Zero footprint

Occasionally I have a plan when I walk out from my house, an image I’ve imagined in the moments between sleeping and waking or an inspiration sparked by something I’ve seen, but most of the time I simply pack up my gear, call the dog and head outside.I enjoy my time outdoors as a form of meditation, recharging my soul while communing with the natural world.  Over the years I’ve learned that not having a specific goal allows my creativity to flow more freely and my time spent walking is an act of creativity in itself.

Once or twice the camera has stayed firmly zipped into the bag, but usually something will catch my eye – often when I’m not looking. I feel these days my best shots come to me rather than me seeking them – a fleetingly beautiful sky, the caress of wind on water, a chink of light reflected in a puddle, a glimpsed sunbeam through trees or some intricately woven natural texture in the lichen or rock. 

With increasing frequency, my love of capturing abstract and intimate shots finds me upside down, flat on my belly clinging to rocks and mosses to get close enough to whichever unlikely subject has captured my attention. My mind becomes entirely focused on the task at hand and there’s no time to wonder if I’m getting wet or cold. 

Often this reverie only breaks after an hour or so and the time comes to straighten up and disentangle myself from the suddenly uncomfortable contortion – a sudden and unwelcome reality that I’m sure many photographers can empathise with.

Because I know myself well enough now, I rarely leave the house without my Cascada Trousers (unless it’s REALLY cold, encouraging me to grab the Torres set). I’ve accumulated three pairs over the years to ensure I never have to be without a pair while one dries out or is in the wash.  They hold away the moisture and have an added bonus of adding a slightly padded layer for all that crawling around on the ground.  With a full length side zip for ventilation, they can also be put on or taken off over boots and shoes, very handy when I’ve traipsed them through a Scottish bog, or occasionally (OK then, often) fallen into one!

Morag Paterson
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Pink clouds

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