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Andy Riley

Photography as Therapy

I used to take photographs. Every weekend walking the northern hills with a trusty camera hanging from my neck. But that was the days of film! And, believe me, I’ve tried to embrace the digital age but that love has eluded me until recent times.

The last few years have been challenging and I’ve only recently picked up a camera again, learnt the true meaning of the advice about shooting raw but, more importantly, actually getting out there searching for and taking photographs. And that’s the first part of the therapy; the physical effort involved in walking the Pennine hills.

The next part of the therapy is being “in the moment” while composing a shot. Sometimes that means moving around working with mother nature to assess her mood. Then there’s the concentration of focus, aperture, shutter and ISO – the pure mechanics. The simple process of shifting the attention of the mind also helps to recharge batteries that have been flattened by the concerns of everyday life.

Finally, there’s all that goes in to post processing. All my suspicions about raw files were confirmed and they need a bit of tweaking so I started using a wonderful bit of software called RawTherapee. And then I learnt to love digital. I found out what the basic steps that are needed to bring them to life and allow the resulting images to be uploaded to scrutiny on the web. This, too, can be therapeutic with positive feedback boosting confidence to encourage further personal development.

I hope my images give you a fraction of the joy and pleasure that I had in their capture. I’m not prolific in taking photographs but will upload on a regular basis.

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  • Halifax, West Yorkshire, England