"Look up, through the trees to feel as small as you can, you hear the clock counting down, the nights are longer now than ever before, but now you see the lights from the town"
- 'Escape the Nest' by Editors
Those of you who read my blog on An Interview With Michael Angus, will know how inspired I was by that man and that I promised a new project based on that interview.
Here it is. Unlike most of my 'collections' the photos from this project will be going into our online store individually.
So, life's what you make it?
After speaking to Michael, I thought about loss, ambition and drive even more and thought about how I wanted to portray that through photography. Well, where do I go for inspiration, comfort and energy? My family and the countryside. When I started to feel anxious as a child I used to isolate myself at times and just think. Sitting there for hours in dreamland.
In adult life it has been the same. Just stare and think. Only difference is you have the ability to act on it. The country is the best place for this: with no one around, or at least at distance. This is where ideas are born. There's something about the country that spurs this on for me. Either that or when the sun is rising before that euphoria is replaced by screaming school kids, lorry drivers and heroin addicts waking up from their slumber in someone else's stairwell. I watch them all from the balcony before retreating back inside to bully the cat. Concentration broken, but ideas written down.
I thought I would share with you, briefly, some of the thought processes when creating an inspired project:
I sat and watched my Mother in Law reading something on her tablet. Wet hair and simply at peace with herself in this moment in time, with a beautiful garden just through those doors. She has made her own life, and is content with what she has achieved.
The wilderness. Hazy and almost surreal it's hard not to get the sense of adventure. Those of you who don't mind getting dirty will know the feeling of just pushing through it all; the satisfaction of ploughing through ferns and nettles. No obstacle too big.
Looking up is an important part of photography. A lot of people end up failing because they don't realise the world is in 360 degrees. They think everything is at eye level. Look up, feel small, capture that original perspective.
Isolation. Although the Tenth Floor is a group photography project, sometimes you just need to reflect, even for a moment. Whether it's thinking about lost loved ones, family, personal issues, just escape. Breathe. Just a minute...
With this final photo, I actually had death in mind, sadly. I was once told that there were two things that would repeatedly show up when you were thinking that way: a robin; or a white feather. I don't believe in that, but when I was shooting a project inspired by a man who lost a child while also thinking about my own losses; there were A LOT of white feathers to be found. To be fair, I was at the coast...
Then you go back home to your troubles, your memories, and it starts again. Michael inspired me to believe that even through the most tragic of loss, you can succeed and pass your knowledge onto others. I'm now a professional photographer, and it's with influential, creative, and inspirational people that this was made possible, even if there is a lot more work to do.
Remember, life's what you make it.
- TFP.David Gulliver