Rebirth

So it's 2014 already. It seems 2013 was a tough year for a lot of people, judging by Facebook statuses, Tweets, Instagrams and whatever social media outlet we use to "voice" our troubles.

In a lot of ways I think having a bad year can be a good thing. It can get you focused on more important things or challenge your perceptions and get you "in line" so to speak. It's not always fun - hell it's never fun - but that's how we grow and hopefully better ourselves; through those hardships.

Not to dwell on it too much, but the last couple of months of 2013 wasn't easy for me and I think that goes for pretty much anyone. Those final 2 months before your holiday, start grinding you down mentally. Especially with myself, I've noticed that; after more than a year of working from home, I felt miserable. That's my own fault though. I have a knack for isolating myself from the world and with the holidays that were coming up and knowing that I'd probably be alone on Christmas I just felt like crap.

But lo and behold, Christmas came and I actually didn't feel completely miserable. I actually felt kinda blessed. Millions of people are alone over the holidays and I felt that I needed that to put some things in perspective for myself. I think what also helped was the fact that I got to hang out with a good friend the day before and just dump some of this "darkness" I'd been carrying in my heart.

That being said, I really wanted to create a photo for my "Arguing with Myself" series of conceptual self-portraits. And I had the perfect place in mind, knowing that I would be going to my old hometown area over Christmas and that I would be alone, so there was no excuse to not go and make this photo.

The only reason why I almost didn't do it, was because I felt too calm on the inside. There wasn't this crazy inner turbulence that I had when I made the first two, but I decided to press on and do it anyway.

This is the image. I call it "Rebirth".

Rebirth (2).jpg

I love this spot. It looks out over the town where my mom now lives and is about 10 kilometers from the town where I grew up. It's pretty quiet up there and I was alone for an hour and a half before the sun was at the right angle to not completely blow out the highlights.

It's between 12 and 16 images stitched together. Four of them was just to get the sky to not be completely blown out. I'm happy with it and the reason for the title is, I think I MAYBE found some answers (or perhaps more questions) while pursuing this personal project. I think it might be a turning point - a "Rebirth" - of some sorts. It's not over yet and I'm thinking of expanding it and adding other people too, coz we're not in this alone.

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year.

Fighting Personal Demons

It seems that I am constantly filled with self doubt. I find that I question myself almost on a daily basis. It's kind of insane :) Where is it all coming from? I think I have too much time during my the daily grind of nine to five (seven to four in my case) to question and doubt my abilities as a photographer and a "creative".

Last week Thursday I decided; "F**k it! Get over yourself man! Go and make something today even if you fail. Just go out there and do it". This video by Zack Arias is an old one, but it reigns so true to me.
Before you carry on reading. Here's the video.

Done watching? Okay. Amazing right?! 

What I love about Zack is, he says it as it is. No BS! No beating around the bush. Just in your face honesty and that's what you need. "Transformation takes time and from what I've seen; it's worth the wait".

I love that last sentence. I am still transforming, still finding my "voice" and sometimes we just need that pep talk; whether it's coming from ourselves or a 4 year old video you've watched 10 times. It seems I need a lot of ass kicking though, especially from myself, but I'll carry on doing it and crafting my skills and getting better even if I have to physically beat my lazy ass into gear, I WILL do it.

Here's my photo from last week. 

Ashes.jpg

This image almost didn't exist. That's a weird thought right? Because here it is. You're looking at it, but think for a moment. If I didn't go out and make this, it would not exist. Maybe in my mind yes, but you wouldn't be looking at it right now.

Even after I had taken the 16 or 20 images this photo is made out of, I almost gave up. Photoshop would NOT merge them no matter what I tried, so I gave up. Then later that evening I decided let me give it one more go and I started manually blending the images together and man, was it glorious! I got so damn excited as the image took shape.

Some have asked me what the story behind it is. It's basically my frustration with myself. This constant battle that I have raging inside my head. Screaming from opposite sides of the fence. I'll be continuing the series, but progress will be slow as I find that I have to be in a certain mind set for the images to not feel forced. In between though I'll be plotting new things and creating new work.

Thanks for reading