Time flies even if I don’t …

We’re more than halfway through the year, time flies so fast! Not as much travel for me recently, although hopping up and down to Scotland (still the same country thank goodness) by plane does count …!

I was musing on my good fortune at having freedom to choose what I do with my time, where I spend it and with whom. I posted on Facebook the importance of making the most of every minute we have and my post struck a chord with many of my friends; after all who knows how many more moments there are?

The recent air tragedies, the war and hatred we’re witnessing (as it ever was, but seemingly more and more vicious) reveal a dangerous world for everyone and for most of us the only response is to fully immerse ourselves in our own opportunities. To value ourselves, our time with friends and families and to strive to overcome personal challenges.

We can offer help to others through donations of time or money, if we have either or both, especially when a cause touches our hearts. But often we feel impotent in the face of overwhelming need and sorrow. As I grow older, my belief in the importance of making every day a day to remember for all the right reasons grows daily. This is not selfish, it’s about celebrating life and what it offers. It’s harder some days than others, but rewarding and nourishing for the soul.

I try find opportunities to use my photography for good (as implied in my blog name!) and below are images of three inspiring people I’ve met in my day to day life and had the privilege of photographing. I’ll tell you more about them in the next few posts …

Emily Wright has her head shaved in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support

Emily Wright has her head shaved by Paula of Hair Essentials in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support

Barry "Bazza" West, mouth painter, exhibiting at Uckfield Art Trail

Barry “Bazza” West, mouth painter, exhibiting at Uckfield Art Trail

Ann Chapman, my best friend climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for Cornerstone

Ann Chapman, my best friend, is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for Cornerstone

 

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Uckfield Art Trail 2014

The Art Trail is in its ninth year …. from a tiny acorn planted in 2005 has grown a very well attended exhibition, filled with art of all types, glasswork, photography, crafts and workshops at the Civic Centre in Uckfield. After five years of being involved in the organisation, I took a break and returned last year as an exhibitor. So much less stressful but still a fair amount of work selecting and preparing your work. What to share?! Last year I exhibited images from my non-profit work in South Africa, Tanzania and Thailand. Visitors were fascinated to hear about the organisations I’d worked with and why I’d decided to get involved. This year I just wasn’t sure.

Eventually I chose a selection from trips to Nepal, Bali and Cambodia, landscapes from the US, work from Brighton Pride and a macro shot of a tulip, photographed at home … I’m not always away you know! I was aiming to show variety in my work as I’m interested in so many aspects of life and photography.

It was a lovely experience. The pleasure in meeting old friends and seeing how their work has developed is immense, as is encountering new artists and new ideas. It was so busy I felt sometimes visitors couldn’t see our work properly but some returned when it was quieter and there was more time to enjoy the experience.  Below is one of my personal favourites, followed by a selection of images from the weekend – I was the “official” photographer as well!

Younggirl-xprocessed

My image of a Cambodian girl near Tonle Sap Lake was one of the most popular and I love it!

Uckfield Art Trail 2014

Uckfield Art Trail 2014

Uckfield Art Trail 2014

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English seaside jaunt …

We do try to explore this country as well as foreign parts and I was taken to Kent for a belated birthday trip … Sandwich, Deal, Folkstone, Dover, Hastings and Rye. Sounds a bit twee (I thought) but it was charming. Beautiful weather helped and of course we had cameras …

Travelling in Kent and East SussexPortrait blogKent Landscape

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Jemma and Amy party on ….

Amy and Jemma’s wedding party moved on to Beechwood Hall in Cooksbridge where the theme continued to be vintage with a rustic feel. Tables of old fashioned sweeties, a market stall, hay bales and handwritten signs made a lovely setting for the evening guests and wedding party. The bar was opened and music and dancing began. I left before the party really got started …. from what I hear it was a lot of fun!  Evening-2

Evening-1
evening 2-2

evening 2-1
Photobooth-2

Photobooth-1

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Jemma and Amy get married …

Jemma and Amy’s wedding at Anne of Cleaves house in Lewes was a magical day. They are a lovely couple and it was a pleasure to share their day and try to capture the love, fun and excitement that was in the air. The girls had chosen a stunning venue for their ceremony and the weather was reasonably kind to them. Each small detail had been carefully thought through and the finishing touches were mostly hand-made by friends and family. From the vintage tea settings to the beautiful gifts and decorations, everything was gorgeous with small touches of humour. I had a busy day, starting with Jemma and her bridesmaids, then a mad dash to find Amy and her bridesmaids (who were secreted in a room upstairs at Anne of Cleaves to ensure the couple were kept apart until the right moment!)

There was a real sense of joy in the room as their commitment was made; despite the gales of laughter when passing tourists peered into the room to see what was happening. Time flew by as we tried to gather all the right people in the right place at the right time … herding cats is such a terrible expression!! I managed to have some time with the couple away from their guests with the VW Camper Van as the star of the show!   Getting Ready 1-1 Getting Ready 1-2 Getting Ready 2-1 Getting Ready 2-2 Getting Ready 3-1 Getting Ready 3-2 Arriving-2Arriving-1Getting Ready 4-1 Getting Ready 4-2Ceremony-1 Ceremony-2 Couple-1 Couple-2 Speeches-1 Speeches-2 Table

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Beautiful Bali …

It seems such a long time ago since I was in Bali … not just three weeks ago. I am itching to delve into my images so am sharing some from an early morning trip to Jimbaran fishmarket.

