The start of 2018 was a little rough to say the least. Christmas and New Year’s are just more crappy reminders of what I lost and the lasting impacts of grief. It is funny in a non-comical way how it doesn’t get any easier. Not necessarily harder either. Just complex and hard to read the road ahead or how certain things will impact me and us this time around. I posted about the need to take a break from it all at the end of January and whilst I want to report on my activities during that time it is also important to note that I spent a lot of days in bed hiding from life. My depression has been quite extreme and I have not ventured out much at all. I shut down pretty much all of my social media accounts including Facebook. I just shut out all the noise. Now I am starting to be a bit more active in managing it and doing the necessary.
Needless to say that I have not taken any photos until today and we will get to that in a bit. But I have been passively exploring other creative outlets. There must be some need or genetic disposition within me to have to create. To make. To draw. To write. I have been watching a lot of videos produced by Adam Savage. You may know him as one of the guys off that amazing show Mythbusters. Adam is an incredibly creative individual and he has assembled a cast of other makers on his own site tested.com. Check it out some time. They build movies prop replicas, perform science experiments, build Lego sets whilst interviewing really interesting guests and, without shame, discuss all things nerdy and geeky from video games to pop culture. They also produce a couple of podcasts each week and a bunch of videos. This has given me a lot of creative inspiration.
At a more practical level I have been quite engaged in cooking and discovering new dishes and styles of cooking. Being the single parent means that all the cooking falls to me. And as many of you will contest to, coming up with new and interesting dishes each and every night is draining. Especially if you have fussy eaters in the house. Regardless I have pushed myself to make meal plans for a few days at a time and then shop for those ingredients for those dishes. I have been trying a bunch of new Asian stir fries and these have surprisingly been met with much enthusiasm by my teens. And after watching a documentary on Netflix called Ugly Delicious, featuring chef David Change, I have lifted my home made pizza game several notches. It is a fun series and I recommend watching it. Having the Prahran Market so close is also helping to inspire my choices of dishes. Fair to say I became very home focused almost to the exclusion of all else.
But all this time, my itch to take photos has been slowly increasing. And today I awoke to a morning with beautiful light and was determined to get out with my camera and make something of it. Even if it was just for an hour. So after the school drop off I headed to Windsor, parked the car and walked down the first side street I came across. With me I had just my Fujifilm X-T2 with the XF23mmF2 lens. Brilliant combination and my favourite focal distance. This was the combination I predominantly used during my last trip to Japan in 2017. Lightweight, discreet and weather proof. I currently use a wrist strap only. The kit is so light that I hardly notice the weight even after hours of carrying it in the Tokyo humidity of late summer.
Even just writing about it now is further awakening my dormant joy and love of photography. It is almost like the flavour is coming back and I can taste it. Interesting. Today I had no specific style or ideas that I wished to explore. This was purely about photographing whatever caught my eye that I thought was worth capturing. It was not street photography nor was it architectural. It was just walking through the many laneways of Windsor and enjoying the exploration versus desperately trying to catch that one great shot. And it was enjoyable. I took my time and used my eye to assess a scene and angles and walked around before taking a shot.
On the way home the idea came to me that I should blog about this day. My blogging has always been a happy task and I felt like I made a significant step today. I cannot say that my depression has backed off much but still… I got out and did something. That’s a positive step. So here we are. And sitting here writing this, a number of questions have been surfacing. Should I go out tomorrow? The weekend? Do I want to take up street photography again? Or just get out taking photos and let the process organically unfold rather than trying to define a style or genre. And what of Japan? I doubt I can afford it this year. But next year? Maybe. All of a sudden it is late March and the year is flying by. 2019 is not that far away really. Perhaps the more traditional style of Kyoto?….Thanks for having me back. Happy shooting.