A Return To Photography

Image: Suzy Hazelwood (CC)

.
Forty years have slipped by
and I never even noticed
once more… here my feet are

The eight year old
got lost along the way
maybe I’ll find her again… somewhere

But you stand strong
unmoved
unaged
not by a single day

I want to capture
all the magic
to be left
with a little piece of you

.


This poem was inspired by the picture I captured of the carousel scene last summer.  It’s the very same carousel I took a few memorable rides on at The Pleasure Beach in my childhood years while visiting the seaside town of Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.  The photo was taken with my Samsung S4mini phone.  I was hoping to take a variety of pictures of the funfair, but arrived a little late in the season and found it was closed!  If it looks ghostly… it kind of was! 😖   I’m looking forward to visiting again this year to get some vibrant funfair pictures.

I used to do a lot of photography back in the late 80’s, it became my main hobby for several years.  I took all kinds of pictures, but I found after a while I was most interested in taking portraits.  It turned out to be what I was best at, and I got into those portraits in a big way.  I really loved making people look fabulous, it was great fun.  I wish I could show you the results, but those images are way too personal to post on my blog.  I’m sure my friends from back in the 80’s (most I’ve lost touch with now) wouldn’t be too happy with me posting their portraits online!  But I do have an album on Flickr with a small selection of some of the more general pictures I took in the 80’s and 90’s.

By the time I moved to my own home in my mid twenties, I found I never had much money left to spend on photography.   It was an expensive hobby back in those days.  I didn’t use my camera for several years, and when I finally got back to it, I discovered some deterioration.  My pictures were turning out blurred, but the thought of having to spend money I didn’t really have on a camera repair caused me to entirely lose interest.  That was the end of my photography for many years.  I have posted a few pictures previously on this blog I took with my brother’s old Cannon PowerShot A610, but now, with a new camera in my hands, I think I can finally say I’ve returned to photography, and it feels wonderful!

Although high quality cameras are still very expensive, at least the processing of images doesn’t have to be costly.  I get such a thrill out of how it costs me nothing at all to get my images looking exactly how I want them.  At the moment, I don’t use Photoshop, I use a free program called Photoscape.  Obviously the options it offers will never be as vast as Photoshop, but for fairly basic image editing, plus some creative options, it’s all I need at the moment.

This year I bought a Sony A6000.  I really liked a lot of images I’d seen online taken with Sony cameras, but never thought I could afford one, as a lot of Sony cameras are at least a £1000 or more.  I bought my Sony A6000 for less than £450.  Obviously, there were a few extras to buy, and I will probably purchase other additional lenses in the near future, but I feel I got a very good deal on that camera.  I’ve barely begun to use it… I absolutely love the results!

It’s also very compact in size and incredibly lightweight, which is very important to me, as I dislike heavy bulky cameras.  If you are looking for a small camera with professional results to take on your holidays, the Sony A6000 might be perfect for that.

I’ve posted below two galleries below.  The first group were taken with my Samsung S4mini phone.  Very pleased with the images that budget priced phone takes.  The second lot of images, I took this year with the Sony A6000.  Two of which are of Mark Mayes book ‘The Gift Maker’ which I briefly mentioned back in July in the post of our spoken word collaboration.  It has such an attractive cover I thought it would make an interesting subject to photograph. At least it got me started on some still life, a subject I was previously useless at.  It helps a lot to have a camera where you’re not forced to look through a view finder, it allows a lot freedom to move around at all angles.  So last week, I bought some flowers, parked them in front of my bedroom window, and got shooting.  Then moved on to my vintage books… and more flowers!  I found I’m not only improving on those still little things, I really enjoy it.

Most of the images uploaded to my Flickr page are set to Creative Commons (non commercial).  If anyone is interested in using any of them for a blog post, they are free to use… as long as I’m credited for the image back to Flickr.  I’ve had a small selection of images used since last summer, and most bloggers have been good enough to stick to the CC licence and credit me, which is really nice to see.

I would like to say a big thank you to all my WordPress photographer friends for inspiring me over the years.  I’m sure your fantastic images have done a great deal in helping me to return to a forgotten hobby,  and have also taught me lot about how to see the world through a digital camera.  Thank you so much… keep taking your awesome pictures!! 😊

To see the full size view of any of these images please visit my Flickr page.

