An open (short) letter to Formatt Hitech, the manufacturers of the filters I'm using as an integral part of my photographic journey ... 

I've got no idea how to put down on words what I'm trying to convey, so apologies in advance for the potentially jumbled format of this blog post. 

I've been spending a bit of time this evening going through my backlog of images, archiving some, deleting lots and marking just a few as potential to make it to the processing stage. As always, as a photographer, we can be left feeling a little flat and underwhelmed when we review our own images.  One or two, however, seem to resonate with me and I realised most of these have been created with a little help from my filters from Formatt Hitech. 

I find photography as a means to not only connect with the environment I find myself in, but also a time to try and heal my mind. I won't go into too much detail here, but let's just say I have in the past and continue at times to suffer from pretty low moments and periods of acute anxiety. Quite often these bouts can hit me when I'm standing in a place of beauty as I consider my very short time here on this planet and realise it will all too soon come to an end. 

I quite often, as I look around at the insignificant arguments (my god especially on social media) and moments in life we as a human race seem to consume ourselves with (seriously folks it's only a competition), and wonder am I the only person who has considered their own mortality in any great detail. Considered that being alive is a privilege. Considered that all too soon, even for those who are healthy amongst us, it will all be over. Irrespective of your own personal beliefs in what comes next, this moment as a human on this planet is fleeting and we should all be trying to live a life worth remembering

I find long exposure photography as a perfect method to allow my mind to be still in the environment. Using the 10 and 16 top ND filers allow me to achieve exposure times of many minutes at a time and during these moments I sit and gaze upon the scene. Being still and allowing my mind to be free doesn't come naturally to me so during these moments I try and concentrate on my breathing. I listen more intently the the sounds of nature around me. I become aware of the smells drifting on the breeze. All of the elements coming together and calming my mind. 

In the early days these moments of stillness would have opened up my anxiety all to often, but now I find I can actually overcome those (most of the time) and appreciate simply being in the moment. 

The filters are certainly a means to achieve these moments of stillness when I'm out with the camera. 

So a simple thanks to Formatt Hitech. The filters are much more than a piece of hardware, they are actually an aid in my own personal recovery. 

800 seconds of stillness at the Herringpond (Formatt Hitech 16 stop ND filter) 

800 seconds of stillness at the Herringpond (Formatt Hitech 16 stop ND filter)