Where I’m at

That red streak is brake lights. I don’t know if this photograph is any good or not but I like it. I make daft pictures like this all the time. I have so many that never get shown. And I have a few now that are all about brake lights. When you always have a camera on you these are the kinds of pictures you make. It doesn’t get any more ordinary.

Why I quit my job

For several years until 29th November 2019 I was a staff photographer at a multinational technology firm specialising in all aspects of intelligence pertaining to commercial property - retail, office and industrial. I was part of a UK team of 12 photographers. We gathered data in the field and produced interior and exterior photography and 4k video including drone footage.

My patch was all of south London, from the Thames to the M25 and a big chunk of west London. 

For a time I thoroughly enjoyed my work as I was always on the streets, where I like to be. However, the air quality in London is so bad in places that it began to take a toll on my health. My asthma worsened and my eyes and eyesight were getting damaged. It was also just tough going physically, day after day. But the pay was quite good so I stuck at it longer than perhaps I should have. 

We all know the effects of air pollution on respiratory health. But we are only just beginning to understand the effects of air pollution on ocular health. After about 4 hours exposure to air pollution the eyes start to show signs of stress. For me this meant pain behind the eyes and blurred vision. Throughout 2019 I had 6 instances of severe conjunctivitis which had nothing to do with infection and all to do with pollution. It was the blurred vision that got me. 

I had had some problems with sciatica which slowed me down and I had returned too quickly to work after a bicycle accident which caused a hairline rib fracture and my back hadn’t been quite the same since. So all of these things together caused me to walk away. 

Now that I’m not in polluted environments 5-6 hours a day, 5 days a week, I have mostly recovered. My asthma is under control and my eyes are back to normal and my energy level is restored. I will be writing to the HR department to advise of their welfare responsibilities to those staff members that are in similar situations to what I was in. Some of the younger members of the team may not yet be aware of the potential negative effects on their health but it will catch up with them. 

Health Matters: Air Pollution - UK GOV.

Science Direct: Effects of air pollution on ocular health

Medical Life Sciences: Air Pollution and Eye Health

I am now busy preparing the ground work for a fruitful freelance future of self publishing, prints sales, assignments and teaching. Stay tuned. 

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