Many ideas over the years, in a folder on a shelf in my mind and many times over the years I’ve made note of the fact that it’s all likely and probable that those ideas will bear fruit in someone else’s vision and I’ll once again be consigned to the sidelines to watch and look on as they materialise and publish. It’s a wretched feeling that lives for a short time - knowing you had the idea but was unable to see it through and have to watch others do it. You kick yourself for not trying harder and tell yourself you’ll make it up in the coming months that inevitably turn in to years.
The idea for my project ‘Precipice’ was never for it to be the documentation of protests in London. The title was born in 2013 when I thought to document the erosion of the east coast of England and the lives of those living on the edge. The only reason I paused the project was when I saw that it had been covered extensively, and beautifully, by another photographer and so made the decision to get some interviews in the process to differ mine from his. However, life has a way of putting an arm out at times and halting progress of personal wants, and sometimes the needs in life outweigh and have precedence over the things you really long to get done and finish. So I eventually ditched the idea but liked the title so simply transferred ‘Precipice’ over to the protest project instead.
Today being an example, February 2nd 2020. I have had a couple of things on the calendar to head out and photograph. These things were also a decent way for me to experiment with using flash in daylight, which I need to learn. However, life once again extends an arm and I cannot go. Not going to these events means waiting a year before they come round again and repeat. I’m happy that they’ll always be there for me to photogaph, but still ... a year. There are things noted down to visit that have been written in the calendar each year, and every year, over many years. I want to get started on them.
I haven’t ditched film, it’s just that I have no choice but to go with digital for some of the things that I want to do. At this stage in my time in photography, which is now ten years, I’m after ease, and low cost, and immediacy. I also want to learn how to use the flash correctly. I have no idea how to use it and no idea what all the settings on a flash unit mean and how to change and use them effectively. Digital affords me the freedom to learn it without having to worry about wasting money. It also allows me to see the immediate results; all those failures. I also want to do some more news coverage and maybe put myself out there for some small scale events to people in London. I still naturally love film photography and always will and have no intention of letting it go completely, but for 2020 at least, I’m looking to try new things and so that involves learning things from scratch. I’m happy about that. I am fully aware that the ideas that I have, that I want to explore and implement into projects and get on with, are very likely to be done by others. This is inevitable. It is something that I have experienced right from the outset - that there is nothing that you want to do that has not already been done by others and will continue to be done by others. You just have to tell yourself to approach these ideas and projects in your own way regardless of its similarities.
I have set myself a few goals for 2020. Those goals are to finish up and complete projects that I have been stalling on for some time now, to learn news things I know nothing about, to begin and work on things that I have been putting off, and to be at ease in the knowledge that it’s already been done, is currently being done and will be done again, by someone else. I just have to make it mine, in my own personal way, and in the best manner and way that I can that stays true to my original vision.
What more is there to this, than that?
︎ BACK TO MONTHS