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  • valeriehuggins0

A pause at 11 am on the 11th day of 11th month. I happened to be in Exmouth and so I stood with a few others at the War Memorial on the sea front for a short period of reflection. Tears welled up with the last post.

In a sombre frame of mind, I continued my walk. A mild day for November, the sun was trying to emerge through the low cloud. I took this image using ICM and the resulting range of shades of grey with a tinge of blue and a touch of white really reflected my mood. Is it a good image, one to print and put on the wall? Very good questions.

And the answers came when yesterday, I watched a talk by Bill Ward . He was clear that he takes photos for himself, a way of being in touch with Mother Nature, in quiet solitude away from his busy day-job as an actor. He argued that his photos are a fusion of what he is bringing to the image, in terms of his feelings, with what Mother Nature brings.

Bill also uses a lot of ICM to get under the skin of a place, suggesting that the results are more emotionally accurate than a 'traditional' photograph. As you can imagine, I really appreciated what he was articulating as it fits with my beliefs too.

And his images are inspiring. The talk led me to share the one above. To answer the question, no, maybe not one for the wall, but to share in the context of my walk? Yes, it certainly captured the emotion of that moment as I gazed out to sea thinking of my Dad and the beauty of the scene.

As the sun broke through, the sudden change of light lifted my spirits. The sparkle on the rippling tide as it ran along the long beach. To emphasise the contrast between light and dark, I changed to it to black and white. I like this image, but it is lacking a focal point.

Two dog walkers solved the problem for me! The silhouettes against the light on the sea provide the interest in the image. And my thoughts went back to Dad, and wondering how many times he enjoyed walking along this beach during his lifetime (and how many sweet shops there are in Exmouth). The recent rough weather has driven the sand in drifts high up against the seawall, exposing areas of rock underneath. This led into musings about the grains of sand under my feet and how long each one stays on a beach. Are the ones my Dad walked on buried underneath where I am standing? Or have they been washed away? Each tide changes the contours of the beach and yet the beach itself seems timeless and unchanging.

Remembering the advice to cast my gaze wide around a place to look for other perspectives, I turned and looked back to the way that I had come. I was surprised by the contrasts. The threatening sky, the white of the buildings, and also the number of people!

The resulting ICM image conveys for me so much more than the 'real' scene captured by a traditional image. The people in this image are representations of generations of beach walkers, including my Dad.

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