Hopefully I’m whetting your appetite for more!

Bali_Day_6_May 2014_229Bali, May 2014 Bali, May 2014

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Bali beckons …

I’m fortunate to be involved in a second Momenta Workshop in May, this time in the beautiful setting of Bali. A whistlestop visit to see old friends in Singapore and three days on my own in Ubud before the workshop will allow my jetlag to recede and perhaps (!) I’ll get used to the humidity.

Ubud is the cultural centre of Bali and the setting for “Eat, Pray, Love” with Julia Roberts, based on the book by Elizabeth Gilbert. I’m going to watch it again before I go and remind myself of Ubud’s beauty but am hoping people don’t think I’m just another middle-aged woman hot on the trail of Bali healers to sort out my spiritual needs! Not that I’m knocking soul searching and following a path of personal fulfillment (I’ve certainly done enough exploring myself) but don’t we all like to feel unique, not one of the pack?

From Ubud I’ll visit Unesco World Heritage rice fields in the early morning, drive to Petulu to watch the herons roosting at dusk and explore many of the stunning temples that are everywhere in the towns and countryside.  I’ll explore the town and get to know people as they go about their daily business. I’ll learn more about the culture and challenges Bali faces, the impact of mass tourism for example. Pollution is choking the rivers and destroying the beaches, pressure on the water and electricity supply cause hardship and the rice fields are disappearing as farmers sell their land.  The search for paradise has resulted in paradise being spoiled … and I’m only too aware I’m another visitor adding to the burden. But I hope to document this in a meaningful way and will share the good and the bad with you on my return.

Then to Jimbaran in the south; the workshop will be a ten day delight, learning from a small group of passionate, experienced photographers. We’ll share photographic adventures, critique and advise each other, eat delicious Balinese food and learn much more about the island and its people. I can’t wait!

In the absence of images from Bali … (do watch this space) … I’m sharing some from previous trips to Asia.

Vang Vieng_Nam Song River_14

Vang Vieng, Laos

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Statues at Shwedagon Pagoda, Tachileik, Myanmar

New Year Procession_Luang Prabang_094 (1)

New Year Procession, Luang Prabang, Laos

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Young worshipper, Tachileik, Myanmar

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Dancer in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Phou Khoun Market_Laos_32

Phou Khoun Market, Laos

Angkor Wat_Bayon_004

Bayon Temple, Angkor Wat

Sights_Luang Prabang_017

Market in Luang Prabang, Laos

 

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Amy & Jemma

I didn’t know Tilgate Park in Crawley existed until Amy and Jemma suggested it as the location for their pre-wedding shoot. Full of families on holiday, at first it didn’t seem ideal, but the varied locations and the reasonable weather made it the perfect choice for climbing trees, hiding behind statues and enjoying the spring flowers …. here are the results.

Ammy & Jemma Blog1

Ammy & Jemma Blog Ammy & Jemma Blog2 Ammy & Jemma Blog4

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US Road Trip …

It’s been a while since I’ve posted images which is not to say I haven’t been making them! We recently travelled by car through Virginia and West Virginia, popping into Tennessee for a couple of days. Unfortunately the snow prevented us driving the Skyline Drive – giving me a good excuse to return to this beautiful part of the world. A mixed bag of experiences are reflected in the images and I have also continued to experiment with post-processing treatments.

Blackwater Falls National Park

Blackwater Falls National Park

Blackwater Falls

Blackwater Falls

Great Falls National Park

Great Falls National Park

Views from the car

Views from the car

Views from the car

Views from the car

Views from the car

Views from the car

Leaving gatlinburg

Leaving Gatlinburg

King Kong at Gatlinburg

King Kong at Gatlinburg

Butter My Butt ...

Butter My Butt …

Rafting at Cades Cove

Rafting at Cades Cove

Cade Cove

Lake at Cades Cove

Tye River

Tye River

Abandoned House, Virginia

Abandoned House, Virginia

Deer in snow

Deer in snow

Deer in Snow

Deer in Snow

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New website!

I have just updated my website and after many days of toil it’s live!

www.lauramorganphotography.co.uk

There’s a lot of great advice about how to present yourself online and as we’re all “out there” in one way or another, it seems almost impossible to differentiate oneself from everyone else. For my part, I just want to share my love and experience of photography and that means showing a variety of different genres and styles. I haven’t dedicated myself to one aspect of photography, there’s too much to enjoy to limit myself, but I hope I’m not “master of none”. I continually work on improving my skills and love learning new ones.

Photography is such a creative and satisfying pursuit – it brings me in contact with many different people and places and there’s such joy to be found in those experiences. It also keeps me off the streets (so to speak!), engages me wholly and even contributes to my income – what’s not to like!?

Do visit the site – if only to justify my aching neck and incipient RSI! I’m still not sure if the content is quite correct yet, so any feedback is always welcome. Thanks!

website

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