Hello there, I hope everyone had a good Christmas!!
Obviously it has been a while since I last posted, as proven I have been notably absent on here. A LOT happened during my time away, so here is the ‘low down’:
- September was my birthday. I turned 31 and this time I was at home, by that I mean not abroad on holiday like the previous couple years.
It was a lovely birthday weekend celebrating with friends and family. Friday was my actual birthday, so I went to the local pub with three co-workers where we had drinks and food. One other co-worker’s birthday was a couple days after mine (can’t remember) – it was a double celebration!! My colleague Sri got me a custom made fresh cream Bitscoff cake from Paul’s Bakery in Ilford (note: my name is spelt wrong, very common. I am so used to it). That was very nice and kind of her, and the cake was very delicious and filling. I also ordered pizzas for the other co-workers, who were working the evening shift.
Saturday, I went to Cambridge with my good friend Sally, only for the day. I took my digital camera Fuji Xe1 for a test drive, which I will talk about a little later in this post.
We went around the town, exploring the universities, churches, streets and the river. The weather was lovely on that day, just chilling and taking it easy.
Sunday, I went to a steak restaurant with my parents, our ‘usual’ in Woodford Green, Miller & Carter. Highly recommended for steak lovers!! I love a good ole juicy steak and I had been yearning for it for a while. There aren’t many decent steak houses around where I live.
Anyway, I did enjoy my birthday weekend. It felt lowkey, something I am comfortable with as I am getting older. The fanfare and fuss doesn’t bother me that much anymore.
- Going digital: I am officially a very proud owner of a Fuji Xe1 camera. I bought the pancake lens first from eBay, then with a little help via Photofusion I got the camera body (another eBay purchase by ‘proxy’), which I got on my birthday!! Gave it a test drive the next day in Cambridge, as I was very eager.
It is a slow process going back to digital, I still try to use it as much as possible. Including fairly recently when I went to Bologna last month.
- Third is a charm: Yes, I went on my third and final holiday of this year, which was to Bologna in Italy. I stayed there for a week, however I travelled to other places in the Northern region such as Ferrara, Florence and Ravenna. During that week, on Saturday I went on a long walk to the famous church Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca (or simply ‘San Luca’), that is on top of a hill. I was very lucky to have seen it a distance away from my B&B room.
Of course, I ate quite a lot of Italian food, mostly the regional cuisine. Not only pizza, I also tried out various dishes such as cappellacci, lasagne alla bolognese and others I forgot the names of. Thankfully I met up with a friend, who is Italian, that had great knowledge of the regional food. Not forgetting, I had a refreshing glass of Aperol Spritz!!
- Photography Plans? What’s going on with that?: You tell me!! Seriously, photography for me this year has been slightly lukewarm.
I haven’t bought much film this year, and I still got quite a lot stashed away, most of them in date. Plus I haven’t shot as much film like the previous year, only shooting whenever necessary, which is becoming rare. On average, I probably shot at least three to four films per month. If travelling, I would take ten rolls depending on the duration. Recently, I took four Rollei rolls when I went to Italy.
Film is getting expensive with the prices always hiking up, in particular Kodak – a brand I love, especially the colour films. Sadly buying Kodak will soon become an occasional thing.
Motivation and time has also been a contributing factor to a lukewarm year. I am probably going to use the same old excuse that work takes up my time, and it does, plus I get burnout easily. I have so many ideas in my head, yet they don’t always materialise.
So the only time I shoot film is on the available day(s) off. Sometimes I have to plan out what I would like to shoot, even if it is down the local area.
I’m hoping to do more photography in 2023, both film and digital. Not only that, work on my editing skills and practise. I would also like to develop my own film, slightly long overdue I must admit. It will definitely happen for sure, since I have the Ilford Developer although I need to get the full developing kit and accessories.
- Back to Blogging?: I have two more entries to post before the end of 2022. Other than that, my aim is to blog more frequently again in 2023. Still the same-ish weekly features and content, although there might be a few small changes in the coming months.
So far, I made an outline of the blog, mainly the dates of posting. I did some post ideas for Tried and Tested Thursdays; I already wrote a list for Film Friday. All that’s left is to actually write out longhand drafts, then go over and then type them out. Oh, not forgetting to publish them here!!
Like photography, blogging has been ‘lukewarm’. I initially had post plans to write up, then my Macbook was on its last legs. Then the case of my Epson scanner: unfortunately it is not compatible with my Windows laptop unless I download VueScan. I really need to dedicate a time next year doing the whole set up, afterwards going through the negatives that need to be scanned. That will be a long process.
- Future?: This year has its ups and downs, certainly it has opened my eyes wide to life, especially as I am getting older, which has put a perspective on many things.
Photography aside, I am glad 2022 was less stressful than both 2020 and 2021. Although we are still in a pandemic, things are slowly easing and gradually going back to ‘normal’. I am guessing it is far from over.
Thankfully, I was able to reconnect, discover, learn and explore this year. I am lucky that I had those chances and opportunities.
Let’s hope 2023 will bring us all happiness, positivity and health!!
Happy New Year
Take care and stay safe