I now have to think carefully about the point I am trying to make. Yes! I earned the infection in a grand way by suffering smoke inhalation while photographing a veld fire that was threatening to burn down a penguin rehab centre. The pictures were great for what they were – I have photographed a few too many fires over the years. And again I have to think about the point I am trying to make. The pictures were great for what they were but one was different and, I think, quite interesting. A rainbow formed in the spray around the fire-fighter’s hoses and I caught it with my camera.
What does that mean? Well basically that freelance writing and photography are great fun. Not only did I avoid being bitten by a Puff Adder (it was trying to avoid the fire) I overheard things I could use for an article. A newspaper journalist took notes when interviewing the staff of the penguin rehab centre and I overheard “we evacuated 14 penguins, 2 gannets and 2 boxes of fish.” I made a mental note that even thought they may have lost the centre in the blaze they were focussed enough to remember to salvage the penguin’s lunch. The next day I went back to see what I could find worth photographing in the burnt out vegetation and found stuff like a skull (of a monkey) and thousands of shucked Abalone shells left by poachers in the vegetation. I also overheard a volunteer at the smoky but saved penguin rehab centre say “cleaning a smoky stuffed penguin is easier than cleaning a live penguin.” This rare and deep philosophical sentence can also be used somewhere…..
So if you want to try freelancing now is the right time. There is no rainbow that points you to a pot of gold (or says that you are ready to make the jump) but if you feel driven you must do it! Sure the finances are weird – I have earned no money from photographing the fire and won a sinus of note with the accompanying medical bill. Believe it or not my cell phone pooped while I was writing this and the message was that someone had deposited money in my account. Seems I was paid for photographing old buildings – that was fun too (thanks!). Wonder what will be next!