A Sting In The Tale

Two weeks ago, my wife and I took our grandson to the beach.

In February……..

Whist it wasn’t a ‘scorcher’ it was extremely unseasonal and a fortnight on, things have now returned to normal. Jerseys, big coats, hats and gloves!

Social media is currently awash with snow images and whilst I would love to be ‘out there,’ I have other commitments and the returning winter will have to wait.

Before we went on our ‘mad February beach day’, I delivered a four day workshop in the lakes.

Whilst most are ‘two dayers’, it allows us to cover a much wider range of locations to fulfil needs and when you have someone who isn’t familiar with the lakes it is great to be able to give them the iconic as well as the lesser known places to work.

Tim at Blea tarn. He had never been before and loved the place!

Tim at Blea tarn. He had never been before and loved the place!

Once a soldier….Tim above the Esk

Once a soldier….Tim above the Esk

I never have ‘set’ days or locations and always tailor the workshops to the individuals needs. Not mine. people learn at different rates and as a teacher understanding who you have with you is vital to their progression. Consequently no two workshops are ever the same.

Dalegarth Falls. Not in spate but still a great location to practice your skills.

Dalegarth Falls. Not in spate but still a great location to practice your skills.

I like that.

The beauty of this ‘job’ is that you really don’t know who is going to book you.

I can honestly say that in 40 years of running them for folk from all over the globe, I have never met anyone who hasn’t been anything other than a pleasure to meet.

We get together as strangers and leave as friends. A friendship that I am pleased to say continues. It is very humbling to know that you have been chosen to help people and I never tire of it.

All of my ‘clients’, (I hate the word) are interesting in their own right and I always enjoy our little intro sections when we get to know each other a little bit more.

On this occasion Tims background in the military was extraordinary and his most recent work was very demanding. I won’t elaborate on here. However, it was fascinating but tinged with sadness.

Vicki at Ennerdale on an atmospheric day. She is an invaluable help to me.

Vicki at Ennerdale on an atmospheric day. She is an invaluable help to me.

Over the four days both Vicki and I watched his photography grow to new heights and It was a sheer delight to be out with him. Just a mention of Vicki and I am delighted that she is my assistant. This is the third year that we have been working together now and whilst we continue to collaborate on the workshops, other exciting opportunities have now presented themselves that we will be delivering later on in the year. Details will follow in due course.

Whilst the weather was a freak during Tim’s time with us, (you can read his testimonial here) we made the most of but it but normality resumed on the last day when the rain returned!

My talks season is still in full flow and a trip over to Llandudno gave me the opportunity to meet a new group of friends. The response was fantastic and I am delighted to have been asked back already.

In fact, when I returned home that evening, this was waiting me via email from club member Brian Tehan:

Hi Mark
Feeling a bit knackered, I was worried I would fall asleep in the back of the hall. However, your talk tonight was enthralling and inspiring in equal measure and driving home you have left me far from sleepy and encouraged to try more and new things in North Wales.
I have been in this club nearly 5 years. Yours is only the second standing ovation I’ve seen. I loved it, and so did they. A very big thank you for tonight
Best Wishes
— Brian Tehan, Llandudno Photographic Society

This week I am in South Yorkshire and will be talking to the LEEDS PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY. As its my first time with them, I will be delivering, ‘A BIT OF A JOURNEY.’

I am looking forward to it and hope that the weather allows me safe passage over there.

Next Monday and Tuesday sees me at THE PHOTOGRAPHY SHOW and as well as being on the FUJIFILM stand, I will be guesting at LEE FILTERS on the Tuesday morning between 11-12 and then onto the GREAT OUTDOORS stage for my new talk ‘IN HIS ELEMENT.’ My last session will be for FUJIFILM on Tuesday afternoon.

I am looking forward to going and as well as renewing old acquaintances it is an opportunity to make new friends along the way.

All in all a nice busy time and with a few more talks and workshops imminent, what’s not to like!

Enjoy whatever you do and hopefully take a few nice snaps along the way!

if you are going please say ‘HI’ if you see me.