The who, what, whys and wheres
It’s about time I updated my profile section given the steady stream of visitors who clicked my blogger profile which actually tells them little. I’m mum to the now 18-year-old Young Wan and five-year-old dog (a miniature schnauzer/terrier mix), Honey. Other regulars who feature within the pages here include Nanny who comes to stay with us over the winter and manages to break all manner of things during that time. While I am originally from Belfast I have lived in Dublin for 19 years, (where did the time go), having moved here for a job while pregnant with my daughter.
I began the blog literally on a whim one evening in 2005 following an incident with the Young Wan who was then 13 years old and many of the posts since then feature my mum annoyance at teenagers. Within a short period of time I was hooked on blogging loving the freedom of writing about what I wanted, when I wanted and how I wanted. After a while when I started getting visitors and comments, my blogging fate was sealed.For a long while this space was an important outlet for me to rant and rave and let off steam, as well as be proud, about being a mum raising my daughter on my own. At that stage I had no idea if I would even be blogging into the next week let alone it become something that I consider important to me never mind the amazing people I’ve met since.
Among the rants and stories posted here you will also see photographs. My love of photography stems back to when I was a child and at different times I tried different courses in an attempt to learn how to use a camera. Unfortunately pre-digital photography was expensive and adding to that was a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. Before I knew anything about photography I took pictures, once I learned more I was presented with reasons why an image wouldn’t work. I rarely think that way now. I am happy to say that photography is a major aspect of my work and at the same time allows me to take the photographs I want to take. Most of the time it doesn’t get better than that.
One consistent theme in my photography is capturing a moment in time that we may take for granted; I’d probably describe my favourite type of photography as grab, point and shoot.
I do use photoshop and have no problems doing so. Having spent a fair amount of time in darkrooms boosting contrast on pics I fail to see the difference in doing that digitally with photoshop. That is not to say the elements of an image are altered, my photoshop tweaking consists mostly of adjustment layers for contrast, saturation and levels as well as converting to black and white. In saying all that I am a relative photoshop newbie having only recently discovered selective layers but I continue to try and increase my photoshop skills, or lack thereof. At the end of the day it all comes down to the fact that a badly exposed and badly composed image will remain badly exposed and composed photoshopped or not.
I should probably make a distinction between the snapshots and other images I have planned, worked on, however I don’t… I should probably not use Flickr and Pixie as my own online archive but I do, as well as backing up onto external hard drives. I also need to find a fool-proof system of choosing, processing and storing images if I do I’ll let you know.
In addition to the projects I have given myself, I took the plunge during 2009 to do a photograph a day; this proved to be a difficult challenge, not least finding inspiration each day for images, finding the time to update images, never mind taking the images and being so busy they don’t get updated and nearly get lost in the all the other photographic work I do. But I am happy that I did it, even if I fell short of the hurdle in the last month, hey work and lots of other things got in the way. If you are thinking of doing the same, I would say go for it, I mostly enjoyed it and if that doesn’t define a challenge and a learning experience I don’t know what does.
I had a column for three years in The Echo and in Easy Health magazine for two years as well as being a contributor to the award-winning Dublin Blog. You can also find me on Twitter, Flickr and Pixie, as well as loads of other places as Red Mum. My photographs have appeared in a wide range of publications and I am available for photographic commissions, some examples of my work are available here.
At the beginning of this blog I used a Fuji Finepix before upgrading to a Nikon D50. Nikon was my choice in film days and despite the surge of Canon digital cameras (as in before digital photojournalists always used Nikon, with digital cameras it became Canon) I stuck with Nikon.
I now use the wonderful full frame Nikon D700 and I love it.