I’ve spent a few days away from this blog, largely because of the lack of anything substantive to engage with photographically and partially because of a lack of drive or a desire to create. The days continue to unfold and most are predictably quiet, work continues and I have spent some time reading drafts of PhD chapters, writing references, continuing the administration of the everyday and making plans about future possibilities for living a different life.
Old lenses remain a fascination and I’ve had chance to play with a Minolta 100mm F2.5 produced in 1970. I imagined it as a portrait lens so asked Gwyn to step away from planning the work for her school kids next week, and have her portrait taken in the front room.
There’s something about the way these lenses render images and the satisfaction of working completely manually that absorbs me – and of course frequently bores my family, a constant mantra of ‘hang on a sec’ is prone to diminish the relationship between the photographer and his/her subject.
I have no desire to argue for manual as somehow more authentic or pure, all photography is about looking, about moments and most of all about light. Perhaps in our slowed down state, looking longer, deliberating further and enjoying the process of looking, is just somehow more fitting. Photography has always been a way for me to recall and to remain in contact with the beauty of the world, often in the small and simple things, in the movement of light over materials, the ways shadows fall, the affect of gesture or movement in revealing character or intention. Love is in the details.
A friend of mine lost her biological Mum to Covid this week and shared with us via social media her story of a complex life, in and out of a ‘wonky’ family. It reminded me how simple authenticity of emotion when framed by generosity and compassion can reveal itself through language and images and transform perspectives and lives. It touched me deeply, alongside many others, and once again brought home the everyday realities of suffering and loss amidst the details of repetition and statistical correction.