Textures speak to that deeper part of us that reacts and wakes up to sounds, touch, color, light and shadow. No words needed. Words can describe, explain, interpret, justify, but the emotional connection is already there.
Running my hand across the bark of tree trunks as I find my way into the forest, my eyes closed.
I spent a few days in Amsterdam attending a workshop on visual storytelling. I have a special interest in storytelling so I was quite excited to sign up, especially as the workshop was held by a photographer I knew and admired.
It rains over the city like a curtain falling after a big show.
Contours are blurred out. Light trails lit up the night. Colors dissolve into one another. Hurried silhouettes pass by.
Summer is gone. The irreversibility of this simple fact is now made concrete, almost painfully tangible. There’s no going back to that part of life, with all its good and bad.
There are borders that are meant to keep people in. They prevent people from traveling to see how life looks on the other side. When you see something different, you compare and evaluate. Terms of comparison are threatening for regimes that are built on delusions of grandeur and uniqueness: “Why would you even want to go out? This is the best place to be anyway!”
It’s starting to get dark. All of a sudden, an evening breeze breaks the almost perfect silence of the forest. It moves millions of leaves and brings them to life. There’s a cosmic sigh carried by millions of voices. A long out-breath. A muffled voice trying hard to pronounce something.
I cannot understand what it says but somehow I know it’s something that concerns me. And you. And anybody.
Anne’s question for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is “What’s your photographic groove?”. Well, that’s a question I’ve been asking myself quite a lot lately. And there’s a gap between the kind of photography that I’m currently doing (and feeling comfortable doing) and the kind of photography that would speak to me the most.
Since Sarah (from Travel with me) invited us to share three of our favorite photos, I thought about what I would choose and, more broadly, about how we relate critically to our own work.
The photos that tend to stay with me are those that tell a story that’s meaningful to me. Those that reconnect me to that past moment when I took the photo, but also to the story, emotion, mood, or idea that stayed with me over time. Although I tend to overthink and over-intellectualize in other parts of my life, when it comes to photography I go with the gut. I know (or feel) that some compositions make sense long before I start analyzing them.
If there’s something that connects the various dots of my posts here, it’s my interest in storytelling. I don’t mean the technical aspects of telling a story, although those are important too. I mean the reasons we tell stories, the way they change us, and the roles they take in our lives.
There are many ways of telling stories, some more obvious than others. Telling a fairy tale is storytelling, but so is writing a novel. Or the letters and emails we send to family and friends. Or the photos we take. The books we keep around, the pictures we hang on the walls, and our social media presence are also ways of telling a story about ourselves.
It gets late and the tide is coming in strong. I am at the water’s edge, watching my feet slowly disappear under water.
The breeze is carrying smells of faraway life and death, of drifting away and never coming back.
Seaweed. Decomposing creatures washed ashore. Salt. Cold. Fear. Calm.
Fantastic shapes in the sand, resisting until the next big wave washes everything over. Water, the big equalizer.