Thirty years ago, on a warm, sunny, early summer morning, everything changed in 1/125 of a second. Until that moment, a holiday snapshot was just that: a snapshot. I was a practitioner, learning by doing, gathering experience slowly.
The latent image would lurk undeveloped for weeks until I could access a darkroom and develop the picture. At first look, each image slipped between my fingers, and then I saw it. I knew I had something special.
That moment, 30 years ago, was when I realised I could be good at this photography game, and I set out to push myself further, ultimately seeking mastery.
Making intentional choices.
Over time, I narrowed my field of view, bringing into focus the types of photography I loved the most. I was good at nature but poor at portraits. I liked natural light outside, not studio lights or indoors. I made choices. Landscapes became my joy, and then, as my experience progressed, I dug deeper, making images that tell a story. The story of our world, its beauty, and sometimes its loss.
Mentored by Masters.
As my expertise developed, I brought in other expert and master photographers to support my development. I felt I was becoming an expert in my work, but to make better images, I needed to work with the masters of the art I was seeking. One such master is Charlie Waite. I snapped it up when I saw Charlie offering a day of his time. We had a fun day, visiting many locations, seeing the world through a Master’s eye, and being guided.
The idea of exhibiting my work came up in a conversation that day. Charlie clarified why that was an essential step on my journey of mastery. I was hooked when he described a way to do it that was achievable and would help others by raising money for my favourite charities.
I’m aiming to have the exhibition towards the end of next year. I’ll use the time between then and now to make more compelling and high-quality imagery.
As part of celebrating the turning of another year, I will spend my birthday back in Paris, close to where it all started. Full circle and a chance to make another image of where it all began.
The pursuit of mastery never ends during a lifetime, but achieving its elements moves things forward and leaves a wake.