I HAVE ALWAYS admired people with natural artistic abilities.
I can see and appreciate the talent in others but finding my own talent amongst the arts has not come naturally.
I was 42 when I purchased my first film-based DSLR. I quickly discovered that I hadn’t a clue how to use it, so I put myself on a night-school course
and two years later I had become reasonably proficient at the technical stuff, including film processing in the darkroom; but I still lacked a natural talent when it came to ‘seeing’ images.
At this time, I was at the peak of my professional career and hobby-time was extremely limited.
I used my interest in photography as a ‘stress break’ from the pressures of a busy working life.
I joined a camera club and attended a number of workshops, some just for a day, others for up to a week at a time.
Looking back, it was this interaction with other photographers that taught me what to look for when composing an image.
As time passed, I finally realised that my natural ability was ‘communication’.
It was at the heart of what I did; day-in and day-out.
I began to use this attribute to get the best from people who were having their photographs taken.
As an amateur photographer, it doesn’t take long to run out of friends and family who are prepared to model for you, and that is when I decided to look at less formal portraits;
in particular, street/ documentary photography. Like many people, my wife and I enjoy travelling.
We usually try to visit locations which are not overwhelmed with tourists. Wherever possible, we will hire a car with driver/interpreter (if necessary). Last year (2017) was no exception.
We decided to visit Cambodia which has been on my ‘to do’ list for some time. It did not take long to realise that a very different and magnificent culture exists within a colourful landscape.
The famous temples of Anchor Watt, now covered by jungle trees, are just a smidgen of the rich culture that Cambodia has to offer.
Our guide was able to take us away from the usual tourist areas and into the heartland of this country where we met the people who are truly at the centre of this nation, ravaged by war for 50 of the past 65 years.
Their faith in Buddhism and their determined resilience to overcome all adversity is etched in their souls.
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