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  • Writer's picturePaul

The Comet and the Fox


It seems like my first submission to this blog - which felt great to write and left me excited to write more - has not led to the great outpouring of more and better posts that I hoped it would.

But I have an excuse. I've been away. I know, with everything that's happening this locked-down year, that that seems unlikely, but it's the truth.

I visited my in-laws in Germany, and had a wonderful holiday with them. I took the above photograph of the NEOWISE comet, and while it isn't exactly a great photograph, it felt great to have photographed it. (The comet is the streaky thing in the middle.)

For me, the joy of night-sky photography is definitely more about the process than the results. Setting up the tripod and pointing the camera at the sky makes me feel like a kid again, getting a telescope out, buzzing with hope and wonder.

Soon after that, I went to Ireland to see my own family - in accordance with all the applicable restrictions, of course. I may be a Kilkennyman who lives in Brussels, but I'm no Phil Hogan...

When I got to my parents' house, I discovered that some foxes have moved into their garden. After I took the photo below, there was no more sun, and no more foxes to be seen either. So while I had hoped to get closer, I'm pretty pleased with the atmosphere of this shot, taken in what turned out to be a very short window of opportunity. (The fox is the furry thing in the middle.)

My mother always calls any little animals in the garden "visitors" - and I suppose that's what links these two pictures together: two visitors of a very different kind.

From a photographic viewpoint, I know they're not remarkable images. But this blog is an extension of my notebook, and in that sense these pictures are the photographic equivalent of a scribbled note-to-self. They remind me, as I develop new projects for the coming months, that not everything is planned, and that I should always carry my camera, just in case a visitor - a fox or a comet - happens to pass by.

Now I'm back in Brussels, and I'm looking forward to getting this blog going properly. Some of the posts that are in the works:

  • My photographic CV

  • On "snaps" and "photographs"

  • How I use hand-drawn image templates

  • On freelancing

  • Examining and developing my own style

  • On pictures and words

  • Book reviews / What I'm reading

That last item might in fact be the next to appear on the blog, because I read a book recently which was about me and I'm dying to write about it.

I don't mean the book reminded me of myself. I mean that I read something like my actual life story, and in some cases even my own memories, in its pages. It was a bizarre and fascinating experience that left me understanding myself a lot better.

That's for next time!

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