Project: Points – Exercise 3: Multiple points

Project : Points

Exercise 3 – Multiple Points

A group of objects implies a network of lines and can also create a shape.  The problem of placing several points is to group them together attractively, in a relationship that is active rather than obvious and static. (p. 55 Workbook). What immediately springs to my mind here is a flower or plant arrangement and how difficult this can be.

The purpose of this exercise is to set up a still life using between 6 and 10 similar-sized compactly shaped objects.  The camera is to be fixed firmly in one position aimed down at the background, so that the composition is changed by rearrangement rather than framing with the camera.  The objects are then to be placed one at a time with the aim of producing a final grouping which is not so obvious as to be boring. Once you have the final photograph draw a sketch indicating the ‘lines’ relating the objects and any basic shape or shapes they form.

When I was small I tended to make up stories and act them out myself rather than playing with toys like a dolls house.  I think I regressed somewhat for this exercise because I decided to use some small items we have to see how I could arrange them.  They were kind of a similar size if laid flat although some are taller and rounder.

I decided to set up in the conservatory where there is good natural light and used the tripod as suggested, focussing downwards onto the inside panel of a small coffee table which constituted my background.  To get the correct focal distance I  set the lens at 59mm, f11 being 0.7m away.

No. 1

No. 2


I moved the car to allow placement of Betty Boop and then to add balance between them.

No. 3


Another rearrangement to allow for the inclusion of the dog, with a triangle forming between them.

No. 4


Everything rearranged here.  If I had left the blue/gray car at the front it would have made it appear much larger than it is and dominate the  image. the composition is becoming egg-shaped overall.  There are also two opposing triangles – dog with two cars and Betty Boop with two cars.

 No. 5

This is a cross between an almost circle and an almost parallelogram

No. 6

The final step was to sketch the sixth photograph, indicating the ‘lines’ that relate the objects and any basic shape or shapes that they form.

The objects in themselves are angular apart from the teapot which is round. As a whole they are almost a circle, with a triangle in the middle between BB, the dog and the teapot. .  To me the composition is lacking in coherence because, although two of the objects have eyes which are looking in a certain direction (which may be a distraction in themselves) , they are so different that there isn’t really a relationship between them.  The different colours are distracting somehow as well in this case

Summary

I was surprised how tight the frame was and how I had to keep moving the objects around to gain some kind of balance between them.  I was also not happy with the way the camera was focussed downwards and decided that it might have been better to focus on the level of the table instead. I actually did this exercise on the 6th April at a time when I had been wondering whether to compose an entry for the OCA Rollwithit competition just for the fun and experience.  With the learning from the exercise I decided the next day to again use one of our small objects – a Chinese wooden mouse pulling a cart.

Mouseroll

This time I used a grey photocard background because I anticipated that there would be some exposure problems between the brown mouse and the white toilet roll (which there were) and hoped that the gray card would ameliorate this which it did.  I had several attempts, using different metering modes and ended up with an image in which the highlights of the toilet roll were hardly clipped and the mouse wasn’t too underexposed.

When I uploaded to Flickr and also the OCA page I was surprised how many positive comments there were and also how many viewings (97 at today’s date of 24th April).  It was fun doing it and  I thought of two more I could do – the mouse offering to rent out his roll and then one including Betty Boop because she’s quite cute and makes me smile.  Because of the timing I just went with Betty Boop and decided that, this time , I would do something outdoors which would seem more natural and try to get right down to ground level which meant no tripod.  Instead I balanced the camera on a book to provide a more stable base and used the remote release so that I could hold down the camera on the book to keep it steady.  Here’s the result:-

To me the composition was coherent, colourful and told a story.  Again there were positive comments but much fewer viewings.  Maybe because mouse was less evident and, certainly, it is a kitsch image which isn’t to everyone’s taste. There were some excellent and creative entries and I wasn’t downcast at all at not winning.  This was a departure from the usual type of images I produce, from the start of the exercise to the final outcome.  It was fun and I enjoyed it.

24th April 2011

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Deutsche Börse Photography Prize Visit April 2011

London Study Day 15th April 2011

After the visit to the Museum of London, we went on in the afternoon to the Photographers’ Gallery Ambika P3, the University of Westminster, to see the contenders for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2011. This is an annual prize of £30,000 which rewards a living photographer, of any nationality, who has made the most significant contribution to photography in Europe between 1st October 2009 and 30th September 2010.  I’ve just added a comment to the discussion about the  Study Day on We Are OCA:-

“The Street Photography Exhibition seemed, to me, a straightforward depiction of the evolution of this type of photography.  There was nothing particularly controversial there and I was aware when writing it up for my blog that  I was mainly focussing upon images which had particularly attracted me for a variety of reasons.  Why was nothing there particularly controversial? Maybe due to the selection available in the Museum’s archives or because I have probably already seen some of the modern photographs several times over and become de-sensitised to their impact.

