What I’m up to right now…
Well, photography has been pretty quiet for me lately.
On the family front I regularly add to our collection of spontaneous portraits, a kind of antithesis to those staged studio shots where everyone’s in their best clothes and in soft focus to give the aura of harmonious family perfection.
I prefer capturing the joy and chaos of every day life!
My RealMe 6 Pro is more than up to the task for this purpose.
In terms of deliberate, artistic photography, I have been playing with an old CCD sensor digital compact (of course!), a Ricoh Caplio R7 I picked up in a sold as seen eBay job lot a couple of years ago for a few pounds.
I really like it, as it has many of the features and set up of its bigger more sophisticated siblings like the GRD III and GX100.
A couple I really like with the R7 are the step zoom (it zooms to set steps eg 28mm, 35mm, 50mm etc, rather than tiny increments in between) and being able to customise the little Adj (Adjust) button to control commonly used features like exposure compensation, ISO etc.
You can also either set the main shooting switch to the green all auto mode, or to “MY” where you choose from your saved settings. Again like other Ricohs I’ve used it means a pretty sophisticated little camera can be set up to be super simple to use.
Any of the Ricoh R or GX series are really interesting cameras, definitely designed with photographers in mind. The early CX series is also worth checking out, I had the CX1.
Online, I read a range of articles and blog posts via Pocket and Feedly. I recently added the Greater Good online magazine which I find has a pleasing balance of positivity and science.
Offline, an Ann Leckie novel followed by a series of books by Ursula K. Le Guin broke me out of my Star Wars habit, culminating in the epic yet somehow still quiet and intimate and personal Earthsea series. I’ve read the first four (of six, I believe).
Now shifted again to Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro, which is entirely different, but intriguing so far.
Still enjoying Spotify as my sole source of music.
I’ve had a number of rather heavy bands on rotation, like Deafheaven, Holy Fawn, Show Me A Dinosaur and Ultar. All fall between black metal, post rock and shoegaze, to use three terms that themselves each have a broad range within.
I remember coming into my teens and starting to discover pop and rock music, and how I really disliked “heavy metal”, like the best known bands of the genre at that time, like Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Metallica and so on.
Whilst I still wouldn’t listen to any of those, over the years I did steadily come around to heavy, noisy music, mostly through a host of post rock bands like the seminal Mogwai, as well as rediscovering the whole original “shoegaze” scene of My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Slowdive and others, who strongly influence the bands I mentioned at the outset above.
And as always, my usual rotation of deeper ambient works fills the spaces between and soundtrack my daily yoga sessions. Recent favourites include Poemme, kwajbasket, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, and old favourite Kyle Bobby Dunn.
I love that tipping point between noise and silence, where these two types of music – heavy and chaotic and noisy, versus minimal and ambient, are actually just a fine line apart for me.
I feel I have to add this section for this update. Whilst I don’t watch much TV overall, I probably consume two or three hours a week of stuff I really like and immerse myself in.
Having completed all three series of the rather excellent and surprisingly moving Lost In Space on Netflix, I’m now on to Stranger Things, also Netflix.
Like with Spotify, this way of watching really suits me, having episodes and seasons (like songs and albums) available to watch at my leisure, and in a variety of places, rather than just sitting down in front of the main TV on a Saturday night say and mindlessly watching whatever happens to be on.
It’s a much more intentional way of watching I find.
Health and Fitness
My daily yoga and exercise routine is as strong as ever and has existed in some form for over eleven years now. It’s one of those core pillars in my life that keep me well, on track and afloat.
Home working during the pandemic has meant my other exercise (walking and cycling) has been less regular.
So for example on a day at home, I don’t have the cycle to work both ways, or as long a lunch time walk.
Other days when I cycle to work and do the school run (on foot), I’ll exercise far more.
Then other days still when I’m not working at all, we often go on a walk as a family for 60-120 mins, enough to complete a good chunk of 10k steps in one go.
No change here, it’s been pretty much 50/50 between working in the office and working from home for over two years now, which suits me very well. Most weeks I’m in the office two days our of four, some weeks it’s just one day.
I’m hoping it doesn’t change, and indications are my employer is in no rush to, having conceded the balance works better for most of us than being permanently office based.
A while back I invested in a larger (27″) monitor (which I highly recommend to anyone wanting to make their (and other people’s) photos look better than ever) and a new little sound system – an Audio Pro Addon C5 – which I’m delighted with and has continued to rejuvenate and deepen my music listening experiences.
Anyway, enough about me, what are you up to right now?
Please let us know here.
Updated 19 April 2022
(The idea for this page came from the frequently inspiring Derek Sivers.)