Articles by Jaqui Taylor

New and old: acts of self-deception

The January sales: a time when I am on the lookout for photography kit that bears a sufficiently reduced price tag to allow me to spend many hours of mental shenanigans explaining to myself how cost effective and necessary investing in it is. This year I needed (wanted) a new tripod, because although I own three one is a tad wobbly, the second is a gift made of something marginally sturdier than tinfoil, and the third is just annoying in every possible way. Despite these limitations, before... continue reading

Invention needed

Here’s something that I need invented, if anyone gets the chance: a time machine that fast forwards me to the last ten minutes of a photography trip, and then adds all the preceding time onto the end. The reason for my request is that whenever I go out and about with my camera I spend the first part of outing either taking no photos at all, or taking bad shots. Then, when I have about ten minutes left, either I light upon something that I would be happy to photograph for hours, or suddenly... continue reading

Autumn compensations

For most of the year, I yearn for the butterflies and dragonflies to come along and cheer me up with the opportunity to take photos of the places that they recently left. However, autumn has plenty of compensations as I embark on the long wait until next Spring: All those delicate little fungi, tempting me to crawl through the undergrowth and coat myself in layers of mud just to capture them poised a couple of centimetres off the ground, and then shed clumps of soil and leaf particles from my... continue reading

School Attendance

It’s the time of year when I traditionally use my photography to help local schools to achieve their targets. The dragonflies and butterflies are starting to hide away for another year, so I am turning my macro lens towards the ground in search of photogenic fungus. Luckily, Southampton Common has lots of wooded areas for me to scramble through in my quest for all things mushroom. This generally requires me to wander along muddy tracks and duck under low branches, seeking out that magical... continue reading

Swanning around Southampton

It’s not especially uncommon for me to be wrong, and this week has been no exception. I recently had a whinge about the local mute swans being difficult to photograph because of their propensity to position themselves in bright sunshine on dark ponds. However, they have been my photographic saviours of late because it has been damp and murky and anything even vaguely bright has been a beautiful gift to my camera.So the mute swans have had my vote almost every day this week (except for Thursday,... continue reading

Obsessions

Within my general obsession with photography I have developed numerous small sub-obsessions. Whenever these crop up I want to go and photograph that same thing again and again until I get a photo that I am happy with, or until what will become my next obsession pops up: usually the latter happens first. At that point, I abandon my existing obsession like a once new toy, and immerse myself in the latest fad. And so it goes on, until eventually I chance upon my most comforting subject once again, exclaim... continue reading

Unsociable

I realised last Saturday that I am an antisocial photographer. Or maybe unsociable is a kinder way of putting it. Either way, I am not sociable once I have a camera in my hand. It was my big day out to a photography event at the local Birds of Prey centre last weekend, and the evening before it suddenly struck me that everyone else would know more than me and I would look, not to put too fine a point on it, stupid. I also realised that I would have to be sociable whilst taking photographs,... continue reading

Sneaky forest trips

Today is my husband’s birthday. As we are lucky enough to live close to the New Forest, an obvious way to celebrate a summer birthday is to go for lunch at one of the many pleasing hostelries there, followed by a stroll in the sunshine, and finishing up with a cream tea to replace all that lost energy. Or, as was the case today, to do all this in cloudy weather. Regardless of the famous British weather though, the New Forest is a beautiful location for me to drop into from time to time... continue reading

A day out with my camera

Tomorrow I am going to my first ever proper photography event. The local birds of prey centre has photography days every now and then, and I am going to one.The reason I am going is because my camera-related behaviour has led my family to view me as a cause for concern. It’s the school summer holidays in England at present, which means that it has been raining quite a bit. This, alongside my attempts to keep my son from permanently attaching himself to things with screens, has rather limited... continue reading

Optimism, compromise and crowds

A family holiday is not a photography trip, so the sensible thing to do is probably to leave your photo dreams at home with your other valuables, and pack your “great shot blinkers” to avoid feeling irked whilst you’re away. But this year our family trip was to Argentina, and included a train journey in the Andes and four days at the Iguazu Falls. This made it more of a struggle than usual for me to resolve to be a co-operative family member and not regard each day as potential camera fodder.... continue reading

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