Well the blog has been quiet for the last few months due to my Mum’s death in December after a five month battle with cancer. She was 69 years old.
To be honest i think i’m still processing the events of last year. The whole horrid situation in 2016, from Mum’s cancer diagnosis to the day of her funeral, seemed surreal at times and moved with a speed that was hard to keep pace with. Then it’s over and you have to pick up the pieces, and get on with life again. Not exactly easy.
Fortunately Spring is nearly here and I’m starting to turn my thoughts again to photography. It’s a sort of therapy if truth be told. To start with I’ve been going through my archive and I came across some of my Mum’s photographs saved alongside mine. Ten years ago she got a small Pentax Optio S7 digital compact after the photo bug bit. Over the next decade she enjoyed taking photographs here and there, but one image always did stand out from the rest. Her best shot.
The photograph above is what i always referred to as her ‘best photo’. The one she had to beat. It was taken just as the Albatros ( a sailing ketch with a fascinating history) was being tied up in the harbour after a trip out. My Mum was always fascinated by the people in the image. Were the two figures on the right hand side of the photo related – mother and son perhaps? She always thought so. Was that the father leaning forward? Only the crewman with the mooring rope is obviously identifiable.
It has the look and feel of a painting. The way the figures stand on the deck, the light, the framing of the photo and even the subject matter all lend themselves to canvas. Sadly my Mum never had the opportunity to surpass this photograph, though it has to be said that it would be a tough image to equal, let alone surpass.
This month on Instagram I’m adding images from a photo project i did five years ago in Norfolk. The idea, that came together largely by accident, was to create photographs ‘capturing the unique character of the English county of Norfolk‘ using a mobile phone. The images were taken within a sixteen day period from June 23rd to the 9th of July 2011.
Sea, Sky, Sand and Street as it became known as eventually developed into a book released in 2011 and was my first serious iPhone photography project. I suppose it proved, to me at least, that mobile photography was here to stay.
To celebrate the fifth anniversary I’ve decided to add the images to my Instagram feed (I wasn’t on Instagram at the time) with one or two images being added each day until the middle of July.
The photographs can be found on my Instagram feed at:- https://www.instagram.com/richardflintphoto
A father and his two sons wait for the waves to fill their ‘pool’ – Ebost, Isle of Skye
A yacht departs Armadale, Skye – September 2014
This group meeting took place one Sunday morning down by the harbour in Portree, Skye. From what I could gather it was a religious meeting and that was confirmed when they all started singing hymns rather loudly. One person did seem rather distracted though.
Faith seems to be strong within the community on Skye. Chapel services appear to get attendances that other UK chapels would love to receive. Whole families, dressed in Sunday best, can be seen arriving for the Sunday service at chapels and churches all over the island. Back home, my local church has seen a considerable drop in attendance figures over the years to the point that it is now looking at developing new uses for the building alongside that of a place of worship.
Even though Portree is a popular tourist destination, Sunday trading is still limited to a small number of shops aimed at tourists – the rest remain closed. It reminded me of something the author J.J Bell noted in his 1932 book ‘The Glory of Scotland’ that if you were travelling to Skye, to wire ahead to the ferry but not to expect the transportation service to operate on a Sunday. Bell wrote ‘Skye is still’ ‘particular’ about the sabbath. Some of us write unkindly letters about it to the press; other of us ‘take our hats off’ to Skye.’ That still seems to be the case over eighty years later.
This observance of the Sunday is still visible on Skye (though the ferries do run on Sunday now) and is certainly a refreshing change in a world that has increasingly gone 24/7. I certainly take my hat off to Skye.
On the pier – Armadale, isle of Skye