Guest Blogger (Day 1) - Penny Dixie LRPS

17 February 2014

Region: London

Silver Linings

Images © Penny Dixie LRPS

I’ve been passionate about photography for as long as I can remember and although I’ve dabbled in portraiture, wedding photography and little bits of commercial work, it’s wildlife and nature photography that really float my boat.  These days I describe my life as being in two stages; pre- and post- Acquired Brain Injury.  Pre-ABI I was passionate about photography but post-ABI I am totally obsessed with it! 

After managing to contract an unpleasant combination of meningitis and encephalitis in 2009, my 30+ year career in education came to an abrupt halt.  It was a long time before I managed to take tentative steps into the big scary world but my camera is the crutch that I hide behind and still lean on.  With my camera in my hand, I find beauty and inspiration through my viewfinder and I have learned the skill of sitting still to 'simply be'.  I try to capture the beauty and magic of the scene that I see and become part of.  I am captivated by mood, colour and detail.  I find that by being in the moment, lots of time has passed and hundreds of images have been stored on memory cards almost without notice.  

And I live in London…in Stoke Newington, in the heart of Hackney!  I have learnt to find my way about but going out on my own, carrying a fortune’s worth of lenses, is a daunting prospect so I have high hopes of finding other wildlife and nature photography enthusiasts within London RPS.  If you’re reading this and have similar interests, please contact me or london@rps.org
I will be writing some more about this during the week.

I now spend a couple of weeks in Scotland in January or February each year.  Winter wildlife is a bit of a holy grail for nature photographers and it can be very productive but you need a few key ingredients; patience, luck and cooperative subjects.  Having waited for hours in a freezing cold hide, it would be fantastic to say to a wild sparrowhawk that has just arrived, ‘Lovely to meet you Sir, now excuse me, please will you look this way?’  But it doesn’t work like that!  If you were a fly on the wall you’d hear me muttering ‘Move your tail, no… not there!’, ‘And the other wing up please!’ or ‘Beak up slightly’…. and all to no avail!  Wild things do what they want, the weather does what it does, the light does what it’s going to do… and that’s probably what makes it all the more enjoyable when you finally get some images that you are pleased with.  

We seem to have encountered a technical gremlin, preventing the upload of the rest of today's blog entry, but you can read the rest and see the amazing images in the pdf file Silver Linings.