Freedom in Isolation Journal:
Silver, like pale ghosts. Then when you look closer, dappled, shades of soft brown and grey. I pause whatever nonsense music is on my running playlist (so totally unsuitable for communing with nature) because I literally cannot run up this hill any more, so I stop, hands on knees, mouth thick and tasting of metal and a strange ringing in the absence of music. Cool air into a raw throat, face tangy with sweat now cooled by the woodland shade. Everything hushed, soothed tones of brown, deep greens, with flashes of paler fresh foliage and above the naked branches the sky is blue, bluest I’ve ever seen, no clouds for days not even a airplane trail, nothing but space and slanting sunlight. The wild garlic so lush beneath the trees, thick as a fur coat, everything soft with the smell of it rising up in the evening.
There are small white wood anemones like open-eyed stars against their dark leaves and the rush of bird song - shrill high notes, the piercing intricacies of a blackbird, smaller songs from smaller birds, the throb of wood pigeons, the harsh call of a crow, all mixing and blending so that it becomes impossible to pull one stand out of the mesh of it. It is like coming up for air.
The deer watch me, picking their way through scrub
and saplings on the slope above.
We have our eyes on each other.
My own work is self-labelled as documentary photography, out of a lack of a better title. By carrying a camera daily, I aim to embody the spirit of the Brownie in making the means to photography ready to me at every moment, without obstruction – by doing so, I can take a photograph of anything that captures my eye and interests me enough to preserve. Any of us can do this these days, with a camera readily available in our pockets around the clock – and many of us do so without even thinking about it. Next time you take your phone out to take a photograph, whether it is of your friends or of something that caught your eye, think about how you are participating in the act of documenting your life through photography. Make prints of your favourites, display them on your walls, share them with your friends and family. Follow the tradition of those who came before you and took their own snapshots documenting their lives. Everyone is a documentary photographer today, and this is a good thing.