I haven’t posted anything in the past 12 months, not because I have stopped taking photos but because having a blog is real hard work ! If anything, photography is taking more and more of my time.
Keeping focus is a damned hard thing to do. I am often distracted in my photographic pursuits by the rumour sites promising better and more advanced hardware, and by companies promising better and easier post-processing. I get sucked in, but more about that in another post.
Lockdown came upon us three weeks ago, I stopped going out, there is no more street photography. I have been working long hours from home, my children have moved back home from wherever they are studying. We are an organised family cell, living strange times. I feel for the families of the sick, for those who have lost close ones and for all the hospital staff and carers. An invisible, near imaginary, world of pain. From where we are, we see nothing, hear nothing… we stay at home in isolation. We know it is true, we hear the news … and yet we the sun shines and we live out our ordinary mundane lives in lockdown. What is the nature of reality ? Does it exist outside of my perceptions ? Am I in a cage waiting to be devoured by the beast outside that I cannot see, hear or feel ?
I have had time to assess what is important in my life. My family comes first of course, then in no particular order : food, reading and photography. I have some time to read, some time to cook but what to photograph ?
Some ideas come to mind :
– I could read all my photography books again but I have few, I am very dependant on online sources.
– I could reorganise, look through and tidy my entire photo library of thousands of photos I have since I bought my first digital camera in 2004. Very boring, no ?
– I could learn how to better use the post-processing software I have but in the past year, I have tried them all, spend hours on you tube, and I have realised that I know enough for the kind of photography I do. I can improve of course, but I don’t want to learn compositing or any fancy stuff.
– I can spend time on YouTube, I have subscribed to so many photo channels. Unfortunately, they have all dried up : there is not much new to sell after all.
So what then ? Like many enthusiasts, I belong to a photo club. The weekly meetings have stopped, our yearly exhibition is cancelled. However, I did contact everyone and we have all subscribed to a social media called Discord. There are others. The point is that we are in contact again and that is a great feeling. I have started to publish a photo a day, taken in my confined space (not that shabby really : we have a house with a garden!). Ever heard of the 365 project ? This is like that but only as long as lockdown lasts… and if we miss one ? Well, nobody is counting!
Showing your photos to your friends, family and maybe not-so-close club members is very different from throwing them out on the internet, on Flickr, 500px or Instagram or whatever. I do have an Instagram feed, I am on Flickr as well but sometimes I feel as if I al throwing a photo out of the window, hoping someone will catch it.
If you are in lockdown too, open your camera bag and keep on shooting. Share with your friends. And if you can resist your camera’s sad look in the bottom of the bag, then maybe you can think about what is important in your life … and stop purchasing extra kit !
The photos in this article are the first few of my lockdown project. I won’t bore you with them all. And if you feel lonely, get in touch.