expense of the usual things that draw one into a photo. It's fun, but I doubt it'll ever be more than a novelty for me.

I didn't just take infra-red photos, there was a pretty astonishing sunset that evening - the upshot of the crazy weather we've had recently. One of these days I'm going to stop myself taking pictures of sunsets on beaches, but the quality of the results compared to the rest of my stuff makes it too tempting to stop just yet...

Sunset (2 of 3)

Sunset (1 of 3)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Galway Street Performance

I've blogged recently bemoaning my lack of ability to take pictures of people, so I won't go into that again in detail but there was an observation I wanted to get off my chest and I guess here's the place...

Every year Galway, normally a vibrant, fun town, goes just a little bit more mental. For two weeks at the end of July the city is host to what is probably Ireland's best Arts Festival. Galway is perfect for this; art has always pervaded the culture and the spirit of the place, and its regular citizens, blow-ins and tourists alike embrace and enjoy this spirit - indeed, it makes Galway what it is. (something I'd like to talk about one day, but not here)

Galway puts on a splendid show: besides the organised events, the main street in Galway, Shop Street, is host to an astonishing density of buskers and street entertainers for the two weeks (at the best of times one is never more than 20 or 30 feet from a busker, but this distance probably halves for the duration of the Arts Festival. The quality ranges from the mundane to the inspired, but even the most uninteresting of the entertainers add to the incredible atmosphere you can't help but notice walking down the street. It's easy to lose yourself in it, and think you are in Paris or London, in the middle of a teeming metropolis rather than the reality, which is a small town of sixty thousand people - the last outpost of 'civilisation' in Western Europe.

Anyway, I had a point here somewhere, and I'll strive to return to it. Shop Street for the couple of weeks of the Arts Festival would be a haven for somebody interested in candid people photography. Even me, with my stunted ability for whatever reason, can at least try - taking pictures of strangers bothers and scares me greatly, less so buskers on the street, and much less so again people like the one in the photos below. There's something about face paint or a costume, that puts a great barrier between the photographer and its subject. Probably a pain for somebody more skilled or brave, for me it allows a welcome disassociation and allows me to take a photo without thinking that this is a real person who may be guarded about their image or privacy.

When somebody's very act is visual, it's much easier to take photos. Even with a musician, while obviously I wouldn't be afraid to listen to their act, I would still feel slightly uncomfortable taking their photo because they have not explicitly put their image, just their music in the spotlight. People dressed up, such as human statues, or other visual art, such as dancers or jugglers, invite pictures as much as they invite you to look. This is great for me. While the pictures below (yes, this rant will end soon, and their will be pictures!) aren't amazing - they don't show anything extra-ordinary or great emotion, they at least allow me to practise ,without fear, the techniques of portrait photography. So amen to that.


Conical Hat

Move along there!


Monday, July 16, 2007

It's a funny old game...

...This photography stuff. You can get up at dawn, take a taxi across town and spend about two hours in the freezing cold just to take photos as part of a carefully executed plan and end up with nothing; you can walk or hike for hours and come away with photos that are infinitely underwhelming. Or, you can be eating a nice meal in a restaurant, go out the back door for a cigarette, and take some of your favourite photos of the year:

Surfer in Portrait

I like to think that my photography isn't pure serendipity; that order, reason and skill take precedence over blind luck - but this is a position that I find increasingly hard to defend when I have moments like this (I'm not being vain or anything - I don't think these photos contain the work of a genius or anything remotely close, I just happen to be personally proud of them)

Lahinch Surfer - again

They also illustrate to me how much the weather controls my photography, of my main interest, landscapes, at least. This is of course part of luck, and somewhat frustrating. For somebody like me at least, who unfortunately doesn't have the skill to take good landscape photo in the most seemingly drab conditions, it makes planning photo outings - the most enjoyable way of taking photos that I like - something of a hit-and-miss affair.

Fiery Skies

Oh well, I suppose I'll have to learn to live with it - there are of course things I can do to increase my chances of success. One lesson which I have certainly learned by this is that I should carry my camera everywhere, and a tripod if possible (these images are slightly blurry because they were handheld at a very long focal length) It is also gratifying to think that there was at least some skill involved; I didn't have to take the pictures the way they are - that bit at least wasn't pure luck. A healthy dose of each is needed, but I'm beginning to think that the luck factor is of more importance than I previously thought.

Lahinch Sunset-3

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Spanish Point

Spanish Point is becoming a bit of a regular photography subject for me, but it's got more to do with the ease of getting there than the landscape itself. This time I was there for the hilariously titled "Willie Week", a week-long festival of traditional Irish music and hard drinking. It's OK, but it definitely doesn't get my heart racing. Here's a couple that I took earlier in the week:

Sun Peeking Through

Spanish Point


And that was that. I'm starting to realise that there is something really obviously lacking in my photos, and that is people. I have a massive problem taking pictures of people; they always seem to come out wrong, no matter how hard I try. Taking landscapes is easy - I can experiment with different settings and take a lot of pictures of the same scene, especially with digital.

As I become more picky about the quality of light and time of day I take these pictures, that time is shrinking but it's still aeons compared to just one or two chances you get with a portrait. For some reason I find it incredibly hard. Just having one or two goes to take a pictures isn't enough for me yet, and I've got a bad feeling it's going to be a long time before it is. I've read at least as much, if not more about portrait photography as I have about landscape in an attempt to rectify my problem, and while I can (I think) see my landscape stuff going on at least a slow upward curve, the same is not true for the former.

This didn't really bother me up until now. I didn't want to photograph people; our beauty is nothing compared to nature's, for me at least. But I'm starting to realise that pictures need something - something to draw people to, with which they can relate to, and that in many cases is other people; so many of the famous photographs that my limited knowledge is aware of contain people's faces, expressions of joy, sorrow and anger are universal and will nine times out of ten affect us as a viewer so much more than a beautiful but vacant landscape scene.

Maybe someday it'll come, or maybe someday it won't. Perhaps I'll always photograph nature and stay away from people. And I might be happy - and get over this current disappointment. There's something a bit galling about looking back on years of photography in the future and not having one nice picture of people I know!