My immediate response to the very different images in the Deutsche Börse Prize was a kind of puzzlement and not being sure what I was supposed to think. Maybe it’s because I was feeling tired by then and also the atmosphere was so different from the Museum of London.  The entry to the Deutsche Börse Prize is at the side of  Westminster University and through a rather grotty outside area before descended in a cavernous space which houses the exhibition.  Jim Goldberg’s multi-dimensional presentation takes up the most space.  Jose describes Goldberg’s embedded stories as compelling and demanding to be heard.  Yes, they are.  There is an immediacy about the polaroids and the writing on them which brings his subjects into the room.  There are so many of them that the voices are loud and compelling.  The ‘rescuer’ in me wanted to know what is happening to these people now and how were they affected by writing something of their story. I found myself questioning Goldberg’s purpose.  Is he just drawing attention and leaving it at that or is he using his photography in an attempt to change what’s happening. Was he turning me into a voyeur of other peoples’ suffering?

There was a startling change awaiting just around the corner. Vivid colour but no depth.  Clever photographers showing off their technical skills and playing around with images or am I being too critical.  Ethridge portrays affluence in Thanksgiving and decay with his rotten fruit (presented beautifully) and homage to Caravaggio. Lassry’s man with shifting eyes reminded me of  Rene Magritte (and also a recent exercise in TAOP on the relationship between points!).  A few of us spent some time pondering over Burmese Cat.  How had this been processed; it looked slightly cartoonish; had Lassry used fractalius software?

Well I’ve read now that The Photographers’ Gallery has had criticisms in previous years for its ‘very narrow definition of photography’.  There’s certainly two extremes here now – from the documentary to the conceptual.  This set me thinking.  Could Ethridge and Lassry carry out the same style and approach as Goldberg and vice versa?  Certainly, John Thomson moved from documenting the lives of the London poor (and writing about them) to being a Society photographer but maybe that’s not such a great leap.  Going back to Jim Goldberg.  I’ve also been wondered whether my criticism of his methods is too harsh. Perhaps I’ve been projecting my anger at what has been done to his subjects onto him because he’s more immediately available.”

I didn’t mention Thomas Demand and his very large photograph of the three-dimensional paper model he constructed of an open air church organ erected in Bavaria in 1939. Apparently his method is to begin with a “found’ photograph and then construct a life-size 3D replica sculpture in paper and card which he lights, rephotographs and then dismantles and destroys.  There is a whole series of such images in his Prize presentation but this is the only one he chose for the London Exhibition which I think is a shame because we are only getting a ‘snapshot’ of his body of work.  It would also have been good to have seen at least a video of the making of the models.

I’ll certainly be interested to see who wins the prize.  I won’t place any bets but I have a feeling it might be Goldberg!


Macro Digital Photography Workshop – 2nd April 2011

Macro Digital Photography Workshop with Jo Andreae

                                    South Hill Park Art Centre, Bracknell

2nd April 2011

One of my fellow OCA students had told me about this Course and recommended Jo as she had been to previous workshops with her.  The two of us went together which was good as it gave us time at lunch to talk about TAOP together as well and share progress. I was hoping to improve my macro shots in preparation for one of the exercises in TAOP Part 2. Jo’s website is

http://www.oneworldonecamera.co.uk/

My handwritten notes are in my paper log and here on the Blog I want to highlight some learning points for me.

