Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

If it were done when it were done…

20th August 2009

An alternative title for this piece would be “You always can return and perhaps even should…”. It might be the dawning of a realisation as regards how much time has passed but my previously shared assertion that you can always find a different side to any location that you’ve already visited has been joined by the idea that it’s never any harm seeing the same things again. The provocation for this course of thought has been the passing earlier this year of the tenth birthday of the online photo gallery that you find on here. That milestone, a perhaps sobering one for me, has had me casting my eye back over the photos contained therein with some ideas coming to light.

My early forays armed with a 35 mm Ricoh compact camera were made in search of things to see and places to go while also capturing whatever landmark came my way. Living in Edinburgh meant that there were plenty on my doorstep and Cheshire is not bereft of them either. In these DSLR-equipped days, it is immersion in countryside of varying wildness that has held my attention with (hopefully) pleasing landscape photos resulting from those efforts. However, looking at the older photos has been revealing to me how my appraisal of photographic quality has changed over time. A big factor in that is the digital onslaught and the shot in the arm that is the digital darkroom. While sceptical at first, I have been won over by the vibrancy of colours and the crispness of results though I continue to use film from time to time. Speaking of film, I never did make the jump from negative to slide film and so had to put up with printing decisions made by someone else unless I took to scanning negatives and any attempts at that endeavour did leave me dissatisfied; it might have been the technology that I was using. The appeal of the digital darkroom might be small wonder then with all of the control that is on offer.

The conclusion where all of this is leading is towards my engaging in something of a photography project that causes me to revisit old haunts and have another go at recreating some of those earlier images albeit with a spot more success. Cheshire comes to mind as an obvious place to start and that is opportune given that the nights are now drawing in ahead of the shorter days of winter when it is so easy to hibernate. Local escapades that either use my bike (the appeal of cycling is becoming more resurgent within me for some reason or other) or other means of transport sound like good ways to keep active when time for a longer excursion isn’t always available. That never is to say that I will not be exploring wondrous countryside for its own sake but savouring the more pleasing examples of what humanity has built in the countryside is no bad thing either, for a bit of variety if nothing else.

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