The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres - Episode 1 - not as bad as I'd feared

I expected to be an emotional wreck this morning.

Instead I was swathed in a glorious sense of calm and serenity.

Last night was the first of what I plan to be a live, weekly, video podcast (vodkast?) called "Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres".

While it is certainly not perfect, and there is plenty of room for improvement, it wasn't bloody awful.

(this is a screenshot - actual video below)

Given the obstacles I had to overcome:

- I had to learn how to use an entirely new piece of software – OBS – in order to be able to switch viewpoints and overlay texts.
- While I can talk endlessly to people in front of me, talking to a camera with no visual feedback (smiles, frowns, raised eyebrows etc) means I have no idea whether I'm communicating what I want to.
- I couldn't use a script (beyond the opening sentences) because that would require looking at my screen and not at the camera.
- The sense of "imposter syndrome" was frequently overwhelming from the moment I'd announced I was going to do this.
- Because of the CFS/ME, I have way fewer productive hours in the day available to me.
- We're in the middle of a global pandemic, in isolation, which triggers all sorts of mood swings.
- My photography business as I know it is all but dead so the sense of who I am and what I can do feels severely compromised.

With all these things, the fact I managed to do the thing at all, and not make an utter fool of myself, felt like a major achievement.

The huge amounts of stress I've put myself through over this, on top of all the pandemic stress, meant I was quite convinced that once it was over I would collapse in a heap and weep for several days.

Maggie was warned she would need to remind me that it was OK for me to periodically sit with a blanket over my head and dribble into my shirt.

Straight after I'd finished I was definitely brain-fried and incapable of doing much other than watch mindless TV for a few hours, but I expected this morning would be the emotional maelstrom.

And yet, here I sat feeling more relaxed than I have for many, many months.

I don't think it's just the relief you get when you stop banging your head against a wall.

I think it's about control.

So much has felt out of my control for so long, that to make this happen against the tumultuous emotional backdrop, meant I wrestled it to the ground and for a wee while, at least, I have stamped my authority on it.

I know it will be short lived, but right here, now, in this moment, I am enjoying bathing in the forgotten feeling of peace.

I was feeling serene until I tried to upload the video to youtube, then it told me I was limited to 15 minute videos unless I went through their verification process.
Youtube is owned by Google and I've done their verification process, but I tried to do it anyway and it wouldn't accept my number, so I used my wife's phone, then it wouldn't accept the verification code, then it wouldn't accept either number to retry... and so on.

Desperately trying to find a solution in the Google/Youtube help section I came across an entry with 220 other people complaining about exactly the same thing and no one from Google/Youtube answering it


I will try again in 48 hours.


To be honest I don't expect many people to watch the whole thing, so feel free to skip forward over bits you're less interested in. But hopefully you might gain some useful photography insights and tips.

In this episode:
Getting to grips with a brand new podcast
1.32: The story behind the Jack Vettriano inspired Cafe Largo photo shoot at Mossyard Beach
8.40: What to understand about cropping photos
18.13: Understanding photography as a storytelling medium
28.25: Explaining Critique
35.35: Feedback on a few submitted images
1.07.04: A few questions answered

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