I have felt an unease but not clear on what has been causing it. My home life is full of joy and expected developments. I am pleasantly busy creating work for wonderful clients who are appreciative and engaged. I love the balance of work and family that I have.
I have been longing for detachment.
I have always been the type of person who can go away and be completely content with just being me being there-wherever I am. Some of my happiest memories are of quiet times traveling alone by train across Europe, or watching the clouds change and seas rush by on a 38′ sailboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean or sitting alone watching the light change at the top of a 14,000′ peak in the Sangre de Cristos miles from civilization.
So I finally figured out that the last several years of feeling like I need to be constantly engaged in social activities for both my kids’ school and that I am supposed to be present on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram to exist as a prospering business entity and a real human with a soul has finally driven me to a sadness that is inexplicable. I am certainly not depressed. But, there is an emptiness inside when I feel like I am supposed to remain present in social media venues.
The more I see other photographer’s work and read about other photographer’s personal projects, the farther I get from my own personal authentic expression and voice.
So, I am finally taking some much needed time away from Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook to just be who I am without the overzealous invasive species affecting my thoughts and feelings.
I used to produce work from my mind. Now I tend to produce personal work based on what the kids are doing or where I have been lately. It’s time for me to get back to my roots and start producing the work in my mind’s eye.
I have pulled out the 4×5 more and more lately and have rediscovered my true passion as a photographer. The process of making an image slowly and deliberately is so different and so rewarding. Not to say that I don’t enjoy using my D700 to make photographs. It’s just so different. It’s like working with a plough plane vs an electric drill. They both serve a very different purpose with very different results and causing a very different relationship with your subject.
I recently opened a brand new box of Polaroid 55 B&W positive negative instant film. I bought it 9 years ago to create images that I would then print from the negative in the darkroom. The project above came to a stop when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. At the time I was making images of mothers I knew with their children. I still long to finish the project but my interests seem to be pulling me elsewhere. I wonder if it’s something I a need to exhaust before I can move on. It sometimes works that way but it may be time to find a new idea.
So I move forward with my process to explore where I might be going next with my personal work. I am hoping the feeling that I am merely an apparition standing on a ball in the hall will pass quickly. ;D
I made this image recently. Playing with Polaroid and a long exposure helped make me feel like I am doing “photography.” At least the way I think of “photography.” Due to reciprocity failure this image took 50 seconds to expose on ISO 50 at f32. I needed the long exposure to ‘walk into’ the image and still be able to capture a fairly clear image of myself. I have since purchased a new bulb release since the one I used years ago has gone missing.