An Hourly Photo Project

8:15am Light through the blind, first photo of the day

I’ve recently become a keen listener of the Photography Daily podcast https://www.photographydaily.show Hosted by Neale James, it’s a twice weekly podcast that I find inspiring and informative. The Friday episode is a long form photo walk episode featuring listener letters, photographer interviews and snippets of advice or ah ha moments from Neale and past guests. Neale has an incredible hosting style, making the listening experience an intimate one, as though it’s Neale and I taking a photo walk together.

9:15am Cadel snuggled on the couch

The Monday episode is a short photo assignment episode where a different guest each week shares an assignment designed to get listeners taking out their camera and making images. I’ve given a couple of the assignments a go; the photos here are a result of listening to episode 317. The assignment, from photographer Kevin Mullins, is a photo an hour challenge. The idea being to take a photo as soon as you wake up, and then take one every hour following that you’re awake.

10:15am Relaxed as I drink a coffee
11:15am Steering wheel

I decided to use the same lens all day, my Fuji 35mm f1.4. It was not always the best choice to have made, but I stuck to it. Yes, I have photos that aren’t as sharp as they could be, because the lighting at the time wasn’t great, but not needing to change lenses as well as having a light weight camera and lens combination was exactly what I needed. My camera didn’t get in the way. Rather it was simply a tool that allowed me to capture what was in front of me.

12:15pm My feet, again

I allowed myself to take more than one photo of needed, although I never took more than a few each hour. I wasn’t concerned about taking the perfect image, instead I looked at what was there, thought about how I could make it interesting in some way and then took the photo. I liked how the challenge made me feel throughout the day. I noticed I was looking at the light in my surroundings, slowing down my thoughts and being more present in the moment than usual.

1:15pm Jensen
2:15pm Eli

Looking at the photos I realise that they’re more than a snapshot of my day; they’re a window into my life as it is right now. Photos of Cadel. Photos of plants. Photos of my nephews. Three loves of my life.

3:15pm Cadel

There’s also random things; my cars steering wheel and the top of my bread machine, taken as it made pizza dough. And my feet. They were in front of me at the time, so the parameters of the challenge were being met.

4:15pm Bread machine

I enjoyed the project a lot and I think I might repeat it, perhaps every few months. I imagine it will create a kind of record of my life, but I also think it’s the kind of project that will easily to fit into my life, which is the best kind of project for me. I don’t like over complicating things, I’d rather grab my camera and take photos and be happy with the process.

5:15pm Peperomia – I think? A plant I own that I’ve yet to check the species of
6:15pm Philodendron Florida
7:15pm Cadel snuggling against David
8:15pm Philodendron Silver Sword
9:15pm The end of my day, in bed with a book and Cadel

It’s been way too long…

Well, hello. I can hardly believe it’s been so long since I sat down to write to you. Four months I think. I kept thinking about writing, and thinking and thinking, but never actually getting around to it. Until now, this moment, that I’ve taken to sit and write.

Mostly I’ve been thinking about why I make art, why exactly I create. Creating feels as though it’s part of my dna. I’ve been drawing or writing or making things for as long as I can remember. Creating gives me a sense of peace, brings me joy and also a sense of place in the world. It’s also good for my mental health. For a long time I’ve fought an inner war with this fact. I’ve hated that art is good for my mental health. I’ve asked myself why can’t I be making art simply because I want to, rather than because I know it’s good for me mentally. My inner monologue around this has at times been nasty and at others pleasant. Something that I think is a lot more commonplace than we realise, especially considering we rarely talk to anyone – other than our therapist perhaps – about the deep dark thoughts we have.

Recently I finally decided to embrace the mental health benefits of creating. I asked myself what is the actual point of fighting something that is demonstratively good for me? I couldn’t come up with a decent answer. After all, I exercise because its good for my mental and physical health and freely admit that. So why not look at creating in the same way?

I would like to share more of that here, the intersection of creativity and mental health. They are a large part of my life and perhaps they might be for you to.

These photos were taken during my holiday last week. It was late afternoon, we were making our way back to our hotel to rest before heading out for evening activities. I wanted to capture the city but wasn’t feeling it. Then we stumbled across this ballerina, busking in the heart of the city. We only caught the last of her performance, but seeing her dancing, such beauty and strength invigorated me, calling me to capture her but then going on to take more photos. It’s like I was jolted out of tiredness and spurred on to find other beautiful things.

Do you have a creative outlet that eases anxiety or depression? Or simply let’s you get into the zone, allowing you to drown out the world and focus on the thing you’re working on?

I’d love to hear from you. You can comment here or if you’d prefer send me an email. I love engaging with people about their creative outlets.

