Tales of Twenty Twelve was a look at a few of the stories and images I lived and created in this past calendar year. Never normally count calendar years. Do not know why I do, count that is, this year, not intending to make a habit of it. Next New Years I shall be outside of time somewhere in the world. These are a few scattered thoughts just because, well there’s no reason really, just writing stuff in my Journal of Impossible Things.
Recently I had the pleasure of talking about my images, work, life and nomad existence for 3 hours in front of a crowd of 37 people. Nothing like hearing myself trying to babble on for that long and attempting to still make sense (relatively) to cause some reflection on nomad living. And how strange it was to describe nomadism, something so natural to me, so alien to most people. I count the take-off to Namibia in April 2009 as the time I entered the nomad mindset. A lot of time traveling since then, good and bad. If I won a billion bucks? Would not fundamentally change my life. Am living how I want to live doing what I want to do, for the first time in my life. That’s a rather huge and pleasant thought that struck me as I was preparing for the presentation. I may dislike myself often, may feel incredibly low and alone, but it’s a good thought to hold on to: would not change a thing, it’s the life I want, so much to see, the ups when they happen are so amazing. All of time and space at my door step and yes, admittedly rather obsessed by Doctor Who, it’s the one person with whom I identify completely, also he is the most briliant of time travelers!
What does photography mean ?
Having shot quite a few jobs at events, clubs, concerts and festivals this past year I am at times amazed at the amount of cameras and coverage of every single second that happens. Half the people will have cameras or camera phones snapping away. It is not necessarily a bad thing but it freezes me in my tracks, makes me wonder what is happening to photography. What value does it have? Why am I shooting at all? A lot of these images will go on social media and have a lifespan of maybe all of 5 minutes before they die of old age in a social media news stream. Try and tell myself I am doing something different. I aim to take one image of the whole event, one image that encapsulates the night, the person, the performance, the feeling, has long-lasting value. But really, what’s the value of photography when everyone is doing it, everything is being covered and shared instantly.
Is the art of photography drowning in a massive sea of mind numbing mediocrity? A world where content is taken for granted, is expected to be free?
Work. Make things
But then I think “Breathe. And just make pictures”. Make pictures, things, words, stuff. Do the stuff only I can. And stay off social media as much as possible as it makes me sad. The past year or so I have managed to try and torture myself slightly less about my work and actually do work and just make stuff. A lot of stuff. Document everything. Shoot exactly what I want, exactly how I want and work like no one is watching. Pour myself completely into my work, every soul fiber and feeling. Hence the black and white. My mind is a dark place often. It’s how I see the world often. What I want to express. Pour myself into it. Has made a tremendous difference in my work, in how I work and feel about my work. A good friend pushed me in this direction, gracias amigo. Best advice ever. I still wonder all the time what it all means but I will keep shooting, documenting, writing, publishing and do it completely in my own warped way. Am aware of the major influences presently in my work and hope to just keep shooting and find my way into more original work. Forever searching, digging, looking, working, obsessed.
Forever searching, working, and I am starting to have faith in the fact if I just keep working, keep striving to improve, keep meeting people, onwards and forwards, unexpected doors will open, opportunities will present themselves. Rarely does any opportunity come knocking on your door if one sits back and wait. Waiting is not my thing anyway, hate patience. Just make things, work work work, open the doors that appear.
If I start mentioning names, I will worry all night long I am forgetting half. So let me just express my deepest gratitude to everyone who enables my nomadic life and open their minds, hearts and homes to me. Never ceases to amaze me, always in deep gratitude. You make it possible for me to keep doing impossible things.
Onwards and Forwards
Nothing to do in this nomad life but keep working, traveling, experiencing, documenting, writing, wondering, learning, all without filters, hoping someday to make sense of it all and make a difference. Will be bumpy but it is supposed to be.
“Run, clever boy.”