The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

It's Good to Talk - and Episode 38 of Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres

There was a point of lucid awareness during the live video podcast last night – one of those moments when I was suddenly and immediately present – acutely aware of where I was and what I was doing.

It's a psychological equivalent of having your face unexpectedly splashed with ice cold water.

I realised I was sitting in a room on my own and had been talking solidly for well over an hour without interruption.

Of course I do this every week with the podcast. In fact I seem to be talking more than ever!

I rewatched the first "Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres" a couple of weeks ago and at the end of it, my younger, more nervous, more innocent self declares his surprise that it had gone on for more than an hour when he'd thought it would probably have been all over in less than 30 minutes.

For most of the past 8 months the podcasts have usually averaged around an hour to an hour and a half. But for some reason, over the last few weeks I've been going for consistently closer to 2 hours.

It's a strange thing that my ability to talk endlessly – something I inherited from my mother – is something I don't have to feel guilty about while doing these podcasts.

Since childhood I've been known as a blether, and it's nearly always been something I've had to be a bit apologetic about.

There's a wee voice in my head (as well as the big voice coming out my mouth) that tells me people have lives; people have important things they need to get on with; people don't need to be held back from better things to do than hear me talking.

It's not been something I've ever managed to "cure" - talking a lot is just something I do, and then feel guilty about.

But in this age of Covid-19 – this age of Lockdown and Social Distancing – the lack of outlets for my need to talk has been excruciating.

Fewer clients, fewer opportunities to meet up with friends, and even fewer random encounters with people in shops or on the streets where brief conversations can strike up.

So the podcasts – over and above satisfying my desire to share my skills and to help others – have also become an outlet for my need to talk.

But in that instant, that moment of lucid awareness, it briefly crossed my mind that perhaps no one was there – perhaps I was just being delusional and that what I thought was a safety valve for my sanity was in fact a fully immersed expression of insanity.

Fortunately, however, there do seem to be people on the other side of the webcam who are listening, leaving comments and submitting photos for me to talk about.

And they keep coming back each week.

Which is tremendously validating.

Unless I am actually imagining it all...


T'was the podcast before Christmas, when all through the house, the beardy bloke was blethering on about photographing mince pies....


0:00 - Welcome, what's coming up, greetings and comments
6:48 - Tips and tricks for taking photos on Christmas Day (or other celebration events)
21:40 - Introducing the idea of Mince Pie Photography
24:09 - Mince Pies - style 1
40:18 - Mince Pies - style 2
53:04 - Mince Pies - style 3
1:03:14 - Introduction to the Critique section where images have been submitted to the Facebook Group, Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres
1:04:52 - Prioritising the reflection
1:24:05 - High Key Photography
1:41:00 - Coming up next week
1:43:45 - A final mince pie
1:44:15 - End

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