Caroline Shipsey

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Winter Challenges & Climate Change

The winter here in the UK seems to be another one characterized by rain and wind - lots of the former and the latter being very strong. I've had a new camera and lenses for almost a month now and would like to be using it everyday but am generally being defeated by the bad weather. I'm not a fan of 'blue sky thinking', I love clouds and dramatic skys, frost and snow, but theres no way I can create images that please me in driving rain and dull, flat light. There is no doubt in my mind as a simple photographer observing the countryside around me that climate change is making it less likely that I can take photographs as I used to during the winter months.

In 1991 I stood in the freezing waters of the River Barle on Exmoor, the temperature was -8c, cold enough to cause film to become brittle and break ! I would give anything to repeat that experience - here in the south west of England, or to see frost hanging on the trees day after day, the ground rock hard under my feet instead of slurping through mud.

The National Trust has an exhibition 'Exposed - Climate Change in Britain's Backyard' featuring the work of 10 top UK photographers which confirms my thoughts. When I first heard about the exhibition there was a sense of relief - the realization that I am not just imagining it, failing to make the most of the good days, or just being a miserable old ***** looking for any excuse for not taking pictures.

The exhibition is touring the country and is at Bristol Museum until 9th December so I'm off to see it today, I'm excited at seeing the work of the photographers who have contributed but almost scared to see the awful truth.