2018 finds me asking…. Where to from here?
I’ve noticed a shift in the way we interact, new expectations are forming, generational change seems to occur in an ever shortening timeframe. Countless images are now shared online, supported by ever growing communities. It’s a collective conversation that’s morphing all the time. A deeply connected space is shared, yet we must navigate our own direction.
I take little interest in online trends, I’d rather not see them at all, but I can’t help seeing the effects of this new conversation. Places which used to be unknown have now become mainstream. Not long ago, discovery used to come through curiosity, exploration and knowledge which had to be sought. Time was needed to discover something new and with it came achievement. Now it seems the answers are at our fingertips, but it’s only an illusion.
We spur each other on and there’s nothing wrong with that, but what are we spurring to? I’ve seen stories of photographers around the globe, individually or a little at a time, destroying the landscape they’ve come to photograph, and all for what? Is that what photography’s about for me? I hope not, I’d rather give up my cameras all together than leave the world that way.
So I’ve had to think. What really matters in photography? What really matters to me? What really matters to us? How does all this come together and how do I express it? The answers aren’t online, the answers aren’t written yet and likely never will be. This is my journey and only I can follow it.
The way I see now isn’t the way I’ll see next year, or in ten years time. Life changes us, the small moments we uncover each day accumulate into greater change, and experience informs our direction. I’ve found that a change in thinking, a photographic mind shift can mean recognising my norm and seeing beyond it, it takes effort.
I can’t say exactly where I’m headed because that’s all part of the journey, but here’s what I do know. I’ve become less interested in the literal and the real, those things exist somewhere at some time. But our minds are different, our memories don’t capture that world, our experiences are something else.
I’m moved by the landscape and what it represents, its presence, its window into days gone by, its beauty and the scars it bears. It will move on and change even when we’re long gone.
I’m challenged by the way we think, our culture, our society, our lives, our feelings and the effects those have on our struggling earth.
I’m sure 2018 has revealed some clues and I’m looking forward to whatever comes next.