I’ll put aside obvious (and almost certainly previously used) jokes about the inexorable ‘March’ of time, faux-surprised comments about how it’s already April, Easter and spring, and move straight on to a cold, clinical analysis of the month of March from the perspective of Creative Splurges.

March was overall a pretty decent month, albeit with its ups and downs. It started a big tardy, was ahead of itself in the middle, before falling apart a bit at the end. I was very pleased with the quality of the material I put out throughout the month; all in all I think it was a win.

1/400sec, f/4, ISO 100, 45mm

The month started much like February: with a late post. Like London Lions that opened February two days late (posting on the Thursday rather than the Tuesday), Massif de l’Esterel opened March a couple of days late. The post was a bit wordier than I had originally intended and it proved a bit of a struggle to pull together. Enough time has passed now since our Europe holiday that my recollection of the walk that covered the majority of the set was getting a bit cloudy, and there wasn’t a lot hugely distinctive about the images to jog my memory. I got there in the end, of course, piecing together the various bits in my mind and making sense of them and the pictures I took. Unusually the post was probably more story than images; for once there was more story I wanted to tell than I had photographs for.

1/800sec, f/1.4, ISO 200, 50mm

The next post of the month was West End Wander, containing the results of another photo walk with my friend Catherine. The post was one of my strongest in recent memory;  I couldn’t be more pleased with the quality of the images, including some of the best street photography I’ve ever done, and the words flowed really well. It all flowed completely naturally too – from shooting to posting it was only six days. It wasn’t intended; I wasn’t expecting to post it a week later, but I sat down to make a start editing the images and accidentally edited them in one sitting (helped by my vinyl collection playing in the background). I still wasn’t expecting to get the post out, but its writing flowed as easily as the editing. It’s not often things come together so well for me.

1/200sec, f/1.4, ISO 400, 50mm

This was followed up by Random Gems #4, the fourth in my Random Gems series. With this post I changed the numbering system a bit to keep things more consistent across this site. Most ‘sequel’ posts use Roman numerals – as Random Gems III did last year – however randomised sets such as my Instagram series have always used a hashed numbering system. Since Random Gems and my Instagram posts are thematically similar, I decided to make the numbering systems the same (oh, the exciting things I think about sometimes). This post is one of the strongest in the RG series, with a great assortment of pretty quality shots, including some of my first forays into shooting at f/1.4 and the longest exposure I’ve ever taken.

f/4, ISO 100, 28mm (HDR)

The next week saw a return to the Europe tour, and the last set of images from our static week in the south of France before we started making our way back to England. The Verdon Gorge is one of the prettiest sights to see in the south of France, one we returned to after seeing it four years previously on our honeymoon. It wasn’t as awe-inspiring the second time round; I’m not sure if it was because we’d seen it before, if we took a slightly different route than the first time, or if we were just harder to impress after driving over the actual Alps a week earlier. When writing the post I was a bit disappointed in myself that I hadn’t stopped and taken as many pictures as I had in 2010. I think a lot of the images I took back then were better, which is a bit annoying when returning to re-photo a place four years and tens of thousands of photographs of experience later.

With West End Wander, Random Gems #4 and Gorges du Verdon I managed to get ahead of myself for the first time in a while. They were completed well ahead of the day they were posted, and scheduled to post automatically. For the middle of the month I was cruising, always working on the next post before the one before was published. This sadly would not last.

The last post of the month didn’t happen. It was another post that I was working on way ahead of time, but really struggled to write. Seriously struggled. It went through several complete changes as I tried to get it into a structure that worked. I was in the process of finally getting it together into something borderline coherent – admittedly on the day it should be posted – when my broadband failed, putting the kibosh on getting the post out on time. Normally in the circumstances I’d put the post out a day late, but as the scheduled day of release was the last day in March, my monthly review takes priority. The post will hopefully get into shape and be released next week as the first post of April.

What for April? Aside from the missed post there are two more posts left from the Europe tour, so we’ll see at least one of those I’m sure. My backlog of recent shoots is pretty short currently so clearly I need to do some more shooting. I’m also currently considering the future of these monthly reviews – I’m not entirely sure how well they work with the structure of this site any more. Your opinion on the matter is, of course, entirely welcomed.

Thanks as always for reading.

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