Here in the UK we are gradually coming out of our lockdown, which has lasted a good three months. It has been a pleasant period for me. It could have been worse.
I have been fortunate not to lose anyone close to me, been able to walk the local park daily and I found other ways to occupy my time.
At the start of lockdown like most I guess the sudden change from being outdoors meeting people, exercising at the gym etc. impacted me greatly. It gave me too much time to think how the world is gripped in death or to be more accurate how a number of us will die a slow painful death away from their families. In the beginning this had played out in my mind like a recurring horror movie. The sudden awareness of such an outcome hits hard and our mortality and fragility becomes accentuated and ever real.
The garden offered a retreat – a place of escape alone with nature. Spring had arrived and things were quite the opposite and coming alive. Prior to our lockdown there had been a consistent flow of jets departing and arriving into London Heathrow airport. The route would take them over our garden and I would occasionally gaze up and wonder where they were arriving or heading. But now it had changed. Suddenly now the sounds and air felt different. There were no flights and an eerie silence prevailed. Nature began to breathe again or at least so it seemed.
Being in touch with nature has always been important and never more so when the outside world suddenly zooms in with movement restrictions imposed. Here in my garden I began thinking of my old photography days back in the 80s. I had foolishly sold my Pentax SLR camera after a just few years of using it. The camera produced some great shots, however the lure of a good cash return had won the day. In time the camera was forgotten and other passions and hobbies came along.
Here I was all these years later in the garden wanting for that Pentax. Was it really the camera that had given so much enjoyment or the art and creativity produced from within it? I considered. Did I want to the camara for the sake of it or was there something more deeper – perhaps a longing for art it could produce? I knew. The camera had acted as a tool to achieve and accomplish a hidden aspiration I had of photography. This was a lightbulb moment and sitting in the garden I realised that I could fill my spare time learning to become better at photography.
After some procrastination between a mirrorless or DSLR camara I opted for the latter and purchased a Canon. My rekindled hobby has triggered me to follow You Tube courses, join some groups online and most importantly get out and shoot again. The garden had become my personal studio filled with endless opportunities.
The lockdown for me has been a mix of reflection and reconnection. Perhaps old hobbies never really die within but remain silently waiting for the right moment in time to become reactivated.
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All photos © Fred Watson All rights reserved 2020