What’s in your head, zombie…?

This one may seem like it’s about photography, but it’s not, it’s about how my head works sometimes.

Took the dogs to Ninesprings this morning, as I often do. For those who don’t know Yeovil in Somerset (England), it’s an old Victorian estate bought by the District Council a good while ago, and converted into a woodland park, which is now a part of Yeovil Country Park, which I’ve blogged about before. I took the new 50mm standard lens again, to try to catch the Water Rail, but while it did show, the 50mm proved not the lens to catch it with – it lets loads more light in, but as I suspected yesterday, it definitely isn’t one for capturing something twenty yards away and enlarging and cropping.

I wasn’t far from the car at this point, and was suddenly caught in a massive indecision panic – should I go back and get the zoom lens, or just carry on and hope the photos come out OK? This was exascerbated by the appearance of a Jay, a beautifully coloured bird, but it was up in a tree – if I’d had the zoom lens, I could have got a good photo, but I didn’t have it…

It’s the dyspraxia, mixed with a bit of OCD – I have routines, and using the standard lens wasn’t my usual routine – the Jay was right there, but I knew it was too far away for the standard lens. With dyspraxia, you make plans, sort your day out in the morning, and as long as everything goes according to plan, all is well, but if something suddenly changes, or goes wrong, or you do something unusual (something as dumb as taking a different lens), your head can go into a spin, and under extreme circumstances can cause a panic attack. Haven’t had one of those for a good few years, but they’re vicious when they happen.

But I guess all this mindfulness I’ve been doing since I gave up cigarettes (three years almost now) and acohol (eighteen months or so) has had an effect, because a moment of calm suddenly came over me, and the words “let it go” popped into my head.

It was just a Jay – it’s pretty, but it’s not rare. I see them most days, and there would be sunnier days on which to photograph them. The Water Rail is obviously sticking around for a while yet – if I plan my morning properly, I can walk the dogs, then come back to Ninesprings with the right lens and wait until the Water Rail(s) pop out. I don’t have to do it now.

The reason I carry the zoom lens is so I don’t have to think about it – within reason, whatever photo opportunity presents itself, I can get a picture. It’s one less thing to plan of a morning (I work a day job in the afternoon/evening). The standard lens is too precise, not flexible enough, and the zoom allows me to be flexible, and think about other more important things, like, hey, this is a beautiful park, and hey, the snowdrops are coming out… (once I’ve worked out what I’m going to do for supper, whether any shopping needs doing, whether the weather will let me get some laundry done, and so on and so on).

Riley, one of our two dogs, smelling the recently-bloomed snowdrops.

Snowdrops – springs is coming!

But then, the zoom wouldn’t let me take photos like these two – way too dark under the tree canopy on a cloudy day.

So I guess the 50mm has it’s uses. Just have to do what I can with it, not try to make it into something it’s not.

As comedian Mark Steel once said about something completely different, “isn’t that a bit like life?”


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