3 Things, Dec 08

As this year draws to a close it’s time to be thankful for 3 Things in no particular order (I should have made it to 10 but I ran out of time:

1. Ten days in Ethiopia

Through a blind mix of serendipity, hard work and persistence, I had my first ever trip to Africa, ten days in Ethiopia on a film making exercise in the company of a group of students and teachers; more specifically with Tara McGrath about whom we were making a documentary. I was substantially outside my comfort zone in that I was location sound recordist, something I’d never done before and I’m indebted to Cathal O’Mealoid for his crash course. Those ten days have affected me in multiple ways, they have opened my eyes both inwardly and outwardly. I’ve made new friends, I’ve helped people in a small way and I think I’m bigger for it.

I’ve traveled through southern Ethiopia in the back of a Landcruiser, across unpaved roads, though desert and scrub, being greeted by some of the warmest, friendliest people on the planet. The work we did was tough, hot and very rewarding. Especially out in rural Ethiopia, beyond Sodo where we were the first white visitors to one village. A major day.

2. My Family

This is my youngest child, one of three children who, along with my wife and our extended families, make up a pretty solid basis from which I lead my life. I’m not particularly religious so family stability and support is a great crutch. The kids keep me reasonably honest, reasonably young and definitely on my toes. We continue to enjoy life.

3. Square pictures

I picked up an old medium format camera at the start of this year and discovered the joys of square photography. The picture above is from Glendalough in Wicklow, using Velvia film. I’ve been getting a lot of enjoyment out of photography for the last few years and thankfully it is being enjoyed by a few other people as well. I also spread my wings body-wise and upgraded my digital camera to something which really stretches me – a good thing – a Nikon D300. I can use it to make square pictures too.