Sometimes, while waiting for things to happen, you can reflect.
A few years ago I gave up photography. It was a time when I was doing well, I had work coming in, I was being picked up by magazines and large organizations for work, and my workshops and photo treks were going pretty well.
So why did I quit doing what I love?
Well, there were two main factors.
The first factor was not being able to drive.
Yep, a 41-year-old bloke who couldn't drive.
Getting around for me was a struggle. although I never really admitted it.
To get to any location for Landscapes I had to use public transport to get there and then walk to the subject. I have no issue with public transport but it was almost impossible to get there for sunrise and guarantee to be able to get a sunset shot without missing my connection.
Getting to any commercial photoshoots meant a 2-hour train journey, traveling around or walking around big cities to find the places I needed to shoot, and sometimes relying on lifts from people who worked for the companies I was working for.
It all got too much, working full time and fitting all this in was causing me to get stressed.
Nearly 3 years ago I started to drive and wow, this was freedom. By this point, I had given up my photography and was focusing on my Mountain Biking. I had sold all my photography gear. I said goodbye to my Fuji XT-1, my Fuji X100T, my Nikon D750. my Lee Filters, and everything else that came with that.
Even though I had given this up I still had the feeling that I wanted to get back into it. I bought a few cameras. I had another Fuji X100, a Fuji XT-100, and a Nikon D3200. It was great but I didn't have the passion for it anymore.
This brings me to factor two.
While not being able to drive was a huge disadvantage, I found it easy to pop to the pub for a few, more than a few most times as a reward for my hard work. This happened every time I went out with my camera, every shoot ended up with a Guinness session in the pub, normally just me, and then a few at home while editing.
Drinking, although unseen by me at the time, was causing me more issues than the factor above.
Not only in photography but in every other issue around me.
Every Photo Trek and workshop I ran was near a pub, I would purposely use a pub for the meeting point and the endpoint so if the clients I was teaching wanted to grab lunch, I would have a beer. I said goodbye to them after going through additional tips and carry on drinking until my bus or train was due.
At the time I did not see an issue with this but it was seen by others.
I always blamed the lack of being able to drive and it all getting too much for me as the main reason why I gave up photography. I'll be honest, I was pretty close to getting to where I wanted and doing photography for a full-time job as a self-employed photographer, albeit, mainly shooting commercial photography and my landscape workshops and commissions being the fun bits, it was still a brilliant and hard-working job,
Many hangovers later I suddenly knew that I had to stop this.
On the 2nd of October 2021, I decided to quit. I had enough, my amazing and beautiful wife had enough and this was going to be the new me.
I am not going to lie. I am finding it fun. I have more time, more money, and, which is the most important thing, a life.
In the past, I would live for having a drink. look forward to sitting in a beer garden after a bike ride and getting drunk while listening to music in a different room from my wife which would, 9 times out of ten be me waking up in a cold chair at about 3 am.
The difference in my life is staggering. I am writing this after waking up at 4:30 am and driving to the coast for a sunrise shot.
I am in a much better place mentally. I have found my love of photography again and, although not having all the cameras I had last time I am going to build it up over the next few years in the hope of trying to get to where I was before giving it all up, and this time doing it!
I have also got a relationship that I love with my wife. I have support and love from her and this is driving me on.
Yes, I know this is not really a photography post but, I wanted to explain where I went wrong.
I also want to let people know where I want to go and how much drinking can really mess with your head.
I guess I had better share the picture from today now.
I headed to Keyhaven this morning.
The 4:30 am wake-up call was not the most welcome, but I knew I had a good composition in mind so this forced me to get on the road.
I knew that I would be lucky to get a perfectly pink sky, as I was following the weather closely, like always.
I am really happy with this image
the initial idea was to make this a black and white image but I had enough color in the clouds to make it work.
KF Filter - polariser and ND1000