We interrupt this stream of words to bring you
. . .
I take a lot of photographs. And I mean LOADS.
Walking down a street with me is a nightmare; every five seconds I'm crouching down or balancing on a wall on one leg, or squinting into my phone camera, squealing,
'Oooh, wait! Hang on one second...!'
while trying to capture a moment, a scene, a shape I've spotted, and love.
A little moment I can make into something beautiful, to hold and look at, again and again, in my own time.
Since I got my first little Olympus camera at the age of eight, photography has been something that gives me enormous pleasure, every day.
To do myself, and to enjoy from others.
I see photos everywhere. Lines and shadows, shapes and colours, composition and mood.
It's just how my mind works.
I don't know quite what it IS about photographs, but there's something about that FREEZE, that ability to capture something real but make it slightly . . unreal, surreal, more than it actually was, that's so mesmerising and addictive.
And you can keep it forever, and re-live that moment.
It can't be taken away.
A beautiful photograph isn't 'right' or 'wrong; there are no rules or marking-schemes about it.
It's a thing that's seen in the photographer's mind, FELT by him or her, and created into exactly what they want it to be.
And then shared with others, to experience it however they do.
And HOORAY for Instagram, Photoshop, Snapseed, Lightroom, Bum-Squeeze and Valencia filters!
The fun we can have with them is HUUUUGE.
I LOVE them all.
When I moved house recently, the first things I moved into it - after 75 gallons of face oils and creams and lotions and potions, OBVIOUSLY - were my photography books.
I need them around me, and they make me happy.
A bit like dried mango pieces.
Today is a cold, dark, rainy, gloomy, foul excuse for a day.
So I shall inject some colour and warmth into it, to brighten the soul.
Here are two little moments in my beautiful home-town of Oxford recently, which made me smile: