Ugly Babies

The passage of time gives us perspective. What seemed good - or bad - at the time it happened may be less - or more - impressive to us as the years tick by. As I scan the seemingly endless shelf of CDs I’ve acquired over the course of the last 35-plus years (yes, I still buy them - none of that streaming malarky for me), it’s amazing just how many are, frankly, utter duffers that will probably never be played again, even by the artists themselves; but I bought them at the time because I liked them.

Likewise our offspring. There is nothing more beautiful to a parent than the sight of their newborn. It doesn’t matter how wrinkled, how blotchy, they are. It doesn’t matter that they scream constantly and eject foul secretions from every orifice. They are beautiful.

But of course MY beautiful babies won’t necessarily be beautiful to YOU. You may think that mine are, frankly, a bit ugly (but you’d be wrong. Very wrong). However, you’d be quite right to point out that not every photograph of mine is great, or even ok, and that’s absolutely fine. I agree with you.

When I think back to the launch of my website nearly two years ago, very few (if any) of those original shots still make the grade. This may be because the composition was poor; the processing sloppy; the image wasn’t quite sharp; the light wasn’t right. Any and all of these things could be true, and plenty more besides. But at the time, I was happy enough to publish these images that I now dismiss: they were beautiful babies then, but now I recognise their relative ugliness.

I’m taking photographs now that I couldn’t possibly have taken two years ago, and it may be that some of them will remain a feature of my website, that they’ll remain “beautiful babies”. Then again, if I can keep improving, some of what you see today may be consigned to the computer bin before you can say “off kilter horizon”. 

If you’ve been following my progress for some time, either here or on Instagram, I’d be interested to know what you think about the progress I’ve made. Feel free to tell me about my uglier photographic babies, and of course if there’s something you really like, it’d be great to hear why.

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