Following on from last years successful ’24 Mobile Photographers Til Christmas’ series and to celebrate the forthcoming festive season and another year in the timeline of Mobiography I have decided to repeat the series and showcase the work, thoughts and insights of 24 talented mobile photographers. Each featured photographer has inspired and supported me in one way or another during the course of the past 2 years and I will be asking them to offer an insight into their photography, to reflect on their year gone by or plans for the coming year ahead.
Each day until Christmas Eve we will be featuring one photographer in a sort of online advent calendar so to speak.
Today’s featured photographer is Elaine Taylor.
The Photo I am Most Proud of is…
This image is of my sons, Billy & Charlie, and The Angel of the North; a steel sculpture created by Anthony Gormley, located in Gateshead, in the North East of England.
I grew up in Gateshead. My neighbourhood and childhood was not without its challenges, but it was a happy one and my memories are precious. I have not lived there for around 28 years, and sadly both my parents died relatively young so are no longer around, yet I still refer to Gateshead as ‘home’. It always will be.
The Angel welcomes me home with open wings every time I go back. I made many journeys up North over many years to visit my sick parents. When it was installed, it immediately felt like The Angel was offering a comforting hug every time I drove past. I have a huge emotional attachment to it. My sons and I always acknowledge it and, whenever we can, we take a moment to stop there. It’s one of our favourite places.
Surprisingly, I haven’t taken that many photos of the Angel. But on this day I stopped with the intention of doing just that. It was a beautiful day – the sky was happy and the clouds were dancing. My boys ran around The Angel for quite some time, marvelling at its immense scale (20 meters high, 54 meters wide) as they always do. I lay low on the ground, patiently waiting for the right moment to shoot. I wanted only The Angel and my boys in shot.
I used all my favourite apps to create this image. I shot it in the ProCamera app, then cropped it in Snapseed and made a few adjustments. I was close to getting a shot with just my boys, but I didn’t quite manage it – I removed a man sat by the Angel’s feet using TouchRetouch (always feels a little naughty doing that). Then I took the image into Stackables and played around with the formulas and filters. I saved a few versions and used Union to pick out the features I preferred from each of them.
This is a very special image to me: it reminds me of home; it connects me to my parents; it brings my children and my childhood together in one frame. I feel happy to share it; to share a bit of me.