“Family is not an important thing… it’s everything”
- Michael J Fox
Well, that’s another Christmas passed. Time flies, huh? You’ll be wondering if I was cutting about with my Christmas hat on taking photos of my family by the fire.
The answer to that is, no.
I went to my in laws this Christmas, and I planned a collection named ‘Family’. However I wanted to use the urban environment to demonstrate this rather than the classic Christmas selfies. (Nothing wrong with a group selfie on Christmas day!!)
This Christmas was great, but also a dark time for me, as one of the people I care most about had to spend it in hospital. The thing about photography, painting, sclupture or any art form, is that you can utilise emotion in your work.
I was surrounded by those I love, yet constantly, at the back of my mind was worry. My work is dark anyway, and I have developed a particular style over the last decade, but when you don’t feel great, you choose different subject matter, and find the experimental side of it all easier. Here is an example:
This was shot when I noticed the lighting in the hospital shortly before I prepared to travel up north for Christmas. I found the chair quite imposing; wondering how many patients or visitors might have sat in it.
For the rest of the break up north I just decided to take it easy with the camera, but I still wanted to reflect on the worry I was feeling at the time. Expressing that was the difficult part. Then I thought about, holding on for life. Gravity. Lost souls. All these things went through my mind. Then, through playing about during editing I finally found what I wanted to say:
Don’t worry, they are supposed to be upside down. Sometimes your world isn’t straight. Sometimes things feel awful, and sometimes people have to hold on. Turning the photos around like this were the only way I could portray this.
I then decided to show a bit of the warmth of Christmas, (obviously with the Tenth Floor slant)
Then it was properly time for the city. I had never been to Old Aberdeen before, so I was really looking forward to this shoot:
The last two shots following, I focused on were through the immense blue light. I had to adjust the camera settings wildly to up the immense shadows and bring out the highlights when I was editing later on.
Aside from the despair of having such a close family member incredibly unwell, we have to keep going, and showing the world what we have to offer. Yes, it does come out in your work, but you perservere.
It was fantastic to see my extended family again!
Remember that every image on Tenth Floor Photography is for sale, even in blog posts such as this, so get in touch if you like what you see.
- TFP.David Gulliver