  • How close you can get is limited by the type of lens you have.  I have a dedicated 100mm macro lens which is a good one. We also talked about extension tubes and close-up filters.
  • What is meant by close-up anyway? We gave our own definitions such as the subject fills the frame; you may pick out a particular feature of a larger subject.
  • Focusing: It’s best to use manual setting and if you use dof preview you have to give it time to adjust (like going into a dark room and waiting for your pupils to adjust.  I’m actually used to using live view now as I had done some mini projects on my own at home.)  Of course, only the previous week I had been on a Landscape Workshop where I’d used manual most of the day so it was pretty fresh in my mind.
  • Background: think of the background colour.  If the background is white and there is more than 50% of white in the photograph then you have to compensate the exposure.  Jo suggested using a piece of grey photograph and I also learned that many camera bags are grey inside and this is photographic grey.  If all else fails you can use the palm of your hand as well if it isn’t sun-tanned.
  • Depth of Field: We reminded ourselves about this and why a longer focal length macro lens needs a narrower aperture to ensure that everything you want is in focus. I’d kept getting confused about this before.  I think I probably still will for a while until it sinks into my memory banks!
  • Equipment: Apart from tripod and lenses etc, Jo gave us a tip of using a pencil with a rubber on the end to dink the shutter button. We talked about the use of  remote release and also the use of ‘bulb’ in manual mode.  Blue tack can be an essential in your bag of tricks, white tack is even better and easy to remove.
  • Composition:  In addition to the normal rules, Jo told us KISS (keep it simple stupid!).
  • Patience: Give yourself time to set up your tripod properly; be patient setting up manual focus; allow for changes in the weather if outside and remember that wildlife can fly away!
  • Shiny subjects: this came up as a result of looking at some of Jo’s macro shots.  Do you or don’t you get rid of shine with a polariser and exposure etc, or not worry so much if parts of the highlights are blown.

Photography session

As mentioned above I have done macro before as home with some reasonable results and I felt fairly confident. ”Pride goeth before a fall as they say”!  Jo had brought along various things for us to choose amongst and photograph.  I was at the end of the queue for choice.  Also, I couldn’t seem to get in the right frame of mind and was tending to do standard shots straight on which looked boring.  Jo spent some time with me encouraging me to look at things in a different way, to think of the angle, focus on texture.

Here are some of the images.

I’m hoping to improve as time goes by. Jo is a really good tutor and I enjoyed her relaxed and humorous style.  I absorbed information without realizing it was happening. It’s just my luck that she’s taking a sabbatical to write a book on architecture.

2nd April 2011


Landscape Photography Workshop : March 2011

Landscape Photography Workshop :  26th March 2011

 I had originally planned to do this day in February but my camera broke and had to be repaired.  In a way it was good because it meant the weather was a little warmer by the time March arrived.  The Workshop was run by Simon Parsons, Sussex Landscape Photography, and to learn some basic photography skills.

Before I went I was able to download a nice booklet from him to do some preparatory reading and preparation.  It was an early start as the Workshop was in the Seaford area, East Sussex.  I took my tripod and zoom lens, plus my remote release and some filters.  I also had some small index cards with me noting down the various exercises necessary for TAOP Part 2 and what was needed for Assignment 2.

There were two of us there on the day which was good because we had more individual attention from Simon.  Once we had arrived at a spot overlooking the beach Simon spent some time talking about the light and how to handle it.  It was a very bright day, without sun but casting a silvery light which was reflected in the white cliffs.  Simon’s advice was to use the camera on manual so that we would have full control over aperture and shutter speed.  He explained how the meter can misread the light so you need good control over exposure and it’s important to take note of the histogram so that as much highlight detail can be captured as possible without blowing it out.

My first challenge was walking down all the steps to the pebbly beach carrying my equipment and then to be able to walk over the slippery pebbles., often covered in seaweed.  This made me reluctant to set up my tripod.   The second challenge was to get used to using manual and keep adjusting the exposure due to the bright light.

I had noticed lots of shapes and patterns in the pebbles, plus small rock pools and, for the morning I got quite carried away these and also bits of flotsam and jetsam which had been brought in by the tide.

We worked our way over the beach with a view of the Seven Sisters cliffs and beach groyns in the distance

I was also able to get some images of people as points which I’ll make use of for the exercises.

As we walked our way back to the cars I thought how much I liked the landscape with its muted tones even in quite ordinary scenes

After lunch we drove a short distance to the other side of the Seven Sisters.  It was quite a steep climb up to the cliff tops and rather frightening as there is no fence.

I took this shot overlooking the café where we had eaten and then another as we walked over the cliff to overlook the Beachy Head Lighthouse.  It was very windy and I had to hang on to the tripod –

By the time we’d worked our way back down to the café I felt very tired and decided to forgo taking photographs of the sunset and drive back home.  I have a lot more photographs to use, some of which are on my Flickr page as well.

It was a good if tiring day and I think I acquired some useful skills for landscape photography.  I’ve noticed that I can now use the manual setting and alter exposures much more quickly. I like the different light by the sea and want to go back there now.

26th March 2011


London Street Photography Exhibition – Museum of London

London Street Photography Exhibition at the Museum of London 

OCA Study Day – 15th April 2011

I was already planning to visit the Exhibition and it was a nice surprise when the OCA newsletter arrived giving the information about the planned study visit.

