End of Tradition?

Earlier this month i mentioned that i would be photographing the Mayday events taking place in an English village. I’m glad to say that i did manage to cover the maypole dancing that day even though the weather forecast was less than encouraging.

Twelve people dancing around a Maypole doesn’t sound too difficult to photograph, and most of the time it isn’t, but it does offer the photographer a slight challenge. The weather didn’t help either with dark clouds threatening to soak everyone. Fortunately the rain did not appear and the dark clouds did make a dramatic backdrop to some of the images.

Traditional dancing is a popular spectator event, but it seems that the numbers of people wanting to take part in the dancing itself are dropping. Several local groups are finding it hard to gain new members – one local Morris dancing group closed due to older members retiring and a lack of new recruits joining. Many other groups may meet the same fate.

Even the garland dancers featured in the gallery photographs are finding recruiting very hard. It may be the case that in a number of years, events like this just won’t take place. Once these traditional dance groups go, it will be incredibly difficult to start them up again. Sadly there just doesn’t seem to be the interest in carrying on many of the rural traditions.

I will be photographing the event next year as well as part of a multimedia piece. I’d like to capture the sounds and atmosphere along with the images before they possibly disappear forever. Hopefully I’ll get better light to shoot with too.

More images can be seen at http://www.richardflintphoto.com/portfolio/maypole/

Saving for a Rainy Day

Bamburgh castle from the sand dunes

I’m currently reinstalling everything back onto my laptop. Great fun! After around 18 months of flawless use, the laptop finally started freezing on me in critical situations, so i decided to do a factory reset. A drastic move, i know, but it means a fresh, clean laptop ready to go soon. It’ll just take me several days to put all the software back on it.

Fortunately there was nothing on the hard drive of great value. I backup to DVD-ROM and memory stick, and now DropBox, as often as i can, but it never seems quite enough. The fear of losing digital content has increased each year as i realise how much I rely on files just being there. To complicate matters, the laptop DVD-RW would no longer burn discs due to a software issue. The factory reset has removed this problem too. Phew!

Just recently I started using an online service called CodeGuard after i realised how much blood, sweat, tears and man hours had gone into the main website redesign. The idea of someone wrecking all that work with a hack [shiver] terrified me! CodeGuard simply backup your website (all the files on your server) so you have a fall-back (or several!) should the worse happen. So far it looks like a great service.

Happy Halloween

20111031-211437.jpg

This photo kinda amused me at first but maybe it says a lot more to say about Halloween than you’d think at first glance.

Where has the seasonal magic gone? Even the Mummy is trying to sell you something! I really do miss the magical atmosphere that this time of year had for me as a kid. I want it back!!!