My husband Peter, took these stirring and impromptu shots you see here, on his Fujifilm XF10, during the second lockdown we’re experiencing in the UK.
Phone cameras have become so sophisticated of late, that others cameras we own have become somewhat redundant so I’m happy that Peter is enjoying the compact Fuji and I adore these striking, less polished shots of his.
There is admittedly, something rewarding shooting with a tangible, more concrete piece of kit than a phone which requires next to no experience or expertise to use.
Peter’s pro Canon 5D camera with lenses is far too weighty for quick walks in the park, particularly as we’re usually both laden down with bags (and sticks), making the Fuji, the ideal companion to capture moments on the fly of the family, an antidote to the more posed, smiley images we so often take (which do also have their place).
We have, of course, stuck close to home over this second period of lockdown as the rules state, mostly strolling by the River Thames in Windsor and Eton, and lapping up those ‘must clear our heads and take in some fresh air’ rambles in the woods of Windsor Great Park a short drive away. That connection to nature, and to one another without distractions whilst moving our limbs has been a neccessary balm for both our emotional and physical health, particularly on the days we’ve felt cooped up inside and disconnected from family and friends further away.
Alexander remarked the other day that we, ‘Don’t do anything new, anymore’ which is somewhat but not wholly true of this challenging period (we did enjoy trips to Brighton and beyond when we were allowed to travel) but nonetheless, it was the catalyst to Peter and I viewing this part of the world in which we live and love: Berkshire, with fresh eyes so our children could enjoy new experiences and explore parts of the area we hadn’t seen before while sticking to the lockdown rules.
We ventured onto paths we’d previously not taken, choosing only the firmest and longest of sticks along the way in which to prod the river with, often dipping our wellies into streams we stumbled upon, searching for the most symmetrical of pebbles that lay beneath to add to our collection of treasures back homw, and we hiked into forests untrodden, searching the skies for dancing clouds that could form characters in our invented stories, taking inspiration from the towering trees above us.
This lockdown, like the last one, continues to simplify life in a distinct and profound way, distilling all that is meaningful and precious: the relationships which matter, the pursuits which deserve honouring (being in nature for my family, cooking together, painting and writing for me) and they’ve allowed us to deepen our understanding of one another and strengthen those bonds between us.
We have all collectively realised of course, how lucky we are to have everything we need infront of us: love, health and happiness. We knew it all along but needed reminding as the incessant noise and pressures pre-Covid were deafening.
It’s a shame it’s taken widespread loss and a pandemic to wake us all up.
We, like the rest of the world have slowed our racing minds and never-ending to-do lists and have discarded the many distractions that were paining us, and once lockdown is over, a vaccine is available and we are able to return to our former lives again, I hope we all do so, wiser and with more considerate and kinder hearts for ourselves, our planet and for one another.