Sometimes when you look out to the world arrayed in front of you do you ponder all the activities, all the emotions and the all choices the people are making at that moment? Displayed in front of you is not only a scene but moments that will change the course of peoples lives.
What if all those souls going about their daily lives, made choices other than those that had decided upon? The result would be different world, a different life for them all.
So as is usual with my blog posts I have to drag the random assembly of words towards something relevant to something and of course, somehow involve that sultry brunette that frequents the cotton sheets of my imagination. Well here goes.
When you are photographing a cityscape you are capturing far more than an assembly of buildings and electric lights, you are capturing a moment of decision or indecision in the world. You capturing the moment when one decides the sultry brunette of your dreams becomes the one you wish to greet every day in the half light. You are capturing the beginning and ends of thousands of things, moments caught behind the concrete, steel and glass. Moments unique and unrepeatable. That for me is the joy of photography capturing things that are gone forever once they have been.
Images are full of the positives in the world, we are inundated with cheery views of flowers, puppies, smiling children and the eternally happy. However the world doesn’t work that way, many of the most striking images depict out darker, sadder moments. Photography as medium is perfectly suited to conveying emotion, the greater the emotion conveyed the stronger the image and there is nothing more emotional than the bottom of the barrell. Like all my posts I somehow always seem to reference that same things. However instead of channeling the beautiful erotic moments to inspire your creative output, this time its the difficult times. Yep, despair produces great stuff. Nothing gets the creative juices flowing than the low points. Sure flowers are lovely but dispear and malencholy have their place too. So celebrate the hard times and turn them into something great.
We all do it. Caught up in the seemingly never ending cycle of more, more and yet more followed by a fleeting wish for it to be another way. Then one day, you stand at the battlements, sabre, flag and beer in hand proclaiming, in a terrible French accent, “I have had enough. I don’t need all this crap”. For me the time came for me to pile all the furniture into a pile, set fire to it, all while badly singing tunes from Les Miserables because of two things. The first, alcohol and the second from the simple action of seeing somebody else getting simple, unreserved joy, from simply holding a tulip. Touching, I know.
So before you say “Stephen, what has this blog become? A soul clearing house unrelated to its stated aims of discussing architecture and..or photography?”. Jeez be patient….
What this dear person gained from this simple, yet beautiful flower (I am getting all emotional here) is simple pleasure without the trappings of a five story penthouse, overlooking the Rivera while sipping champagne from the navel of that sultry brunette I somehow always manage to drag into my blog posts. No Italian exotic car with an unpronounceable name in the subterranean lockup garage. Just simple appreciation of a singular beautiful thing.
Here we go, this bit might actually get relevant, but I cant be sure. My Jerusalem moment came after buying a new tool of trade, a black box with a lens, simple unadorned with little trickery. While it has plenty of bells and whistles , its the humming I am after. The simple things that make it so easy to make you smile. Then it you realise you have what wanted all this time, without all the complexity and fancy stuff. The result, a step forward into a simpler more satisfying view of my future world and what I need to make it so.
You know the feeling. You sit down for no holes barred, no expense spared, 7.500 course meal of the finest dining. A seemingly endless flow of plates displaying bizarrely cooked portion of some nearly extinct ungulate flots in front of you. Heavily ruminated mounds of partially digested yak fills your gullet as yet another plate of Latvian aardvark lips appears in the sea startlingly white plates. Halfway through the consumption of plate number 650, a beautifully prepared, freshly peeled liver of greenpeace activist – a vegetarian dish – you realise you would rather be eating pizza. Yep you would rather be forcefully, deliberately and passionately devouring a pizza.
Such it is photography. Recently in the quest to acquire a photographic device that would lift my images to level that would give me instant international recognition – yep I wanted a new camera, I explored the myriad of features now encased in the boxes of black magic that come from that centre of Japanese manufacturing excellence – Thailand. After hours buried in menus and features that for example, would allow me to take amazing images without me even being there, I decided what I wanted was warm enticing pizza, something simple, effective and downright basic. Something that brought the pleasure back.
This week Sydneys’ Darling Harbour Convention and Exhibition Centre closes for the last time. As we speak the Philip Cox designed Exhibition Centre has been closed and the process of striping the fittings and fixtures started. The kitchens, eateries and office areas of the John Andrews designed Convention Centre have been removed. Tomorrow teh demolition teams will replace the remaining staff and then the process of tearing this great buildings will begin. Over the last 2 months SCP and James Kenny have recorded every aspect, inside and out, of these buildings in their last days so they can live even only in the images we have captured. Look out for our exhibition showcasing these striking images.
Slowly it creeps up on you. The idea, the vision, the point of view of what your artistic tomorrow is to look like. You spend your time finding places, moods and people that just fit into that image you have painted for your own horizon. Frequently mine is a solitary view, contrary to the generalist aesthetic. In marketing terms a vertical market, a niche. Over the years you have built up an understanding of what you want to see from what you produce despite the general direction of the tide.
Faith is a long term thing, but belief in anything is always challenged by those don’t have the will to go beyond the generally accepted. While your proudly produced work gets barely a glimpse from the average, value the ones that see. The ones that connects with your “maybe less than obvious” are the salvation for they are the ones that help you stumble down the path to the world that you want to be.