I was talking to my 93 year old Dad a little while ago, about a trip across the Firth of Forth. He was remembering that the 20 mile trip across the Forth from his home in Stenhousemuir to go his summer holidays in Fife would be a big undertaking, and a day of holiday would be lost to it.
Fife is lovely and it's amazing to me that I now count it as "local"! I live about the same distance away from it as my Dad was, and I can be in Fife taking photographs, within 20 to 30 minutes of laying my coffee cup down in the kitchen. With the Queensferry Crossing opening, a 70mph drive across the forth takes less than a minute and half!
"Local" has become about time to travel, rather than about distance. My generation is unbelievably lucky.
The pandemic was an eye opener for me. I found locations in my own area that I had been unaware of even after 20 years of living here. I had wondered if, with restriction lifted, would I go back to ignoring my local spots, but I’m pleased to say that has happened. If anything, I now have to kick my own backside to go anywhere that takes more than 30 minutes.
Of course I love the dramatic North West Highlands, and the sea stacks of the North East Coast, but I am conscious of how few opportunities I have to actually go there, the ecological impact of all that driving, the cost to my own pocket of petrol and staying away from home. And the uplift in the quality of photographs you get when you can really understand an area and can get there in the right conditions. So, while I know I will still travel greater distances to the places I love from time to time, I'm feeling a lot more at peace now, "draining" my local locations of their most striking features. I'm calling those, my local heroes.
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