Heidi Alexander

Photographer

My urge to make photographs is an almost irrational compulsion since childhood. Growing up in Europe and travelling regularly ever since has sustained that urge. For various reasons, marriage and family took priority over the offer of a place at David Hurn's Documentary Photography course at Newport in Wales. But I spent my first pregnancy building a darkroom and then took my camera to mother & toddler groups. By the late 90's I relinquished analogue for digital and, despite accompanying issues, I welcome its democratic availability and affordability.

Whether I'm making portraits of people, places, street activity,nature or simple everyday visions of domestic tableaux around me, its often about the fleeting signature of the light at that moment.
My heart is saying: "Oh!" And my finger wants to find the shutter button.

Comments and queries welcome; feel free to get in touch on the contact page.

"Photography is the simplest thing in the world,
but it is incredibly complicated to make it really work."
(Martin Parr)

PORTFOLIOS > Tempus Valor

Tempus Valor
The title of this project is Latin for “time value” (TV), or shutter speed priority.

My original learning intention was primarily technical: to relinquish the familiar comfort of AV (aperture priority) and to try to express the excitement of movement in still photographic imagery. Images with evidence of movement, (usually unintentional in my own efforts,) always made a strong emotional impact on me. Further inspiration and was found in Ernst Haas’ (1921-1986) philosophy and photography. Roland Barthes’ (Camera Lucida, 1980) concept of ‘punctum’, that which “pierces” the viewer beyond words, echoed my aspiration.

The ultimate goal was to take photographs of professional classical dancers. However, to gain sufficient confidence and achieve acceptable images with a shutter speed at nothing faster than a 30th or a 40th of a second, I needed practice with a variety of subjects and locations. Blackford Pond, in late afternoon autumn sunshine, was the one subject for practice to which I returned several times. To finish, I did gain access to photograph a classical dance rehearsal. But it was images of the birds in flight, taken during my practice process, which inadvertently, yet clearly, emerged as the body of work expressing my intention.

My expectation to learn the technicalities of “time value” was eclipsed by a lesson in valuing time, appreciating process and welcoming the wordless aesthetic of the unexpected, sometimes ambiguous outcome. The inherent beauty of many of the images became the tangible reward for relinquishing familiar control in favour of unpredictable exploration.

I return regularly to Blackford Pond, in November, with a camera.

PORTFOLIOS > This Mighty Girl

My "This Mighty Girl" Muse: HW

I have been photographing HW on and off since she was a week old. She has become my Mighty Girl Muse.

Greta Thunberg is our current well known No.1 Mighty Girl. I see other, less famous young women and girls with individual mightiness, managing new challenges such as social media alongside ongoing patriarchy. I rejoice in seeing them being supported and encouraged to hold on to their unique natures with the determination to fulfil their own potential.

Through this project I want to celebrate mighty girls with portraits which demonstrate their own individual "mightiness".

Do you know a Mighty Girl?

Apparently they are a Force amongst us!

PORTFOLIOS > This Mighty Girl

This Mighty Girl 2 : OC

"I love my femininity and when I was younger I felt that being ‘girly’ was perceived as a negative thing, as ‘girly girls’ were not taken seriously. I think now, however, women are becoming more able to express and be proud of their femininity. Makeup, fashion, jewellery are all things that are typically associated with being ‘girly’ and I love these things but I equally love politics, hiking up Munros and travelling to weird and wonderful places. I think this is what makes me mighty. I am proud to be a ‘girly girl’ because there’s always much more to me than people initially expect.

I find I often surprise people when they realise that as well as being bubbly and smiley, I am ALSO incredibly determined, intelligent and feisty."

PORTFOLIOS > This Mighty Girl

This Mighty Girl 3 : NM

"I like gymnastics and ballet and soccer and dancing.

I can do cartwheels and handstands. There are boys on my soccer team.

The things I like about being a girl are having long hair and freckles and I like pink and purple and turquoise and blue. And I believe in God. And I like learning and writing and drawing.

I can do running writing! I can beat my older brother at Battlefront on the PlayStation.

What makes me a Mighty Girl?
My freckles. "

PORTFOLIOS > This Mighty Girl

This Mighty Girl 4 : TC

"I've lived in Africa and then Asia and I can still sing the Kenyan national anthem in Swahili. I helped at the animal orphanage where I once got attacked by an orphanded lion cub who was having a bad day. He dug his claws into my back; I still have the scars. The lion cub knew me; It made me appreciate that wild animals are always wild and will never be pets.
The Singaporeans were obsessed with my red hair and pale skin.I learned to stick out my tongue.
Gymnastics is my favourite activity followed by diving. I can dive from third board of the Commonwealth Pool. I love music, and I can play violin and piano and guitar. When we left Bali I gave my books and toys to the local childrens' orphanage.

In a world where you can be anything, be kind."

PORTFOLIOS > This Mighty Girl

This Mighty Girl 5 : HT

"Mighty means being able to show that everyone can make a difference in this world and that everyone's view matters. Femininity means being proud of who you are and willing to stick up for yourself and for other girls; to stand up for your own equal deserving rights and work hard to reach your goal. I love being a girl because we have things to fight for. Some things don't come easy for us but we are willing to prove ourselves and fight for what we believe in, prove ourselves worthy. It can be disheartening when someone puts us down. But it just makes me want to fight for who I am even more. The biggest challenge for girls and women is being accepted for who we are and not being judged on how we look and what we do....I hope that the world becomes more equal and we can tackle problems like wars and climate change before it's too late."

PORTFOLIOS > Natura Naturans

"A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die at night,
It was a plant and flower of light.
In small proportions we just
beauties see,
And in short measures life may perfect be."

Ben Jonson

Heidi Alexander

PORTFOLIOS >Postcards> Postcards from Scotland

Heidi Alexander

PORTFOLIOS >Postcards> Postcards from London

Heidi Alexander

PORTFOLIOS >Postcards> Postcards from Switzerland

Heidi Alexander

PORTFOLIOS >Postcards> Postcards from Italy

Heidi Alexander

PORTFOLIOS >Postcards> Postcards from Turkey

Heidi Alexander

PORTFOLIOS >Postcards> Postcards from India

Heidi Alexander

PORTFOLIOS >Postcards> Postcards from the USA

Heidi Alexander

PORTFOLIOS >Postcards> Postcards from Paris

Heidi Alexander

PORTFOLIOS >Postcards> Postcards from England

Heidi Alexander

PORTFOLIOS >Postcards> Postcards from Vietnam

26.11.2019
This is my new website, with groups of postcards from some travels and portfolios of projects. The main framework was put together for me by my brilliant neighbour Alan Scobie, who deserves a mention for his kindness and generosity and patience. (At my age any new learning curve is Mount Everest.)
I plan to keep adding to the current project "This Mighty Girl" which started on Instagram (#thismightygirl). You can find it on one of the IG icons above.
I might also add to the portraits, since it's one of my favourite pusuits.
And maybe I will add to this blog a bit more conscientiously than I did on my old website. That's if I've got anything worth sharing aside from images!

Heidi Alexander

Photographer

I welcome any comments or queries; feel free to email me.