For over a year now, the pandemic has upended day-to-day lives across the globe. In our combined efforts to stay safe and protect others, many of us have found ourselves spending more time at home and unable to enjoy many of the things that we previously regarded part of our everyday 'normal' life.
We recently caught up with Summer School lecturer and photography tutor, Brian Anderson to ask how the Covid-19 restrictions have affected his work and how he's continued to find photographic inspiration.
MCSS: Brian, you usually travel widely in your life as a photographer to some of the world's most remote places. How has the last year been for you?
Brian: Yes, I have been so lucky to visit awesome, far flung places such as the Polar regions, Easter Island and Galápagos. So not being able to travel any distance, even within the UK, has been very strange. However, with most courses and lectures cancelled and not being able to meet face to face with my students and audiences, that has been the most difficult. But for many people, the last year has been much worse and very tough indeed, so I cannot complain.
MCSS: How have you adapted your work over the last 12 months?
Brian: Well, ironically I have probably taken more photos during the lockdowns than I have over any previous 12 months. Being in a bubble with my partner Adele, between our homes in Wirral and Shropshire, we have been out and about walking and photographing as much as possible within the lockdown rules.
MCSS: You must have missed photographing the subject matter close to your heart, like the penguins, polar bears and Galápagos marine iguanas that you have lectured about on previous Summer Schools?
Brian: Well not too much. Like many others, we have explored and discovered some beautiful places and things on our local walks. And that's the point. A year of Covid has allowed us all to slow down a bit and take notice of the wildlife and landscapes, literally on our doorstep, that we used to take for granted. That has been a real eye-opener for me.
MCSS: Very true! So, what have you found on your doorstep to photograph?
Brian: Oh, it's an amazingly diverse list, from the gorgeous, wild Welsh ponies roaming across the snow-covered Shropshire Hills, the six species of Butterfly that visited Adele's cottage garden, the Red Kites gliding above the moorland, to a pair of Cormorants that I have photographed over the year on the lake in Birkenhead Park, about 10 minutes from my house.
MCSS: That's an amazing list Brian. Overall, what positive things have you taken from the last year?
Brian: Appreciating the things all around us, places, nature and most importantly the people we have missed; family, friends and colleagues. And getting back together to enjoy each other's company. That's why I cannot wait for Summer School 2021! Getting back together with friends, meeting new people on my courses, and getting out and about with my students to take photographs in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside.
We can't wait to welcome all our tutors and Summer School guests back either. Thank you for chatting with us Brian and see you in July!
Brian is running the following courses at Summer School 2021:
Plus, he will give an illustrated lecture, Easter Island - the navel of the world on Tuesday, 27 July - keep an eye out for our Entertainment Guide for more details.