Sunday, 23 February 2014

Rainy, blustery weather returns (or did it ever go away?)

Up around 0515hrs and out of bed around 0529hrs. The plan was to meet at the Sline's Oak pond around 0700hrs, but things went a bit awry. Why? Silly hassles like my Tesco Tearaway track suit bottoms were not dry, meaning I had to rely upon the iphone torch to dig out a pair of old cords instead. I was delayed around 10 minutes, but then, on getting outside, I felt rain and sent Andy a text. He said let's see what it's like at 0730hrs, but I was already out and while the temptation to go back in for another cup of tea was strong, I carried on along the Ellenbridge Way as the spitting rain gently gave way to just a blustery greyness. The winds were strong along the Limpsfield Road, holding the old Kona back a little bit.
Andy's new racer (left) at the Tatsfield Village bus stop, Sunday 23rd Feb.
Photo taken by an amateur (yours truly) on an iphone.

I arrived at the Sline's Oak pond at 0722hrs – just in time to see Andy coming up the hill on his new racing bike, a 16-gear Carrera that he's breaking in; it looks good, but Andy's saying it's tougher on hills and he's got to get used to it. I must point out that Andy is trying his best not to be a Lycra Monkey. He didn't start talking about pension plans or his golf club membership and he didn't challenge me to a game of squash OR discuss the brilliance of Genesis and Phil Collins. He didn't even talk about the Sierra Cosworth.

The plan was Westerham but the weather was dictating otherwise: fast-moving grey cloud, the wind and the ever present risk of rain led us towards Tatsfield Village where there was cover, should we need it.
The same shot, taken by Andy on a proper camera (digital)

Fortunately it wasn't cold. In fact it was fairly warm, but there was rain, but only as we neared home. My bike's lack of mudguards led to a muddy, wet arse (as always) but generally speaking it was a good ride.

In the village, under the cover of the bus stop, we discussed photography as Andy was on a course during the week in Cobham. We talked about how, these days, photographers generally are losing out to enthusiastic (and no so enthusiastic) amateurs with digital cameras who think they're David Bailey. It's a serious problem for professional photographers, like my mate Rob Wilkinson (click here for his website) who finds that where editorial is concerned, publishers – for some time now – have not been willing to pay for photography. A lot of his work has been advertising and PR and I remember the days when he and I would travel to press events only to see journalists now doubling as 'photographers' with cheap, brushed aluminium digital cameras, taking photos without looking through the viewfinder: that was back in the early noughties. Since then it's got much worse. I've seen journalists and, wait for it, amateur bloggers (trying to replace bona fide journalists from respected publications) at press events with their iphones or more cumbersome ipads, taking photographs of food (surely the reserve of the professional).

The other problem, of course, is the web and the fact that high resolution images are not needed any more. So everything has been dumbed down, and quality is no longer a key requirement. These are tough times for photographers as there are so many people out there who think they're as good as a professional and are either prepared to work for nothing or a very low fee compared to what a professional will charge.

For more on this subject read this article by yours truly. Click here.

Anyway, enough already.

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