Testing the Waters

Published: 7th May 2018

Rosie Watson, 18 year old Young Champion for Vision2020, wanted to encourage young people to have a great time enjoying the world around us.

First posted on January 17, 2012 by Rosie Watson

Four days of a constant (seriously, I mean constant) repetition of The Killers, computer breakdowns (ok, deep breaths) and movie maker magic (finally!), and my mini-presentation to the local John Muir Trust gathering is ready to go. Phew.

Morning (too soon), and an audience of about 15-20 people receive the full benefit of my 5 minute work-in-progress presentation aimed to entice young people (like me!) to enjoy the outdoors and appreciate the famously beautiful landscape that surrounds them. How to do this? Take the things we all love doing (in short, spending time with friends) and take it outside. The result? Fun photos to a quality song that are relatable to and can be put into the context of every one of our lives.


Stunning, breathtaking and technically correct photos are… well, stunning and breathtaking! They can have a great effect, tell a story, make you think ‘wow, what a wonderful world, that is obviously an amazing place’. As a student I have seen a few of these, and although they can inspire you, to take part in a project like this for example or travel the world as I would also love to do, the effect is mostly short lived, and you go home and carry on your every day life, so far away from that misty dawn peak or soaring bird that the relevance of it now seems unimportant. I know this because I see it in my friends as well as myself, everyday life can be all consuming – you can forget in a matter of days the wonders that are out there and how precious they are, even when it is right under your nose.


So this is my idea-in-process. To most young people (like me), getting up hours before dawn and walking for two hours up a mountain in the pouring rain, just for the slight chance of a spectacular sunrise breakthrough is not the best idea of fun. Seriously, there is no place like a warm bed when it’s dark and cold outside.

A sunny day jumping off the pier down by the lake, a walk up the river, a day of sledging on the mountain side, a joint sprint into the deep blue sea and a good bowl of chips – that’s sounding a bit better. So this is what I aim to do with my photos; give people some ideas, kind of like a guide to the area from a different perspective. That valley leading to nowhere you see from your window – its river holds a still deep pool that gets direct sunlight in summer, complete with Jacuzzi waterfall and rocky diving board. That beach you sometimes go past walking the dog – venture a little further round and there’s a cave perfect and undisturbed for a summer night camp with some friends. Basically, have an amazing time, enjoy the world around you and take care of it along the way.


So that is what I told my audience, what I have been doing and what I intend to do next. I am not a great photographer, a year ago was the first time I picked up a camera bigger than a matchbox, but hopefully the basic message of the photos I will be able to portray: that pretty picture on the screen – it’s a great place to go.

Thankfully, my wonderful audience managed to understand where I was going with this, and even gave some suggestions throughout the rest of the day. My super-pro mentor Joe Cornish was also there and gave a great explanation of the project, as well as sparking some interesting discussions about photography.

Overall, a successful day, no technical breakdowns or musical failures, and just the start of spreading the message further: watch this space!