These are definitely interesting times we are living through.
Nurses, doctors, refuse collectors, food delivery drivers, supermarket cashiers and many others are working harder and longer then ever, while most of the rest of us pace the house, flick through facebook or netflix, or stare wistfully out of the window. And it’s been a real learning curve for me, not least in reminding me who the really essential workers in society are: the nurses, the doctors, the care-workers, the supermarket workers, the bin men. Not, alas, the marine biologists, the expedition ship guides or the photographers. Which leaves me with rather a lot of time on my hands. So all those tasks I’ve been putting off for weeks, months, or even years in some cases, well …. now I don’t really have an excuse anymore. So, after my third cup of coffee, and having checked emails one last time (you just don’t know … so much could have happened in the last four minutes) I finally applied myself to the list in front of me. Number one was …
Well, currently living in Thailand it kinda makes sense. Now I hold my hand up and freely admit I have no aptitude for languages whatsoever. At school I was booted out of French class at the first opportunity. In latter years I’ve tried to learn Spanish. It’s a pretty cool language and it’s the main language in so many countries that I like to spend time in. For around four years now I’ve subscribed to online courses, watched youtube videos and poured over my Spanish phrase book, and still …. still, words fail me after ‘Dos cervezas por favor’. But, I am currently in Thailand, so a little more Thai than ‘Sawatdi kraap’ might be useful. So Thai it is. Fortunately I found this great youtube series of videos ‘Learn Thai – Thai in 3 minutes‘. Each lesson is exactly three minutes long, so even my bird-like attention span can cope. Three minutes and boom! I’ve ticked numero uno off my list for today.
2. Learn to play the ukulele
This is hard. I have even less musical ability than I have aptitude with languages. Which is a great disappointment to me, as I love music. Throughout my life I have struggled with this dis-ability, convincing myself there had to be at least one instrument that was simple enough the even I could play a tune on it. Pandering to this delusion, I am now the proud owner of several harmonicas and two ukuleles, none of which I can play. So with time on my hands and few neighbours to annoy, I have been forcing my stubby fingers to develop muscle memory for simple chords like A, A minor, G7 whilst startling local cats with my attempts to strum (‘startling cats’ what a great name for a band…).
3. Updating my website and selling some art prints
Okay you knew there had to be a sales pitch in here somewhere, and here it is. Working at sea much of the year is a fantastic opportunity to see some wonderful, remote places and provides great photo opportunities. The price I pay is lousy internet. This is often eye-wateringly expensive satellite internet where speed is measured in single digit kilobytes per second, or brief pit-stops in quirky port cafes (one of my favourites being Spooky Boogies in Lyttleton, New Zealand. Lyttleton is sort of New Zealand’s land that time forgot, and Spooky Boogies is every bit as quirky as it sounds, great music played on vinyl and a wifi password of ‘F–k you baby’ last time I was there). But I digress. Anyway, the end result is that luxuries like updating my website simply don’t happen. So now, like everyone else, I am sitting at home with mostly working internet and plenty of time on my hands. So if you check out colinmunroimages.com you will find lots of new images added to my galleries. There is also an embryonic Basic Photography Course in development, possibly some video (not me playing uke, I hasten to add) but most importantly there is now a fully fledged Prints for Sale Gallery up and running. For many photographers, the bane of their lives is that images that look great on screen do not necessarily print that well (for reasons relating to differing media, differing screen settings and differences between transmitted and reflected light that I will not bore you with now). So what I have done is poured over thousands of images, selected a little over 20 of my favourite ones, and tweaked each one to ensure it prints really well. I say 20 something as I am continually adding to the gallery. Currently, you can buy these prints as traditional canvas wraps on a wooden frame; stretched canvas on wooden frames; flat-mounted canvas on rigid gatorboard; metal prints on aluminium sheet or acrylic mounted on metal. Most prints are available from 8 x 8 inches (20 x 20 cm) up 30 x 40 inches (76 x 102 cm) some even larger. These prints can be ordered directly from my website. Simply visit the Buy Art Prints Gallery, click on the image you chose, them follow the choices.
I have chosen Bay Photo Labs near Santa Cruz , California, to create and deliver all these prints. Bay Photo Labs have been in operation for over 40 years and have a terrific reputation as a pro photo lab delivering excellent quality. They are also a Certified Green Business and part of the Monterey Bay Area Green Business Programme, actively working to reduce their impacts on the environment. They ship both throughout the US and internationally. Depending on interest, I may set up a duplicate gallery offering printing from the UK to facilitate faster shipping to Europe. For the moment, only this gallery offers purchase of large prints. This is because many of the images I have uploaded in other galleries have not been uploaded as large enough files for good quality large prints. However, I am working through these files and gradually replacing ones suitable for prints with full size images. Of course, if you are outside of the USA or Europe, and you would like to purchase a print of any image you see on my website, simply contact me by email using the ‘contact me’ form on my website (make sure you identify the print by description, gallery, title or even a screen grab). That applies to images that are within my Buy Art Prints Gallery and to ones that are in other galleries. So why not check it out?