I’ve seen people posting their 2015 lists, favs, and musings. Last year for me felt like a very uncomfortable and pretty dramatic year and I rather prefer to look ahead instead. A former colleague committed suicide, a dear photographer passed away, I had my health issues and my son got a stroke. At times it was all too much, but taking photographs helped me to find distraction at times. Sometimes I wished I would have been able to continue doing so every day, but I’m still OK with that.
I don’t try to have any plans or resolutions for this new year. From experience I know there is always something differently happening. I should better try to life every moment and be aware how precious these moments can be.
I missed the feeling of learning something new again, so I started to film. Wondering if a few seconds footage would add something to a brief moment. While film might add motion to a moment, a photograph, to me, still has more than just that less then a second capture. There is the deliberate and subconscious thinking before and after a moment. It is not only seeing, but also feeling a moment happening. I wondered whether film would add more of that thoughtfulness, but for now I get the impression I film like I photograph. I do like keeping the filming for myself now. Still something of learning, experimenting, failing, and hoping to succeed sometime.
While I love photography, and love to see work by others, I’m having more and more problems with how photography evolves into a process. A process were technique seems to matter most. Where even a Magnum photographer I admire shares his work with a camera brand hashtag. Where the most popular photography websites only share reviews, business related news, and popular viral stuff. Sure, even I admit that techniques matters to photography. Like the camera matters to the photographer, but there is so much more to photography.
Distortion however doesn’t come from the outside I think, but from within us. Sure, somewhere there is an absolute reality, but the reality we life in is formed by what we like and dislike. Or what we should like or dislike formulated in lists and the number of likes. We might be appalled by the amount of crap on the internet, but don’t seem to be able to be more selective about what to see and read. Maybe we try to hard to seek recognition for the choices we make and try to find common peers.
So I try to keep doing what I love to do. Taking photographs for myself. In my pace, with my gear, my priorities, my feelings. I refuel myself to cope with the new deal in our family. Refuel myself to see and feel new moments. Peace and all the best for 2016.
All photographs by Wouter Brandsma