By Paul Timlett
I thought I’d submit this little blog about my photographic reflections following nearly two weeks (or is it two centuries) of lock down due to this hateful COVID-19 virus. I woke up this morning (there’s a song in there somewhere) at about 07:00 and these words had already formed themselves in my head whilst I was asleep.
I’ve taken photographs for as long as I can remember. So in early 2018 when I was offered early retirement by way of voluntary redundancy I leapt at the chance, although I pretended to my employer that it was a really tough decision! It gave me the chance to start a new career and to see if I could make a few bob out of photography, specifically landscape and documentary photography. I’ve spent two years bumbling along selling a few prints on the way. But crucially it meant that I had an excuse to spend most of my life tramping through the countryside taking photographs. And then COVID-19 decided to grace us with its presence.
The Current Mrs Timlett would probably tell you I’m a glass half empty sort of bloke. Full of doom and gloom. (Some might say this is reflected in my photographs which are mostly black and white.) She knows that’s not quite true, although as I get older I’m starting to wonder. I prefer to think of myself as a cynic, especially when it comes to politicians. I’ve no idea why but I’m always suspicious of their motives. Or most of them anyway.
However, when I’m out walking in the countryside I’m a different person. I feel uplifted, sometimes even elated, by nature. I like to amble along slowly and take everything in. Which drives anyone walking with me mad. I always carry a camera so when I find something interesting I may spend hours at a spot trying to capture it in the right light. To that extent I suppose I’m more of a reactive photographer. It’s not often that I make detailed plans to create a photograph. Calculating the angle of the light and monitoring weather apps for the right cloud coverage is rarely for me. I tend to look out of the window and think “ooh, this looks good”, grab my gear and venture out. Which is why so many of my photographs are taken in Wiltshire. After all I can’t just look out of the window, check the weather and pop over to the Dolomites. Which brings me to the point of this blog!
Clearly our movement is restricted at the moment, although I see endless debates on social media about whether we can or can’t drive somewhere for a walk. I don’t, but that’s just my interpretation of what we’ve been asked to do. So in the hour or two (sometimes a little more) that I walk I pay even more attention to shapes and the way the light falls rather than chocolate box views. It’s amazing what you can see close to home when you really look. And in that way I guess these things are hidden and to that extent can be defined as being Hidden Wiltshire.
All of these photographs were taken within about a mile of my home here on Salisbury Plain. And this is just the result of 11 days of lock down. There will be more! I’ve thrown one extra image in, the first one, which was the last photograph I took before the lock down. It was taken on Bratton Camp at the end of a glorious day following the route of Glyn’s walk in the hills above Edington and Bratton.
I’ve created a gallery on my website for these photographs entitled Images From My Doorstep, and a tag in my Instagram feed. When this is all over it will be interesting to see how many images I’ve captured. If you want to follow this little journey my website can be found at:
and my Instagram profile is @tragicyclist
Keep safe everyone.
All text and images copyright of Paul Timlett