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Wednesday 22 February 2012: The Fairytale Hawthorn

It was fascinating to read your comments about yesterday's image. My photographic journey here has definitely led me down a route towards simpler and bolder composition and I think Sunday's Tree Breath is one of my personal favourites for that reason. But I really struggled with yesterday's Lost in Reflection and Shadow and tried to convince myself that I liked it by actually saying so in the writeup. I'm not sure I was being entirely truthful there!

I could have gone with a number of other shots taken in and around Hirst Wood, but I think I posted the one I did because, looking back now, I can see that it symbolises pretty well how I was feeling: lots going on in my head, but also experiencing a detachment from all that noise and being able, while out running at least, to feel a wonderful sense of calm and contentment. It was pointed out to me by someone last night how often my blips are metaphorical in that way. I often don't realise it until someone makes a comment.

It is, of course, the commenting culture here that makes blip such a special place. As I've mentioned before I've come to rely upon subscribers to suggest a good title for a blip when I've been struggling. You often pick up on something that I've missed. I've also found myself growing to really like an image I wasn't initially convinced about because of the response it has generated. We are all influenced by opinion far more than we would really care to admit. Our perception never takes place in a vacuum. It's almost as if the enthusiasm of other people gives us 'permission' to be enthusiastic ourselves.

Having just recovered from the devastating blow of being told by Bethanne that yesterday's blip hurt her eyes (I've not quite forgiven you yet - but I love your honesty!), I got a comment from kendall this morning which reframed this for me. I have to transcribe here what she said because it is just the most perfect example of the art of commenting ...

"It's busy in a wonderful way, every pixel doing something different, and not one at rest, and yet this is such a peaceful, quiet, soothing image. All the contradictions come together here and make a symphonic harmonic yes."

How wonderful is that? I think this is probably more generous than the image deserved but I'm happy to accept these words with very grateful thanks. It made my day, and has helped me realise just how important these little affirmations are in our lives. With each comment, star and heart we send a little bit of love into the community. On the other hand, I can honestly say - despite the remark above - that I was just as delighted to get Bethanne's criticism. It's very refreshing to find someone prepared to say what they think even when it's not entirely positive. I just hope you aren't all compelled to make a habit of it!

I can see this Hawthorn from my bed when I wake up in the morning. I'm very fond of it, especially in the Spring when it becomes festooned with blossom. It sits in a wild and rugged place so it has always seemed to me, at that time of year especially, to have a fairytale quality about it. So ... on a wet and very grey day, it's about time it had its moment in the almost always sunny world of blip.

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