In late 2011, I took out a bank loan to fund my growing photography addiction. I now had a complete kit; camera, lens, tripod, filters, the works. But sadly, no car.
Being a landscape photographer without a car is rubbish, it’s impractical and inconvenient. So off I set on the 7-mile cycle over to Sandbanks, where what I’d anticipated would be excitement quickly turned into frustration, self-doubt and minor panic.
Had I made the right decision getting equipment before a car? And what on earth was I thinking getting a bank loan to buy a camera? Photography equipment is not cheap. Was I good enough? Did my skill as a photographer warrant the money I’d spent?
These were the thoughts filling my head as I walked along the beach looking for a suitable photograph. But there wasn’t one – or at least if there was I couldn’t find it, not in my present state of mind, which didn’t help improve my mood one bit.
Eventually, I let my fear and self-doubt get the best of me and resignedly packed up and began the cycle home.
Photography is part art and part science, so I reckon your best work happens when you engage both your mind and your heart. My frame of mind had scuppered my first trek, but I still had years of study, practice, and good instincts behind me, which proved invaluable as I cycled home along the beautiful Sandbanks Marina with the sun setting behind Brownsea Island.
Although I swear I didn’t have anything to do with it, I found myself jumping off my bike and setting up my unfamiliar and intimidating new equipment with literally seconds to spare before the sun disappeared into the sea completely and the shot was gone forever.
The results? I’m happy to introduce the oldest photograph in my range, and the first one taken with my then-new equipment, one which marks the very moment my doubt and fears gave way to relief and excitement, as a new phase of my adventure began.
Part of the Sandbanks, Studland, Purbecks and Poole collection.