Summer is upon us. I’m specifically speaking of the British Summer, often jokingly referred to as the “week of summer”, but often literally true.
The arrival of summer is not a gradual change in Britain, it makes more of a surprise entrance. A couple of weeks ago there were snowflakes falling, now it’s 23 degrees celsius and the sun is shining (and for those not familiar with celsius, that’s 296.15 degrees kelvin).
This has a strange effect on the population. We’re not used to sun, we don’t really know what to do with it. We do have a vague feeling that we should be outside doing something, not doing so would be a waste of a precious commodity.
For a lot of people that something is dusting off the shorts, donning the flip-flops and roasting themselves in the garden. Or possibly, if it’s a weekend, dragging the kids off to somewhere wet (like the local beach, if you have one, or if not, Wales).
My summer panic activity—and you can surely guess if you know what this blog is about—is toy photography. Or at least it used to be. I did go outside with some LEGO bits and pieces last weekend but mostly came away with only photos for this blog post.
The ground is covered in ants and nettles. The sun keeps going away while I’m looking at things through the viewfinder (lying on the ground looking up at the clouds sounds like some sort of romantic idyl, but I was trying to work out how many minutes I was going to have to wait for the sun to reveal itself again). The best of the light comes along in the evening while I’m having my dinner. This is not how I normally approach photography. I’ve become so used to controlling all aspects of my shots that the lack of control when outside is frustrating. At least I wasn’t indoors “wasting” the sun!
With toy photography I’m not taking serendipitous snaps of events unfolding, I can’t capture decisive moments, I have to make those photos, not take them. I’m not sure the British summer supports my workflow.
Summer, it’s good reference material, but I wouldn’t want to use it as my primary light source.