I read a newspaper story recently reporting that in a survey a large percentage of the public had admitted that the Covid pandemic had made them reflect on life and make life changing decisions. That's something that I can relate to. Being restricted to our homes and having our normal activities curtailed for many months, we've all had time to reflect on our lives and for many to make permanent changes. Whilst for me that hasn't resulted in anything as drastic as a new job, a divorce, a new diet or more exercise, Covid has had an impact on my photography and it's future direction.
Fifteen months of Covid restrictions with no outlet for my photography, with art fairs and galleries cancelled or closed has seriously impacted my ability to earn money. I haven't attended an art fair in 18 months and not sold a print in that time. Of course everyone is in the same boat, but the small amount of money raised through selling prints was just enough to buy the occasional new lens or upgrade my camera.
Travel restrictions have also had an impact on my photography and during the pandemic my photography has mainly entailed photographing flowers in my garden or home studio. As a result I've only used my Sony A6000 infrared camera once in two years and after 17 years I've sadly fallen out of love with infrared. I was the only members of my photographic society to shoot infrared and was known as "the infrared man" but that is no more.
Covid restrictions have been slowly lifting in the UK and life is starting to return to some sort of normality. My local Ness Botanic Gardens has re-opened which gave me the chance to photograph Spring flowers last week using my tired 15 yr old Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro A mount lens using the LA-EA4 adapter. It was really enjoyable to photograph flowers outside of my home once again.
In contrast I took the infrared camera out for the afternoon photographing the sand dunes on our local coast and I haven't processed an image. There was just no excitement when looking at the results. The "wow" factor which I've always felt when shooting infrared, was gone.
With no income from print sales and the need for a new E mount macro lens I've reluctantly sold the Sony A6000 infrared camera, Sony Zeiss 12mm f2.8 Touit lens, Tamron 90mm macro and adapter and bought the excellent Sony FE 90mm f2.8 macro lens.
There will no doubt be a time in the future when I'll look at a scene and think, "That would look great in infrared" but I hate having camera gear that's not earning its keep and the new Sony macro lens will get plenty of use and produce some stunning results.
Photography will now become less complicated. I often carried two cameras around (one colour, the other infrared) with three lenses and be torn about which one to use on a particular scene. Constantly changing lenses over from one camera to the other was a pain and slowed me down. As a result I eventually opted for going out on dedicated infrared days. Now I can be content with carrying one camera and a couple of lenses and concentrate on spotting "the shot" There is such a wide range of photographic opportunities available with a colour camera such as portrait, street, sports, wildlife, architecture, monochrome, video that I'm sure I won't miss infrared.
I started this blog during the Covid restrictions to talk about my photography whilst my opportunities to photograph were curtailed and to keep my spirits up. If you're a follower, you will notice that nearly all of the blog posts discuss my past work.
The fast vaccine rollout in the UK is resulting in a promised unlocking of all Government restrictions and a return to normality on 21st June. In future I'll be able to talk about my latest photography and I've already booked a four night solo camping trip with my camera gear to North Wales for early June. In the meantime I hope you enjoy these latest and final photographs taken with the old first generation Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro lens.