Well... here we are.
After a 19 year career in the mobile phones business with Nokia and finally Microsoft, my employment has come to an end, having been part of the final wave of redundancies providing the full stop at the end of the once magnificent Nokia Mobile Phones story. The last few tens of people from a peak headcount of over 100000 served the last day of their notice period and that is finally that.
It would be quite possible to write a few books about that journey... but that is not my intention here. This blog is intended to be much less ambitious and much less important than that, I merely want to keep a diary of these times as I take a well earned rest and see if any ideas come to my head for how to spend the next 20 years or so.
The past years, especially those while the business executed a protracted death spiral, have been very far from easy. They have however been reasonably lucrative and the presents me with an opportunity to take an extended breather without having immediate concerns about how to pay the bills.
This is a position that I am fortunate to be in, and I intend to make use of it. My plan is to take a minimum of 12 months, starting August 1st 2017, where I follow my interests and see where they take me, giving space for ideas to grow about which direction to take next professionally. It is quite possible that no ideas whatsoever grow during this time... and that is fine also. At some point after this 12 month spell I will either be possessed by an idea for the future (leading to urgency in pursuing the next challenge) OR I will run out of money (leading to urgency in pursuing the next challenge).
So... that is the back story.
What does "following my interests" mean?
Well, for most of the last 30 years that would mean playing golf, practicing golf, entering golf tournaments and generally devoting every spare moment to golf... but having played for a number of years at a decent level (handicap of +1) my body no longer seems willing to cooperate, a major decrease in my capabilities corresponds to a major decrease in my enthusiasm.
Luckily as one all-consuming interest has faded another one has risen up to take it's place, namely the art of Photography. Since getting my first "proper" camera (my simplified definition of this is a camera where you buy the lenses separately and can interchange them, although multiple exceptions also apply to that rule) in January 2015 I have taken over 250,000 pictures as I try to learn and improve as quickly as possible, this is a fascinating process and one that you can never get to the end of. To clarify my "proper camera" comments, I refer purely to the equipment. It is perfectly possible to take magical pictures with a smartphone and it is also absolutely possible to produce total rubbish with enormously expensive dedicated camera equipment.
I have been interested in all kinds of photography during the learning process, but have had phases of concentrating more on one thing or another. Currently it seems to be the case that I am most drawn to landscape photography, particularly such landscapes where there is a strong vertical element (mountains for instance) while I am also interested in photographing nature and wildlife (particularly birds). People most often comment positively about my landscape pictures so maybe that is where my strength is currently. All of this may change.
In order to pursue these interests, my intention is to travel. There are so many beautiful corners of the world, many of which are already extensively photographed, but I intend to visit as many of these as I can and see what kind of photos I come back with.
As a starting point some of the places on my wish list include Lake Bled in Slovenia, multiple destinations in Bavarian Germany, Iceland, the west coast of Scotland, the Lofoten islands in Norway, Finnish Lapland and the Faroe islands... while I also intend to photograph the more interesting native wildlife of Finland such as bears, wolverines, eagles, owls and ospreys and follow the bi-annual bird migrations.
My idea with this blog is to occasionally document some part of these travels and share some of the resulting pictures... just in case anyone is interested.
P.S. I usually publish my favourite pictures at http://www.500px.com/andyfowlie please feel free to visit and take a look.
It is my intention to share one or more of my photographs with each blog post, which should be natural enough as the post will be about somewhere or something that I have been photographing. For this first post I will share an image from last April, showing the moments just after sunrise as seen from Rossfeldpanoramastrasse in Berchtesgaden, Germany.
Enter your email address to receive notifications of new blog posts