A selection of images from the Mega Series, April 2011.
I wrote this after my children were born. It’s a true story. Well, poem…
What is that you ask? What is your question?
A short answer would soon end this lesson,
But that would be unfair, not at all kind
To such a bright and inquisitive mind.
To really relate the answer to you
Requires a narrative long yet still true.
A journey from youth into adulthood
Of times that were bad and those oh so good.
It started at school when I was fifteen.
I met there a girl who triggered a dream.
She seemed to encompass all I desired
And though I was young I felt so inspired.
We drifted apart when school was complete.
Three years did pass before we would meet
Again, then it seemed my dream would come true.
Encouraged by her my dream only grew.
But deceit lived in this woman I loved
And the fists of her lies were soon ungloved,
Punching a hole through my sweet naïve heart.
No longer whole my dream fell apart.
So there poor I was, resigned to my fate,
Scared that I was leaving it much too late
To rebuild my dream with someone who cared.
Then, there she was and our love quickly flared.
She came from the West, mere words on a screen,
The most gorgeous font that I’d ever seen!
What beauty blossomed from that first “hello”
Took root in my heart and always would grow.
But she was an ocean away from me.
I thought a picture was all I would see,
But courage took hold and shook me awake.
I had to get out for sanity’s sake.
I walked away from a marriage long dead,
I packed up my life, no tears were shed
And flew over an ocean wide and blue
To see if my heart was telling me true.
As our lips touched for the very first time
The world disappeared; I knew she was mine!
As soon as I could I married my heart
And nothing on Earth would keep us apart,
So she took her chances and crossed the sea,
She left her old life to come be with me.
We loved and we lived and happiness bloomed,
Though nay-sayers quipped our true love was doomed.
After a storm and turbulent years
We proved them wrong and stood up to our peers
And when the promise she gave me was kept
The smile inside I would never forget.
The promise of which I fondly refer
Was made when I spoke of my dream to her.
The thing in my life I yearned to achieve
Had bore fruit at last, my soul was relieved.
And so to answer the question you voiced –
My one goal in life, my happiest choice?
Love and have children and watch them grow up,
The sweetest of wines from life’s flowing cup.
Jamie F. Leader
Copyright ©2008 Jamie F. Leader
Sonnet number 3
Peace fills the room as water fills a glass
And silence floods me with it’s quiet calm.
But passion lingers, not yet in the past,
While I draw circles on you open palm
With fingers that tremble at memories
Of the fire ignited in passion’s throes,
And pleasure cascades as shivers through me
Like wind caressing the trees as it blows
Through the world – then we gaze at each other
With eyes that are fixed in a tired stare
That’s only ever passed between lovers
After the intimacy they have shared.
So now into sleep’s gentle arms we lay
To dream each other to another day.
Jamie F. Leader
Copyright ©2006 Jamie F. Leader
As she ran
As she turned
In her shaded green world
She left herself standing
A small, stranded, lonely
Echo of the girl.
Jamie F. Leader
Copyright ©2010 Jamie F. Leader
I had my best year of creativity with my photography in 2011, fourteen years after buying my first SLR camera. Photoshop played an extensive part in that creativity, even though I once swore I would never go down the photo manipulation route. How minds and imaginations change, eh? That year I had the great (read stupid) idea of taking at least one photograph a day, downloading it to my computer, processing it and then uploading it to Redbubble on that same day. Every day. For a year.
“That’s been done before!” I hear you cry. Yes, it has, but not by me, and not, I think, with maybe 90% of the images being heavily Photoshopped. Those artists (yes, I believe photography to be an art form, not just something to document things. It takes skill and practice to become a half decent photographer and a good eye is needed to become a brilliant one, no matter what all the Smartphone manufacturers say) who decide to do the 365 (or Mega-Series as I called it) all have different reasons for their particular venture, some artistic, some personal, some for other reasons entirely. My reasons were both personal and artistic. Personal because I wanted to stay in love with creating images and photography in general, because a family bereavment almost killed my love for anything, except my wife and kids.
Two weeks before Christmas 2010 my mother died suddenly from a heart attack, leaving a massive void in all her children’s lives, as well as her many friends. All my creativity leaked from me, just as if someone had cut an artery to watch it bleed out. I didn’t even want to look at my camera, let alone take any pictures with it. I told my wife I was going to sell my kit.
That’s when she said something that made me sit up and think. She told me what I should have realised without it being pointed out to me, which was that my mum would have told me to grow up and stop being such a misery (my mum would have used slightly more colourful language, but nothing too awful!) and carry on doing what I love doing.
As well as trying to rekindle my love for photography, artistically I wanted to push myself and use more imagination in my imagery. At first I was just going to use every day objects and places to try and stretch my creativity (I keep using that word. Where’s my thesaurus?), but that lead – pretty quickly – to the use of textures, Photoshop filters and manipulation to give my images a little bit of…something (especially the rushed, last minute shots that should have been binned. ). There’s only so many shots of keys and pencils you can do before you want to tear your hair out, so I started taking self portraits as well as pics of my wife and children to get my daily pic quota. That alone stretched my imagination, thinking of different expressions for the same face. My face at that!
Many times I wanted to just not bother with it, but I would think about the underlying reason for this silly venture and realise (perhaps wrongly) that I’d be letting my mum down if I quit. Then, at some point, I didn’t want to let myself down either and those moments only served to push me on and gave me the encouragement I needed to continue.
Creativity (that word again), on occasion, deserted me and the pic-of-the-day would be pretty pitiful, but on December 31st, 2010, I took, downloaded, processed and uploaded the 365th image of a year long project that saved my…yes, you’ve guessed it…creativity. And it felt good.