We all met up at the entrance to the Museum to be welcomed by Jose Navarro and Clive White, OCA tutors.  Jose explained the format of the morning – relatively informal, for us to view the Exhibition however we wished, being joined at various points by either himself or Clive to share thoughts/views.  We would have around an hour and a quarter and then meet in the Museum café for lunch (provided by OCA which was another nice surprise).

My first impression on arriving at the bottom of the stairs into the Exhibition area was of it being rather gloomy, with low lighting. The explanation was that a lot of photographs were old original prints which could be damaged by too much light.  Even so the low lighting made it harder to see the older photographs and I noticed that others as well were craning forwards to be able to read the descriptions.

I made brief notes as I went round, also noting particular photographs which interested me for one reason or another so that I could do further research later. The following are just my initial, snapshot impressions.

1860 – 1890 Origins

The early cameras required long exposures and the small format photographs were mainly of buildings.  These sometimes included people who were either posing for the camera or self-posed. In these early photographs I particularly noticed how the photographers were utilizing perspective, lines, diagonals and shapes and was thinking how much they had been influenced by architectural principles.

The first series of photographs was “Street Life in London’ in   1877 produced by John Thomson.  One of these is ‘Hookey Alf”

But in the fore-ground the camera has chronicled the most touching episode. A little girl, not too young, however, to ignore the fatal consequences of drink, has penetrated boldly into the group, as if about to reclaim some relation in danger, and drag him away from evil companionship. There is no sight to be seen in the streets of London more pathetic than this oft-repeated story- the little child leading home a drunken parent. Well may those little faces early bear the stamp of the anxiety that destroys their youthfulness, and saddens all who have the heart to study such scenes. Inured to a life crowded with episodes of this description, the pot-boy stands in the back-ground with immoveable countenance, while at his side a well-to-do tradesman has an expression of sleek contentment, which renders him superior to the misery around.’

The above was taken from a web site about the publication

http://www.victorianlondon.org/publications/thomson-29a.png

The description in the Exhibition is that it provides, ‘a compelling image of childhood’.  Personally I can’t see this. To me,  the girl looks clean, reasonably well cared-for and not unhappy.

Some photographs have a 3D effect and are stereophonic. Jose explained that the effect was gained by having 2 lenses on the one camera. An example of this was ‘Temple Bar’ taken by Valentine Blanchard. (more information on  http://www.billjayonphotography.com/ValentineBlanchard.pdf )

Blanchard used a small-format stereophonic camera, utilising a cab as a darkroom so that he could process the film instantly.

I was then drawn to  ‘Bishops Court’ 1882 by Arthur Ephraim  Eason.

You can see the effect of the light in blown-out highlights in the sky. The perspective leads to a triangle.  My eyes were immediately drawn to the slightly off-centre cart and I could see the little boy sitting  at the bottom with white knees drawn up.  For me this made the picture and he was my focal point.  I had a discussion with Jose about this. He couldn’t see the boy as quickly as I had and wondered whether Eason had actually noticed the boy when he took the photograph. I think it possible that Eason  could have unconsciously noticed it flash across his peripheral vision but we’ll never know now.

1890-1929

Technical developments in this period led to the first hand held multi-shots; off-guard photographs and then a growing number of amateur photographers due to Kodak. An ‘anonymous’ photograph of a toy seller taken around 1920 attracts me due to the short depth of field and bokeh effect which I hadn’t noticed so far.

‘Derby Day’ c1910: Large profile view of a woman with a cigarette. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/reviews/london-street-photography-museum-of-london-2238534.html

“There is a photograph by Horace Nicholls at the Museum of London’s excellent London Street Photography that neatly encapsulates the elusive magic of street photography. It was taken at the Epsom Derby in 1910 and features a well-dressed lady in her thirties, who sits slumped at a table resting her head in her hands with a cigarette in mouth, lost in thought. But what thought? Street photography can capture a fleeting moment in a stranger’s life for eternity, but it will never tell you what they were thinking. That’s for the viewer to ponder.”

 She is large in the frame and actually reminded me of a photograph my husband took in France of a back view of a lady sitting at a table and smoking. I am obviously looking for reference points, continuity and similarities in styles.

