A few years ago, I read an article entitled ‘How to regain your photo-mojo’ – a set of projects designed to pique interest for the photographer in a rut. ‘Pah, that’ll never happen to me’, I thought.
My partner, however, is joking that I am not into photography any more. I’ve kept up with events and the odd commission, but it is certainly the case that looking at my output for this year, compared to the last year its been quite low.
There’s been a few things contributing to this. One of these has simply been time. Both me and my partner have been working all hours God sends over the last year, trying to keep on top of the ever increasing bills. I have also been trying to focus a little on my music.
These in themselves are not insurmountable problems, but what they have led to has been an immense backlog of images building up unedited – I have shots from 18 months ago sitting on the computer still not managed, and a pile of scanning and unprocessed film. And getting this done and also maintaining enough social and business presence online feels like a drag. Added to this, I have moved my studio and all my film cameras bar a very few have been stacked in a cupboard.
There have also been a couple of more photo related issues. The first of these is, I think that the last couple of years I have been shooting like crazy in my new neighbourhood – it’s always exciting moving somewhere and taking new pictures of the place, but after a while you end up feeling this has been done to death and carrying a camera round all the time leads to a million more shots of cardboard hill on the way to work.
The second of these was the loss of two rolls of images to my own error. This has only happened to me two times before: The first, when I used over-intense IR filtration was a matter of learning. The second, a scratched film in loading and processing was not a total wipe-out. But here I lost two rolls of rare film to the schoolboy error of not conducting a clip test for developer which was abut three years old. APH-09 is not supposed to die. But it does and I should have checked.
Philosophers of the visual and photography often refer to ‘latent images’ – the idea that the image does not enter reality until it is developed and printed. I do think about what was on those films – I cannot fully remember, which in a way is good because I would actually be more upset in a way if I had lost some family snaps that held memories. But I know that as they were exciting films (one the very rare Bluefire Police, the other Kodak XX) that I had used them for particular shots to experiment with the film and see what it does.
But on to the future. During 2014 I started a ‘365 project’ which I never completed – not so much because of taking the shots, but because of the editing which with digital images seems to need to be done promptly in order for a project to be of value. I won’t be trying that again.
I think I have one photographic New Year’s Resolution – and that is to delete! I never tend to delete images, even those which are plainly useless. I am not talking about the errors which can become something new, but shots of my bag, duplicates and so on. This I think will clear some of the crap from my mind.
Somewhere between a resolution and a project will be a 52 week project with film. I have 13 eleven-litre boxes full of film cameras which need sorting, and this will be a part of this project, to get these catalogued and on Saturated Imagery, which needs bringing up to date.
I will stop worrying about my flickr account and how much of a mess it is and focus on my websites. And I will produce some tangible output in the form of prints and a book.
Musically I have two albums in the running, and a plan to get a live set ready by the end of the year. We’ll have to see about these, but I think I can do it.
The New Year is also about looking back on achievements as well as making plans. So I would like to spend a (narcissistic) moment looking through some of these.
I have certainly had the privilege of shooting (on invite) some brilliant nights and other events. I have worked with some great people and cemented some firm friendships from this. One of the most important was the Elliot’s Footprint Summer Fête, and I am proud to be a supporter of this great cause. I have had images published in calenders, and used in planning appeals. I have survived the need to moved my entire studio, and turned this into an opportunity to get my music moving again, playing more bass and my new electric string bass, completing three new tracks with many more in progress including a remix of one of my favourite tunes.
Happy New Year! And just to show I have not lost my Mojo – enjoy a few images from the last couple of days around this post.