Silly Saturday – How to Make New Friends

Lonely in Lockdown? No need to be, the new Minister for Fun, when interviewed today, said there was no need for people to be lonely in Lockdown just because they are not allowed to see real people, they can make new friends. You can make new friends out of anything and on the government website you can see some suggestions – here is a sneak preview.

Sewing
Gold Foil

Plastic
Knitting

Give your new friend a Covid Coiffure
Your old clothes
Plaster

Inflated
Deflated

Still stuck for ideas? There is always Lego.

Two Metre Movement

Writers can still keep writing in isolation and quarantine, but what of photographers? No more traveling to local beauty spots, let alone visiting exotic locations, no more turning up at weddings and social gatherings to take formal and informal shots. One of our local award winning photographers has still been busy; Emily Endean has been using her daily exercise to walk to the homes of volunteering locals and snap them at their front door or in the garden – while staying at a safe distance on the pavement. A piece of everyman history, recording what we hope will be a unique year, not the new normal.

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Gardens were already important to many of us, but have taken on a new significance in isolation for those of us lucky enough to have one. Are they a zoo compound or is your front garden your own little stage where all life takes place? We stand in it to chat safely to neighbours or passers by; on Thursday evenings we stand at 8pm to clap and bang saucepan lids for the NHS and all carers.

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Hopefully a few or more flowers will brighten the daily walks of others. No one could have foreseen back in the autumn, when we were planting bulbs and wallflowers, how much time we would spend enjoying the splash of colour. With garden centres closing there has been dismay among gardeners looking forward to getting their bedding plants; we like to fill in gaps as spring flowers fade and plant up pots and patio tubs for the summer. Luckily our local greengrocer’s has been delivering plants; tidying the garden and planting is perfect for fresh air and exercise.

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I had my chance to take part in Emily’s project on Sunday. If you want to stroll around peeping at homes and seeing who lives there, visit Emily’s website here.

https://www.emilyendeanphotography.co.uk/post/the-two-metre-movement-people-in-quarantine

Every Picture Tells a Story

We have shelves full of them, boxes in the loft; barring a house fire or aircraft crashing onto our roof, a large collection of photograph albums, some inherited, could be passed on into history. Black and white pictures on black pages, sticky pages unpeeling, flip up albums of 6×4 prints. But the days of calling at the chemist to collect a packet of prints, the hoped for best shot out of focus, are a mere memory.

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When we joined a camera club over a decade ago, only half the members had converted to digital, now the colour slide show has been replaced by digital images projected from a computer onto a screen. Charity shops are full of old cameras. The real enthusiast used to be someone who had his own dark room, now he has a computer, sophisticated software packages and a good quality printer. Digital photos can be printed out by anyone, a trip to the supermarket machine, put in your memory device and collect.

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Unlike a roll of film, digital never runs out. Many computers are full of thousands of unseen images, lost to history as technology changes. From pictures taken on mobile phones of news as it happens, to bumble bees captured with the most expensive macro lens; everyone is a photographer now. I prefer compact cameras that point and shoot. But for the ‘technowhiz’ with the right software and a lot of patience, there is nothing that can’t be done to a digital image; cut down to size, lamp posts erased, colours altered, several snaps melded together or the photograph turned into a painting. My book covers are all created with digital designs using original photographs.

Authors are advised to have a website; you can build your own or find a website provider. I found myself with a template; a digital scrapbook waiting to be filled, not just with words, but with pictures. The means to an end became an end in itself.

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Visit my website for seasonal pictures, travel views and a picture quiz.

https://www.ccsidewriter.co.uk/

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Facebook; social interface, time waster, or something more sinister? It does not need to be filled with family photos and intimate details of your life. Artists and photographers just enjoy sharing pictures and many of us relish seeing places we are never likely to visit ourselves.

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I have my camera or my smart phone with me all the time, still recording holidays and family events, but looking out for the unusual and interesting, snapping anything that might be suitable for future blogs or Instagram.

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Ironically, despite this revolution and the explosion of digital colour everywhere we look, people love old black and white photographs; most of us are intrigued if we visit an exhibition. We enjoy the iconic images and the best photographers of that era took beautiful pictures. There is a clarity and sharpness in black and white photographs that has never been present in colour images. The other attraction is that past lives are captured, whether it is a crowded city street or an individual’s gaze, every picture tells a story.

 

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It might seem that in modern life onlookers are all too ready to snap or even film disasters with their smart phones, but keen photographers are often reluctant to take photographs of people going about their normal day, fearful they will be seen as terror suspects or unsavoury characters. It would be a shame if the early Twenty First Century was represented by rural scenes and cityscapes devoid of human beings, I enjoy taking natural shots of people.

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Visit my Beachwriter’s Blog to see my latest pictures of people and places.

https://www.ccsidewriter.co.uk/chapter-five-beach-writer-s-blog/

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