1930-1945 : Observing the street

This period saw the Weekly Illustrated (1934 onwards) and Picture Post (1938 onwards).  At this time there was an influx of émigré photographers from Central and Eastern Europe who held up a critical mirror documenting London’s social contrasts. Felix H. Man (1893-1985) was one of the pioneers of modern photojournalism, introducing picture stories such as “A Day in the Life” and methods of working only with natural light. I enjoyed a misty image of a foggy Cambridge Circus on Charing Cross Road (Wolfgang Suschitzky b1912)

http://www.wolfsuschitzkyphotos.com/

http://www.webofstories.com/play/22817

George Rodger (1908019950 who co-founded Magnum in 1947,  was  a World war Two photojournalist and one of the first photographers to enter the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/content/articles/2008/02/06/060208_george_rodger_feature.shtml

He also wanted to show the lives of ordinary people and how they coped with the vicissitudes of war. “Painting an Oxford Street Shop front” 1940, shows an attractive young woman in turban and overalls perched on a ladder.

1946-1979 Capturing the Street

Henry Grant’s photograph “Trafalgar Square” taken around 1955, shows a woman absolutely surrounded by pigeons.

It reminded me very much of a 1992 photograph “Lola in Central Park with birds and snow” by Bruce Davidson which I saw on the Magnum website.

When I mentioned this to Clive, he told me that this was a particular genre.  I’ve obviously followed it (as have others) having taken two photographs of people and pigeons in St, Mark’s Square, Venice last year.

As I’d been walking around I’d realised that I was less interested in the  photographs taken during the period when I was an adolescent/young adult.  Probably because they were of scenes I could see every day then and also I probably saw them at the time so they are not new to me.  When I mentioned this to Clive he took me to see some photographs by Lutz Dillie (1922-2008) explaining that these were American style which are more contrasty and manipulated –

This was taken in 1961 and I could see how this and others were composed more close-up/”in your face” – well at least to me.

“The Whisperers’ John Benton-Harris (b. 1939 and UK based) caught my eye.  A dual portrait! Quite close-up with two older ladies wearing headscarves whispering together, whilst there are two policemen wearing helmets, talking together at the back.

1980-2010 Reclaiming the street

By this point in the Exhibition there was more colour and the influence of digital photography and web-sharing was referred to.  My husband had also gone to the Exhibition but walked round separately.  I talked with him briefly and he was commenting how little colour there had been so far and did this type of photography need colour anyway.  I mentioned this to Jose and he took me to a colourful panorama of a London street by Mike Seabourne.  It shows both sides of the tree with the sensation of pedestrians and traffic rushing towards the viewer.   Red is a predominant colour.  I discussed this with Jose, and what it would look like in black and white or even what it would look like if it was de-saturated and then the red put back.  I wasn’t sure it would look good in black and white

Further search informed that Mike Seaborne is Senior Curator of Photographs and Curator of the Exhibition. I think he’s done an excellent job here.

http://www.mymuseumoflondon.org.uk/blogs/blog/london-street-photography-a-curators-view-by-mike-seaborne/

Conclusion

There was a lot to take in in the relatively short period of time there. And I’ve only referred to a few of the many photographs. I found it very interesting to see the development of street photography in London and also to see how similar themes continue – ordinary people doing both ordinary and extraordinary things and contrasts between wealth and poverty. I will go again before the Exhibition closes in September so that I can absorb more.

17th April 2011


Project: Points – Exercise 2: The relationship between points

Part 2: Elements of Design

 

 

Exercise 2 : The relationship between points

 

“Two dominant points in a frame create a dimension of distance, a measurement of part of the frame” (M. Freeman, p. 70, 2007).

With a single point the main relationship is with the frame.  However, when there are two points the relationship between the two dominates the composition.  Usually one point attracts more attention than the other due to its size or placement in the image for example.  However, a pair of eyes attract attention equally.  This exercise invites us to notice how each eye competes for attention so that one moves between the two without settling.  Have you ever tried the same in real life?

The exercise suggests that we photograph the eyes last, but I wanted to put these ones first.  They gazed at me unwaveringly and I can see myself reflected in them twice over.  We are asked to make sure that  the eyes are equidistant from the centre of the frame but, that’s another thing,  eyes are rarely exactly the same size as each other, and the same usually applies to our ears, hands and feet etc.

The first part of the exercise  asks for two normally occurring situations where there are two points.

No. 1

Spotted through the window of a café in Corfu.  Two ladies intent on their destination.  I think the taller one attracts my attention the most due to the colour of her hair and her clothes.  She is also nearer to the edge of the pavement.

No. 2

The donkey on the left has a nice overcoat which attracts attention.  S/he is also paler and larger. There is an implied triangle between them.

