A HASLEMERE woman has launched a book of photographs taken walking in and around the town during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Graphic designer Jane Puttock has credited her walks and photographs with helping her cope with the various lockdowns.
The result is Staying Sane... Lockdown Walks Around Haslemere With A Camera – a 124-page book which covers 483 days from March 23, 2020, to July 18, 2021, and includes 528 images.
“In many ways, life wasn’t too different for me in lockdown,” said Jane.
“I am self-employed and work from home and I was lucky enough to have lots of work, but as soon as you are told you have to stay home all you want to do is go out.
“I have no outside space at home and this led to a lockdown feeling of being trapped, so to get out of the house I started walking in the local area and, of course, I took my camera.
“The weather was endless blue sky and being by myself in such a beautiful place, close to nature and recording the things I saw, really helped me stay sane.
“As Covid restrictions ebbed and flowed, my walks took me in different directions, sometimes close to home, particularly around Swan Barn which I can see from my studio window.
“I revisited childhood walks in Hammer and explored and found new places in the local area.
“When we were allowed to travel, I would go further afield – all the images in the book are no more than an hour from Haslemere, and most much closer to home.
“I shared my images online and was ‘persuaded’ by Brian Howard that I should make them a permanent record of lockdown.”
Jane has spent her entire life in the Haslemere area – her mother was born in Hammer in the house where Jane grew up. She started school in Camelsdale, went on to Midhurst and then to West Sussex College of Design in Worthing to study graphics.
After graduating Jane started work in London with an upcoming design company and helped to grow the business. Today, she is self-employed and works from home in central Haslemere.
Jane has always had a passion for photography though, which started in her childhood.
She said: “I’ve always loved taking pictures, starting with using my dad’s old Kodak Box Brownie on childhood holidays, through many film cameras until the wonders of digital came along.
“I got my first digital camera in August 2002 and loved having the ability to take lots of images, to have instant access and be able to edit, manipulate and print them at home.
“I have stuck to bridge cameras rather than DSLRs as I like their flexibility, compactness and long zoom range and I’m prepared to lose a bit of quality for convenience.
“These days I use my phone camera a lot – they say the best camera is the one you have with you on the day.”
Staying Sane has been produced with sponsorship from Redh. The book is on sale for £20, with all the proceeds going towards supporting community projects via the Haslemere Hens and Haslemere Festival, including several projects for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The book is on sale in the Haslemere Book Shop, and Headmasters Hairdressers in Beacon Hill, and online at www.janeputtock.co.uk/book
Alongside her passion for art and photography, Jane owns classic cars.
She organises the Haslemere Classic Car Show – which returns on Sunday, May 29 – with her partner James. The car show is now open for entries. Visit https://jamesewing.co.uk/hccs/