About Me

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SURREY, United Kingdom
Amateur and still learning!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Dreaded Effect of Cabin Fever!

I can count on two fingers the number of times I have been out with a camera this year taking photographs, and not too many more to do anything else other than shopping, for food that is, a couple of times a week. The weather has been so wet and windy, cold and biting and the light so dull and flat that going outside has been totally out of the question. Even as I write this looking out of the window it’s the same. So most of my time has been spent sorting through all those images that I’ve kept from past shoots that have somewhere within me promised a tiny spark of hope that something could be made of them if I tried hard enough. My wife has remarked with ever increasing frequency that she wishes I would get out from under her feet and stop being so grumpy!

So like the bloke in Jerome K Jerome’s book Three Men in a Boat I started looking up symptoms. The bloke in the book went to the library at the British Museum and by chance picked up the medical tome on all possible symptoms really out of boredom, and after reading it from cover to cover decided he had every disease known to man apart from Housemaid’s Knee. Being a man of the 21st century I Googled my symptoms and after a millisecond it plumped for Cabin Fever as a distinct possibility.

Cabin fever is an idiomatic term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in, in a small space, with nothing to do, for an extended period (as in a simple country vacation cottage during a long rain or snow). Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, irrational frustration with everyday objects, forgetfulness, laughter, excessive sleeping, distrust of anyone they are with, and an urge to go outside even in the rain, snow or dark.

The fact that my wife had remarked a few days ago that I was laughing in my sleep confirmed the diagnosis.

Now this pernicious state of affairs has manifested itself in a peculiar way in my photography.

I’ve been busy at the computer and printer preparing offerings for a couple of exhibitions and an annual club competition. Now the decisions as to whether these pictures are successful or not, is down to exhibition selectors or competition judges.

However I am also preparing a panel of images for my club’s annual exhibition, that will comprise a panel of six prints of MY choice, so I am both selector and judge rolled into one. I have made that choice whilst clearly suffering from cabin fever and I’m sure it has drawn me away from what I would normally choose to exhibit.

The resultant panel is a combination of existing images, very heavily photo shopped, but still retaining some semblance of the original picture, which to my eye, since I am both selector and judge, alleviates the symptoms of restlessness, irritability and irrational frustrations.

Hopefully the sun will soon reappear and my cabin fever will soon disappear, and then I can get back to my ‘normal’ photography!


Nigel Roberson said...

I am sleeping day and night, but not laughing much so maybe I have the symptoms too. Humans shouldnt live this far north, its not where we should be. Maybe the UK should buy Portugal (solve their money problems) and we all move to the Algarve.

Eileen said...

I like teh idea of buying Portugal as a holdiay home. If only. ; -)

I have found this a long and bitter winter. I'm not sure that I've ever been so keen for spring to come. It is great to see brighter and warmer days at last.

I like your experiments - the first two look particularly strong to me, both in compositional and colour terms. I find the black posts in the second one curiously menacing - parhaps in part because my brain knows they shouldn't look that way. Interesting work.