Focus Magazines The local magazines for Abergavenny, Crickhowell, Brecon & Talgarth – Events, News and Advertising


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Photography in Focus: Social Distancing

May 4th, 2020

I hope everyone has been “Staying Safe” during these trying times, and that you’ve been playing around with the creative ideas I wrote about in the last issue. Ironically, I’ve been incredibly busy on the photography front as well as the work front. My role in anaesthetics at Nevill Hall has given me access to document on film how the staff, have responded to working under the strains of the Covid Crisis. Over seventy of these photos have been published in a book which as I type this has almost sold out its second print run within forty-eight hours of release, with all profits going to mental health charities.

Closer to home I was incredibly worried about how I would cope with being locked down. I’m not an animal that is well suited to being caged. When a couple of people in my street started a Whatsapp group to help look out for neighbours who might need a helping hand, I saw an opportunity.

If I’m awake, I’m never without a camera of some sort; the fear of missing a photo fills me with dread! I mulled over the idea of combining my allowed daily exercise with expanding on the aims of the Whatsapp group, and meeting the neighbours, and so the “Richmond Road Social Distancing Photography Project” was born. I printed off some flyers and posted them through the doors of the sixty-one houses in the street, explaining that my aim was to photograph as many people as possible from a distance of two metres, so effectively standing on the pavement as they stood in their doorways. The uptake has been really good. I’ve met neighbours that until now I didn’t know existed, and made new friends. In many ways Covid 19 has brought the street closer together. It’s been surprising how many people have lived in the road for between thirty and forty years, and also how many children and teenagers there are. There are babies in the street, and very sadly at least two residents have lost parents during the period of lockdown; something that is hard enough at the best of times.

What this period can teach us is that despite what some politicians and philosophers may have claimed, there really is such a thing as society. Sometimes sadly it takes a brutal wake up call to bring us back together.

More of my work can be seen on Instagram:@nedsoldman or at
I can be contacted at for prints or commissions

More Stories

Photography in Focus: Thinking Outside the Box

April 9th, 2020

A change of tack this month. I was planning on writing about the photographer Cindy Sherman, but the world has shifted slightly on its axis, and we now find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, and that will affect the way many of us practice photography. When I’m not taking photos, I’m an Anaesthetic […]

Y Fenni Triathlon

January 9th, 2020

Stretching those aching, weary limbs on 1st January can be a test for the best of us. With the lighter nights still a few months away, the motivation to pull on some lycra and embark on the New Year resolution that we’ve promised ourselves will come once the frivolities of December are over. The challenge […]

Don’t let a Bad Mood Derail your Day

January 9th, 2020

The secret to feeling less stressed is a lot closer than we think… if we look in the right direction. Imagine waking in a bad mood. You snap at the first person you see. Last night’s dishes still need doing. Unopened post reminds you of unpaid bills. You feel tense thinking about the commute. Not […]

Totally Locally Crickhowell Fiver Fest

June 12th, 2019

Between 8th and 15th June, Crickhowell’s independent businesses will be taking part in the Totally Locally National Fiver Fest with an incredible array of over 30 Five Pound Deals for you to enjoy! We hear it a lot don’t we: Shop Locally! Support your local businesses! The fact is, though, that a lot of people […]

It’s Spring so Crickhowell Walking Festival must be here!

March 12th, 2019

It’s that time of year again – Spring is on the horizon, if not in the air, birds are starting to sing and Crickhowell Walking Festival is getting ready to welcome people from all over the country to sample the Black Mountains and our wonderful countryside. The Festival is now in its 12th year and […]

Can You Walk the Walk? Talgarth Walking Festival

February 7th, 2019

Can you spot the lyrical and literary allusions in this light hearted quiz?   Answers at the bottom. So my husband said we should take a hike.   Well, I thought, that sounds like an idea, not necessarily a good one, but an idea for all that.  Walking in the air getting out and about isn’t that […]


December 11th, 2018

When a speaker is good, no-one wants him or her to finish, and that’s what happened at November’s monthly meeting of Gilwern U3A when Richard Walker spoke on ”Faith in Prison.”  Fascinating facts and figures illustrated the concept of incarceration from William the Conqueror’s Tower of London up to modern Norwegian prison cells, which looked […]

Abergavenny Round Table Celebrates 50 Years of Firework Displays in Belgrave Park

November 5th, 2018

On November the 5th 2018, the skies above Abergavenny will be alight with colour once more as Abergavenny Round Table celebrates 50 years of its annual firework display. And this year spectators are in for a real treat as it will be the biggest display to date! The event will be a fantastic night out […]

Black Mountains Trail Race Report

October 22nd, 2018

Element’s scenic but tough 9-mile Black Mountains Trail Race from Crickhowell took place on October 21st The beautifully scenic route winds up the Grwyne Fawr river valley which looked stunning in this year’s autumn sunshine. The runners enjoyed the most classic features of trail races: mixed terrain, mud and hills. Race Director Ruth Pickvance, herself […]

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