Is Neath exotic? I asked this question this morning at today’s Camera Confidence workshop and was laughed at. It’s funny how we can’t always see the beautiful things that exist on our own doorstep. Tourists flock to the Neath area for it’s mountains, beaches, parks, and castles. It’s an area steeped in history and legend. There’s a Norman castle right in the centre of town, the remains of a Cistercian Monastery close by at Neath Abbey, and even the town park at Victoria Gardens is 120 years old and still laid out in traditional Victorian style. So why do locals think it’s a bit rubbish? Why can’t they see what the tourists see?
It’s too easy to look on the downside of things. If you’re used to an area you start to notice the negatives more than the positives. It ‘s the reason why we go on holiday, it’s a short term fix to make us feel good. We run away from the ordinary and banal to find new and exotic things to look at and stimulate us. We can’t normally do this at home because day-to-day problems get in our way and we get stuck in a rut. It’s possible to get out of the negative and see what’s positive on our doorstep. It’s just a matter of looking at things the right way.
To make sense of this all, our participants were challenged to find the most rubbish things about Neath and photograph them. If you can make something awesome from a rubbish situation then you’re bound to feel more confident about your home situation. Later we asked participants to be tourists and find the historic, beautiful, and wonderful things that Neath town has to offer. Feeling good about yourself in the long term is all about planting the seeds of positivity. Here’s some wonderful pictures of the positives and the negatives that we found around Neath today.