A walk on a winters day, with a camera, and no expectations, no brief, no direction, just enjoying the fresh air, and taking pictures….
It’s that time of year, for looking back and getting a bit of perspective on the last 12 months before diving into the next 12, and a little photo-walk is the perfect opportunity to make the headspace for that.
2014 has been quite a year, in my professional life it’s offered plenty of opportunities to be tested and develop as a photographer as well as to grow my business and support my family along the way, and in my personal life it’s presented some challenging circumstances that have forced me to really evaluate what I do and why I do it, and to remind me to make sure I appreciate all the good stuff that happens along the way too.
Work-wise it’s been the busiest ever year with my camera, over 50,000 images delivered for clients, from Weddings to Festivals, Pirates to Pop stars, Dinosaurs to Monkeys, there’s not been a dull moment (ok, maybe a few, but really not very many at all). But with that sheer volume of work, it was inevitable that I become a bit jaded towards the end, and feel the need to put the cameras down for a while, a bit of a break to clear the mind and the memory cards.
Photography is my profession as well as passion, so taking time out and putting the camera away is a potentially tricky situation for me, in a heavily saturated market (everyones a photographer now) I need to keep on delivering quality work, and your best work comes when you are doing something you love, falling out of love isn’t really a good career move.
So a bit of time apart, absence making the heart grow fonder, was called for, and after that, there’s the need to rediscover what it was that i enjoyed so much about it anyway. And thats what this little photo-blog below is all about, shooting just for the fun of it again, no reason to do so except for the joy of framing the scene and hearing the familiar noise of the shutters. A little mindful journey of re-discovery in some very welcome winter sunshine. These aren’t the usual types of photo I do for fun, there’s no amazing skies or great wave action here, its almost a series of photos of nothing much at all, more about just being rather than doing, a sort of photographic meditation, letting go of the idea of photography to get back to it’s raw essence.
And it worked, I lost myself in the process, I noticed the world around me again in that special way that you don’t if you’re not looking through a viewfinder. And stuff happened whilst i was looking, planes drew lines across the clear blue skies, ice melted, waves gently arrived on the shore, people went about their business, a small boy climbed a cliff, got stuck and nearly gave his dad a heart attack trying to rescue him (he did get him down safely in the end).
I doubt whether any of these photos will merit a second glance form anyone else, and there’s nothing here thats going to go viral and win me new followers, there’s no gimmick or technique or meme, I haven’t used a drone or instagram filters, i’ve not even included a proper selfie. Shooting mostly with the 50mm, and mostly pretty wide open letting in a lot of light, just because thats what made me happy at the time and letting the composition be decided by what caught my eye, basically just remembering what feels like being a photographer and not a marketer, photos for the fun of it, not for click-bait.
Having said all that, no doubt i’ll have to be back and playing the facebook game again soon, you’ve got to be in it to win it and all that, so i can’t just disappear and go off the matrix for too long, social is the new google so ignoring it for too long is commercial suicide, but for a few weeks anyway its been peaceful to be without it. (hmmm, of course just by writing this, and then sharing it, i’m back in the game already, that didn’t last long did it)
So thanks to anyone who read this far, talk to me if you like, leave a comment, or don’t, it’s just a brain dump, a mind-fart, a clearing of the digital cobwebs, normal service will be resumed now, I’ll go and take some more photos and stop waffling on, that’s why I’ve got my cameras in the first place.
Towards Alum Bay – photo gallery
©2014 Jason Swain, All Rights Reserved
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