I never got tired of wandering with camera, I thought it would always be this way. How wrong I was. I spent the best part of yesterday trekking to National Portrait Gallery, London, and back. Then today another gallery in Leeds to look at some important work I would like to get involved in.
As always when I am out with camera I was buzzing once there. I loved every moment of taking these, of simply being and so much interest and beauty to capture. I enjoyed seeing the portraits as part of the Taylor Wessing Portrait prize exhibition and the added bonus of some Anthony Gormley’s watercolours.
But then the London trip involved being sat on a coach for three and a half hours each way, the rush of the underground with steps (I’m currently disabled), and the sheer effort of getting from a-b complete with heavy gear. I was completely worn out.
Achy and in a lot of pain in Leeds today I was late for the talk I was attending.The people traffic at the station was immense and I got stuck at a ticket gate.
I pushed on anyway and was lucky enough to still meet the curators of the ‘Dying Matters’ exhibition. I still had an interesting conversation, but it was rushed, i was in pain and flustered by this point. They could probably tell. The pictures I got are dark and foreboding, even they show how I was experiencing the world when I took them.
A friends shared a link to a documentary video called ‘one last frame’ by Norwegian artist Niels Windfeldt.
Essentially the conversation is about the magic, specialness or consciousness of photography becoming lost in the ‘obsession’ of just taking pictures. Although beautiful and thought provoking it triggered a heavy doubt in my mind about my own work.
This is where I get demotivated and wonder what it is all for and about. If my passion is photography or image making and it becomes or is just an obsession does that mean that I lose the focus, the raison d etre for having my camera with me and going to these places? Do I make these images for myself, and only myself, obsession and all, or do I make them to share with the world, take them or leave them?
The smallest of adventures these days is such a physical challenge. Is there any point?
A day on, a sleep later and a chat with the friend that shared One Last Frame and I am sitting easier with this doubt a little bit.
My images are my search for personal truth and meaning. I see the world in my own unique way and sometimes I take pleasure in sharing it even if it goes nowhere or does not get appreciated by others. This is why I love photography.
Photography has brought me closer to people, closer to places and closer to understanding myself and my personal values. If that is all it ever does then it has been worthwhile. No matter how much of a challenge the process becomes.
My one last frame will be the one right in front of me when I leave this world silently. And that is ok.