A collection of writings about projects, adventures, and general musings. Good to read if you want to get to know me a little better.
It feels nice to be back to the relative quiet of home now. The peacefulness of being sat at my desk with a morning coffee from my own coffee machine, ready to resume edits on the film projects that have been waiting for me at home whilst I’ve been working away.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about shifting goals and not really quite appreciating where you are. Because my own goals have changed and grown in the last few years, it’s been easy to not quite realise all the progress, and that a few years back I’d be pinching myself if I was doing this, and (mostly) making it work.
This last screening took Becca’s cold water swimming journey right back to where it started in her hometown of Clevedon. It feels bittersweet – it’s the biggest screening we’ve had, with over 280 tickets sold, and it’s also only screening I’ve not been able to make it to, as I’m sat here typing this in the Highlands of Scotland, feeling as far away as I can be.
Finding ourselves the only people at our campsites, taking turns to take the driving and somehow it’s so far always me in the dark on the snowier roads. Making sandwiches in our little rental camper and really realising how much we love our giant van back home.
But that’s just the nature of this job, it isn’t always going to be the perfect conditions, and there was a real beauty to the harshness of the mountains that day. Knowing they could have been even more challenging and dangerous had the wind increased, thinking back to the fierce winds of our day on the glacier and what it would been like up here.
It’s just a chilled day of enjoyment in the mountains, pushing my pace, feeling my leg muscles come back stronger and stronger, more and more. My chest is beginning to feel better. Recovery is well under way and I’m becoming more excited for upcoming projects, to throw myself back into shooting again.
The sky is becoming a little less blue, minute by minute, as the vibe from bluebird day begins to change. As we head down the clouds begin to roll in, whipping up the snow around us and pushing us sideways as we head back down to the car park, the view of Loch Morlich still visible through dancing powder. I’m thinking about food, and a shower, and how much fun I’ve had.
I’m already finding it hard not to stop and take some photos. But I ration myself, heading up and up past a guide and his group pitching the gully and a couple pitching and simul-climbing. Occasional ice rains down on me, bouncing off my helmet and creating some small bruises on my thumb and inner thigh. I’m ahead so I shield Michael from the worst of it.
We solo on the gentler start, comfortable on the terrain but then the rope comes off the bag, time to pitch. This will be our most technical gully, we’ve done some II climb on ridgey-clambery terrain but not in a gully, so I’m quite interested to see what the gear-situation is.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve genuinely felt so immersed in something. Even when shooting other things, I’m worrying about other things and I find it pretty hard to switch off these days, though going into the New Year I’ve really been working on it. But I really did find myself totally in the moment here. Feeling the cold and concentrating on the shots.
Michael falls asleep at about half past seven. I doze and wake and doze and wake. I’m pretty sure I heard a ghost at one point but it was probably the wind. I wonder whether I’d feel comfortable staying in a bothy alone. I’m unsure. I’ll stay in the van alone, I’ll camp alone, I’ll bivvy alone. But part of me wonders whether staying in a bothy alone would be too much for me. Ghosts or no ghosts.
Every time I think I’ve settled into some kind of acceptance about being at home, about missing the winter season, the hills, (the suffering!), the specific kind of creativity that comes with looking through a viewfinder at a wild landscape, I’m then thrown back out of that acceptance.
We headed down, taking our time, picking out the details of the rime on the rock, how the ice formations were shaped like leaves, carved by the winds of yesterday. I played around with shooting on a 55mm, the only lens I’d brought up with me.
It’s not the actual getting into the water that is hard, that I can do. But, it’s just getting to the water’s side in the first place. Picking myself up, leaving the safe place and making the journey there.
It quietly turns to blue hour. My legs are tired, there’s a small bubble of frustration deep in my chest at my lack of fitness, but my heart is happy for being out. To have headed out with a tiny camera and trail running packs and to have been rewarded with an evening like this.
I’m stoked, because for this shoot I got to pick my own models, and location. I’m planning to shoot up on Sharp Edge at golden hour, getting a wintry vibe on a summer-autumn morning.
These last weeks, the conversation around diversity and representation has gotten louder and louder, with voices and perspectives and experiences making it into the mainstream.
And it’s just that feeling, you know? With being a little uncomfortable but still safe. A feeling you crave.
I am wondering why I am awake.
I fell asleep around an hour ago at 1:00am and now an hour later I am stirring from warm bedsheets.
Corvus is a 147m, five pitch trad climb found on Raven Crag, Combe Gyll, in Borrowdale in the Lake District. It’s graded Difficult, and so is quite a lovely climb for beginner trad climbers.
Visit and review as many veggie places as humanly possible in just two and a half days.
Aguas Calientes is this small place nestled, hidden, in the mountains. And that’s all you can see – Mountains. Towering all around you. It might have been claustrophobic if it wasn’t so beautiful,
Since my ankle injury I don’t really run anymore, and that’s at sea-level. So it’s pretty safe to say that running at over 5,000 meters wasn’t really something I was hugely equipped for.
But, I ran anyway. Darting about the hillside, thinking every rectangular grey rock was the drone.
Half an hour in. The blue skies disappeared again. And suddenly the wind changed – hard, howling. Hail rained down on us. I thought about putting the camera away – wet smudges obscuring the lens. I wiped them away and kept shooting, running up and down the group as they hiked up.
We didn’t really know what to expect so when we started spotting snowcapped peaks out of the windows, the excitement started to build. Mountain biking? Here? With views like this? Yeeeeeeeees!
It was chilly. The light was perfect. I saw this orange city in a completely different way than I had before, the roofs all creating this golden quality that just worked with the morning light and the mountains in the background.
You know when you don’t even have to wake up early, but you do anyway because you have it in your head that you want something? That was me. I had this vision of getting the perfect jungle video and photos, with the golden hour sunlight filtering through the trees.
As well as our shot, we had a ginger Pisco drink made for us, and wine served at the dinner table. Safe to say this set the tone for the rest of the trip: alcohol, and plenty of it.
“The jittery nerves I’d been feeling in the days leading up to the trip just disappeared as I looked out of the plane window.”
– something that was said to me recently. And it’s only just starting to sink in what photo and video means to other people