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The Gift Maker ~ Mark Mayes
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18 thoughts on “A Return To Photography

  1. Wow! Wondering why I didn’t check out your flicker photos. (Had it been there all the time?) Though I don’t know much about technical aspects I am in love with photography. The mood you create with each of your photos is so capturing. The streets, nature, indoors – amazing, Suzy! You should take it up as your profession – are you already doing it?

    1. Thank you very much my friend!! No, you didn’t miss it, I don’t think I was on Flickr around last July. I bought a new Samsung phone late last summer and found it had an excellent camera… I got to taking all kinds of pictures with it. Such a handy little pocket size camera. I had in mind to buy a real camera some time, so created that Flickr account last year and posted my phone images on there. It’s another world entirely… Flickr. You can literally drown in beautiful pictures!! A great way to learn about photography.

      I’m not professional… it’s just a hobby, and it was before too. I did think about creating my own portrait business back in the 80’s, but I got very sick, illness altered my life entirely. So I enjoyed the fun of it… very therapeutic… tiring for me sometimes, but gave me a sense of purpose, took my mind of things for a while. I think it’s been doing the same recently too. Plus, it’s a bonus to have a record of little moments of life that would otherwise be entirely lost.

      I remember you saying about your love for photography and some of your beautiful pictures of gardens etc! I don’t know that much about the technical side of things either. I did learn a lot about portraits in study and actual hands on experience many years ago, so I still have that to lean on, but the cameras today are a little different in the way they function, and I’ve taking quite different pictures to what I did before, it’s still a long learning curve! 🙂

    1. Thank you Chris, that’s so kind! Ah yes, nostalgia indeed!! We do, and it’s great to visit those places again. I’m not one for scary rides at fairgrounds, but love to see young people enjoying themselves in a very different way to how I did. It was all a lot more gentle in my 70’s childhood. 🙂

  2. Good to see you returning to an old interest in photography, Suzy. I can definitely see a vintage influence in your style of photography.

    Processing photos doesn’t cost money but does cost time. Streamline your processing workflow as best you can and you’ll enjoy it more. Now get back to taking portraits. I look forward to seeing more from you.

    1. Thank you so much!! 🙂 I hadn’t really thought of it that way, but now you’ve mentioned it I can see what you mean. There is a vintage style in there. I know I tend to lean towards strong bold colours and like altering images more in the direction of art than straight forward photography. Although I haven’t had the time in recent years, I enjoy painting too, so that might be why. There’s a secret artist in my mind somewhere! 😀

      Yeah, I agree with you on the processing taking time, it really does. Very satisfying when you feel you’ve got it right. I found the processing back in the 80’s very frustrating. I would have liked to have learned to develop my own prints, but it felt way too much to get into. The smelly chemical side of it didn’t appeal either! And yes, I’m sure I will get back to portraits one day, just got to find the right people.

  3. I am glad to hear you return to photography and congratulations with your new camera. Sony cameras are excellent. Sony sensors are the best today. The have lowest noise and great dynamic range. I would not mind having one too 🙂

    You have lovely pictures. They make me want to see your older portrait works now. I also like still life picture. They seem have life differently than their real life. It the imagination of the photographer to convey the story of the subjects from the picture. I am excited and looking forward to see your pictures coming soon 🙂

    1. So sorry, I forgot to reply to your lovely comment… brainless me!!😳 Thanks so much!! Yes, Sony is an excellent brand of camera… and I’m still really pleased with it.

      It would be wonderful to be able to post those old portraits, they did turn out very good. I still give them a look every now and then. 89-90 is a long time ago now, but they haven’t turned brown yet!😄

      Because I couldn’t afford professional backgrounds, I used a coloured bed sheet stuck to the wall with blue tack. Sounds odd I know, but they came in so many vibrant colours I thought it would be a cheap way to have impressive backgrounds. It did me a great favour not having the money for professional backgrounds, because not one of those pictures have that dated marbled background, they look all very up-to-date… apart from the hairstyles of course!😉

      1. Oh, no problem Suzy. For setting up the scene, I have seen people use all kind of materials for background. The end result is what counted. What you have is the best 🙂

    1. Very pleased to hear that Maureen… you made a worthwhile purchase… money well spent! 😉 It is quite amazing what it’s capable of. Some pictures I’ve taken in the last few weeks… I keep looking at them and thinking “surely these can’t be mine?!!” It recreates life beautifully, and incredibly easy to use and carry around too, which is an extra special bonus! 😀

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