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For the first Throwback Thursday of this year’s February Photo Fest I’m using a flower photo that’s never actually featured in a blog post but it’s been with me for the entire life of Exposing40 – my blog and Twitter header shot!

February Photo Fest 2023

Imbolc

Today is day one of February Photo Fest. It’s also Imbolc, a traditional Gaelic and pagan festival marking the start of spring. Yes, I was surprised when I learnt that too!

The calendar used to be divided into six week cycles rather than quarters (a lot to do with farming cycles apparently and Imbolc is the start of lambing season) and 1st February is halfway between the winter and spring equinoxes. The March equinox is in fact the midway point of spring, not the start of it so it’s really the 1st February where we can start to celebrate colour coming out of the darkness. Kind of makes you think differently about February doesn’t it?

This fact chimes well with what I’ve always enjoyed about February Photo Fest; at the start of the months it feels like we are truly in the depths of winter but by the time we close the books on another month of photos it really does feel like real spring is here.

Any long time followers of mine will know I like to theme each week of my February Photo Fest. So despite only deciding to join in yesterday I have given myself the added challenge of coming up with four sets of themed shots. This week is flowers. The plan for future weeks is woods, buildings/architecture and journeys. We’ll see how this all pans out shall we. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

February Photo Fest 2023

Early Presents

Yesterday was my birthday. Tomorrow is Christmas Day. I’m at home in Wales with my family and school friends, far away from partners and friends I play with. A very wholesome time of scrabble and seaside walks is being had.

However, earlier in the month I had a gift of an evening and a couple of wonderful early presents. I asked Focused and Filthy to capture a shot for my birthday/Christmas post. Enjoy!

Sinful Sunday

Hanging Out 3

I think many of us who’ve been blogging for a long time have had that experience of coming up with a title and then having the URL say xxx-2 because we’ve used it before. That happened to me in September when I posted this shot. I had forgotten all about the original Hanging Out!

Last night I was hanging out with Focused and Filthy and hubby and just look at the chair that’s the centrepiece in their AirBnb. For chair prompt week we had to do Hanging Out 3!

Sinful Sunday

Nude

I went to see the Bill Brandt exhibition at Tate Britain today. It’s free and on till January 2023 so if you’re in London at all I recommend it.

I love Bill Brandt. I can’t remember exactly when I first saw his work but it was probably during university in the mid-nineties and it was certainly his (and Man Ray’s) work that first got me interested in nude photography.

After getting back from the exhibition I scrolled back through my blog and through my unused photos folder and it’s quite ridiculous how often I’ve channeled him, either through direct replicas or through heavily influenced black and whites.

In the unused folders were a couple of homages dating back to my lockdown project in 2020. Brandt had a habit of naming his images by the location and date they were taken so here I have done the same. The shot that inspired mine is below.

Nude, London, Crystal Palace, 2020, April 19

Nude, London, South Kensington, 1979, February 26
Sinful Sunday

Fairy Stools

I love this time of year. All the mushrooms! Sometimes you happen across a massive carpet of them that you just can’t miss, but other times you have to really seek them out.

Scanning the woodland floor, crouching down to look behind a fallen tree, staring up to try and spot some bracket fungus – these are some of my favourite things to do at this time of year.

Of course, the best tingle comes when you spot a cluster of fairy stool Fly Agarics. You cant beat seeing those beauties!

Sinful Sunday

Simply Me

I had a brief flash of performance anxiety thinking about what to post for this week’s 600th Sinful Sunday. After almost eight years of participating in Sinful Sunday, every week for the first four of five years and about 50% of the time these days, there are literally hundreds of photos in the archives.

The photos that exist are an incredible record of brilliant partnerships, enriching friendships and sexy adventures. There are captures that demonstrate just how much my friends and partners humour my batshit crazy ideas. And even if I say so myself, there are some utterly epic shots from my many outdoor adventures.

But I realised that I didn’t need to seek out a new showpiece location or somehow gather my friends together for a group shot to end all group shots, I just needed to share this photo. Because without Sinful Sunday I would never have taken this photo.

I took this last month in a cabin in the countryside. I was reading in bed and I glanced down and thought ‘ooh, this is good light’. I grabbed my phone and snapped a shot. Then I took a second because the first had a shadow of my phone in it. Then I sent it to my partners. This is exactly how I took it – lit by a small bedside light, no editing or filtering.

Eight years ago I would never have taken or sent this photo. I’d have tweaked my inverted nipple to attention, I’d have pulled the sheet up over my belly, I’d probably have turned the camera on my legs instead. The first time I sent a partner a nude I spent 90 minutes fussing over it. This didn’t even take 90 seconds.

Sinful Sunday is probably the most significant influencing factor in my evolving and more compassionate and loving relationship with my own body. So thank you Molly for creating this special place and thanks to the whole community for cheering everyone on every week.

Sinful Sunday
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