Kim x

Sharing Writing

I have been tentatively stepping back into the world of writing. I remain a little wary, the old noises in my head questioning who do I think I am by writing? More & more however when I hear that noise my response is ‘who I am to not write?’ I’ve always loved to write. I remember writing a convoluted murder mystery as a young child, across a variety of scrap pieces of paper. I’m sure it was terrible but the excitement I felt as I wrote is still vivid.

Like photography I fell away from writing, letting my anxieties around my ability take hold & stop me from producing anything. But now I’ve decided no more. I’m sure I’ll always feel a sense of unease at the quality of what I make but my desire to write & take photos is stronger than that unease. So here’s a little sample of writing. I’m not exactly sure what to classify it as, but I think that’s ok too. It’s better to be writing something whose category I cannot quantify than to not be writing at all.

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Constant weariness makes the day difficult. The desire to stop overwhelming. On & on we push. We cannot stop. Or rest. Not until it is complete.

I wonder why did we begin? Why were we sure this was a good idea?

The costs physical & mental. We will never be who we were. We are shells of our former selves. Do will like our new selves? Does it matter?

Each day hour minute we move closer. It’s now tangible. It can be seen. Smelt. Touched. No longer imagination. Not yet reality. So we edge closer. Hopeful. Wanting. The end.

Exploring Double Exposures

I have been enjoying exploring the possibilities that double exposure photography can bring. Initially I experimented with my iPhone to see what I could create. Happily making double exposures with my X-Pro1 is as easy an experience as it is with my iPhone. I like the otherworldliness the images create, the not quite rightness.

I entered the world of double exposures because I was looking for a way to express my world through the lens of living with anxiety. However as I have moved through this world learning about how to create the images I have come to realise that I simply enjoy making them. They will not be the only images I make, rather they will be another tool to express myself, to show the multifaceted elements of my life, with or without anxiety.

Behind The Scenes

For a long time I have found myself captivated when I see brides walking from one location to another in order for their wedding photos to be made. It is the beauty of their dress that catches my attention but that isn’t what keeps it.

I am really taken by what is happening around her. There is usually one or two photographers who direct her, plus the obligatory groom (who I’m rarely interested in) and sometimes the entire bridal party.

In the above case there was also a woman who worked as an assistant to the bride. The voluminous skirts and train were being carried by her when I first saw them. She proceeded to place everything as directed by the photographer, as the bride moved to sit down. I found myself watching her work more than I watched the actual bride. I wondered if she receives the acknowledgment she deserves. Is she paid well? Is she thanked for helping make everything run smoothly and appear perfect?

Perhaps one day I’ll find out the answers to these questions. It wouldn’t be appropriate to enquire whilst an assistant is actually working, so hopefully I’ll come across the answers in another way.

Pebbles & Her Owner

I came across Pebbles when I was wandering around Melbourne looking for things to photograph. She could barely contain her excitement when I crouched down to photograph her. As a one & a half year old Staffy cross, it’s little wonder! Moments after taking this photo she escaped her owners grasp & did her best to clean my face, as apparently it was in need of a tidy 🙂

On The Street

I have been thinking about photographing dogs. Thinking about different ways to show them in print. Would portraits be best? Or photos of them interacting with their owners, or candid photos of them in their surroundings? I’m not sure yet of which way I’d like take this project although I know it will require lots of trial & error.

A week ago I had the opportunity to try street photography. I enjoyed walking with my camera, talking with a friend & trying to capture what was seeing.

It comes as no surprise to me that I found myself wanting to take photos of dogs in the streets. I love that they get to go out & about with their owners. To me it says a lot about how important dogs are to people. Although if I come across someone walking a cat, rabbit, guinea pig or any other animal & I have my camera in hand then I won’t be able to resist taking a photo of that either! Our relationship with our pets is important. And I certainly won’t judge you if your pet isn’t a dog 🙂

Beauty In The Everyday

For several months I have been taking photos of my friends during some of our pole fit classes. Initially I began taking photos after badly injuring myself as a way of staying in touch with what was going on at the studio. It quickly became the highlight of my week. I began to realise that I enjoyed taking photos of the everyday going’s on during classes. There are so many ordinary yet beautiful moments taking place. A smile to a friend, shared laughter at a mistake made or celebrating the feeling of ‘getting’ a new & tricky move. All these things & more occur all the time. They may at the time be small moments but as I go through the images I’ve made I realise that collectively they form a bigger narrative. One that shows the beauty in the ordinary moments as women get together to gain strength & fitness through the use of a pole, a Lyra hoop or aerial silks. They also form an unbreakable bond through friendship.