Verity is a landscape and commercial photographer based in Birmingham, UK. She’s also an ambassador for Zeiss lenses and a workshop leader with Light and Land.
Freedom looms as lockdown eases, and gradually the world is returning to a more accommodating state. Soon there will be opportunities to travel and escape the confines of my currently suburban dwelling. I don’t often look forward to summer. I’m not a fan of heat, and I feel ambivalent towards the dull green foliage scorched by the unforgiving midsummer sun. I tend to hibernate and focus inward, but this year has a different emphasis.
It is difficult to comprehend how challenging the last year has been. Although I appreciate there’s nothing heroic about staying home to save lives, it has emphasised how much being out in nature saves my life. After the quiet solitude of lockdown, there’s palpable excitement and anticipation of summer and its full spectrum of colour, from the dull, flat grey to the garishly bright. I’m excited for sudden torrential downpours and the petrichor that follows.
The sound of the wood pigeon cooing in the early morning, evoking my childhood. I’m enthusiastic about the colours. The fresh greens of late spring giving way to the vibrant yellows of rape seed stretching as far as the eye can see. The shades of agriculture undulating across acres of arable land.
Summer is a chain reaction of colour as nature blooms in full voice. What photographer can resist the charms of a poppy field in blossom, powerful reds punctuating through pastures to pavements, existing wherever space is found? When you tune into nature and the landscape, you think less in traditional time and more in seasons and the delights they bring, such as blossom in spring, or hoar frost in winter.
The pandemic robbed me of being able to follow my traditional rhythms of time. If this were a normal year, I might feel a little sadness that summer is on its way, but this year I have a new appreciation. There will be joy in the mornings I set my alarm for 2am to see the sunrise. There will be delight in the long drawn-out evenings, witnessing the sun setting across the ocean.
I’ll even revel in the brash light of the midday sun if I’m outside, immersed in the natural world, making up for all that has been lost. For 2021 at least, summer will be time for excitement, for renewal, for unadulterated happiness.