No. 3

A study in blue.  The large toilet block dominates with the block of colour but is balanced by the man, also with a blue coat, as he walks past.

Let’s end with another pair of eyes – mine this time and a self portrait so I can’t see myself reflected in them.

7th April 2011


Learning from Lao Tzu

Learning from Lao Tzu

I went to a landscape photography workshop day last Saturday down in East Sussex. I set off well-armed with two downloaded maps from Google and Bing, garlanded with my own hieroglyphics which convinced me that I knew the route.  Thankfully I had my satnav as well which came in useful when I got lost near Brighton!

It was a good day and the weather stayed fine.  Mind you it was windy on top of those white cliffs, not to mention scary with no fence between solid ground and mid air.  I came back having learned a lot but feeling exhausted, and thinking mournfully that maybe landscape photography wasn’t for me after all, with all that walking up hills and lugging equipment around.  I feel better now though and the photographs are looking quite good.

Even so I still keep going through the stages of grumbling to myself about all these exercises I have to do and how impossible it is to find two points isolated in a frame which are separate from each other and in a neutral background.  Whoever wrote these exercises didn’t realise that I live opposite a Common where you can’t see the wood for the trees, plus the weather is cold and windy and anyone interesting is staying indoors.

I think I’m going through the chrysalis stage not knowing quite how to burst out of the cocoon and what I want to become when I do.  I know I’m not on my own, because there has been a continuing theme about stumbling blocks on the discussion threads. With southliving (a Course colleague) in mind, my thoughts turned to China because that’s where he lives at the moment.

Many years ago a colleague of mine gave me the I-Ching to read and, a couple of years ago, one of my sons  gave me a Christmas present of “Change your thoughts change your life – Living the Wisdom of the Tao”, (Dr Wayne W Dyer, 2007).  The idea of the book was to read a verse a day and be open to what happens. I have to confess that I didn’t exactly follow it through to the end but one of the verses has always stayed with me.

Chapter III Verse 10: “Do that which consists in taking no action, and order will prevail.” The basic principle of Taoism, that order results from inaction, while disorder results from action.  I think that can sometimes apply, especially in moments of confusion, uncertainty or trying to absorb new learning.

In 2005 I decided that I wanted to do a sponsored trek on the Great Wall of China to raise money for the Charity I’m involved with. Around the same time I had also been asked if I could run a training day at the University.  I had to say no because of the trek but I was relieved as well because I have a fear of public speaking which manifests itself as anxiety about my incipient stammer.

I started to train regularly for the trek, going to the gym and walking with the aim of building-up my strength and endurance. To begin with I walked along the canal from Woking to West Byfleet, which is about 3 miles, and then walked back.  I was doing quite well until, one day, a stone flew at me from out of nowhere and hit me on the arm, causing a very large, painful bruise.  It must have been thrown from the other side because there was only me and the canal around at the time.  I was lucky because it could have hit me on the head. I finished my walk but the incident unnerved me and that, combined with my realization that I probably wasn’t going to have enough physical endurance to undertake the trek, led me to drop out.

I didn’t feel good about it despite joining our fund-raising group where we organised a golf day which brought in a nice sum for the Charity.   There was no longer a reason not to run the training day at the University and I decided to meet the challenge and get some help along the way from an NLP practitioner.  I won’t go into that now, although it was fascinating in itself,  but one of the things that I came out with, from doing something called a timeline, was to find myself saying, “Well, it isn’t exactly a life or death situation is it!”   I just hadn’t realised that that was my core belief about public speaking of any kind.    I subsequently ran the training day.  It seemed to go well and I quite enjoyed it because my interest and enthusiasm for the topic stayed as energy instead of turning into fear.

Strangely enough I did actually go to China, on a tour with my husband,  in 2007 and, yes, I walked on the Great Wall.  It was a wonderful experience and I felt as if I could have walked on and on.

I’m beginning to think that I’m rambling too much around the topic now, but the point I’m wanting to make to myself is that it can be good to let go of self-assumptions and performance anxieties and just stay with the moment.  I only had a small camera when I went to China so the technical quality isn’t that great, but here are my lessons to myself:-

Sometimes it’s just good to go with the flow:-

 

and fly high,

 

so that you can follow your dream,

 

feel the energy and come out fighting,

 

Maybe one day I’ll go back to China and walk the wall again and even do this

 

Not me I hasten to add, although it could be, couldn’t it! Well – at least there’s a wall there, unlike the white cliffs in East Sussex.

I feel refreshed now and can get back to looking at the relationship between points.

1st April 2011