From being an indulgent distraction through 2020 and the lockdown, photography became one of my prime comforts in 2021. The first year of the pandemic had been about the fun of playing around with a camera – stalking small birds, chasing after butterflies and photographing stars far, far away. Last year was about finding comfort by retreating behind the lens again. It meant appreciating the colours of the sky as I took photos on a warm May evening, after a devastating summer.

The camera and its bulky lenses became a loyal companion on long walks spent watching and photographing sunsets, flowers and the rain. As things opened up, it nudged me to think about taking a small holiday: think of all the things I could photograph. The camera braved a spell of rainfall, mud and floating clouds on the Kaas plateau as I stumbled around trying to photograph every possible flower in view. Almost every single photograph turned out beautifully.

Weeks later, it crashed to the ground on another day trip. A few frantic taps later it beeped back to life though I was sure that this time I had finally destroyed it.

There was also something wonderfully reassuring about fiddling with its dials, hearing the shutter go off and then scrutinising the image on the tiny screen, deleting it and taking a better one. This year too, my camera, ever loyal, will continue to inspire me.

Read all the articles in the Comfort zone series here.