Boy, the week just flew by. I’m sitting at a table, surrounded by toys and colouring books. I’ve managed to dig myself a hole in the playroom, enough to drop my writing kit in: iPad and iPhone, notebook, a cup of black tea. It’s not my usual working spot but I get to gaze out into our backyard and feel the light streaming in. It’s sunny right now—a rare occurrence these past months. And I can look up at the trees. I like trees.
The blog is more journal than ressource these days, which might be turning some of you off...I don’t know. Maybe not. I’m beginning to believe this might be a transitional year—there are shifts occurring, some deliberate and some at the edge of what I can perceive. I can’t even articulate most of it yet. But this small personal corner of the web I still inhabit, where I’m free to gaze into the void and wax poetic about anything and everything...it can only reflect a world in flux.
I’ve often described photography as a way to make sense of my life but that’s not entirely accurate: it’s the camera at work and at home sure, but it’s also this blog; it’s music, writing, searching...the entire journey from top to bottom. God that sounds cliché. But you know what I mean.
This flux—or whatever it is—has resulted in a very strong compulsion to ingest. Ideas, knowledge, art...as if I suddenly need to feed much more than I need to express. I’m essentially ravenous for outside stimulation in any form. It’s almost vampiric. I briefly touched on this topic about a month ago:
I think a lot of this stems from an impression that I’ve plateaued and must find a path to jump again. Further. Higher. But regardless: about that scrapbook/lookbook...I’ve doubled-down on the concept and thought I’d share the “technical” developments with you guys. It's geeky stuff...but that's always fun right? Or maybe that's just me? Oh well...here goes.
Before Bear I’d been using the Notes app, which had the advantage of providing a grid view of all images. But all images meant...everything in Notes. Not just the curation. So I rarely used it. I switched to Bear due to Notes instabilities in iOS 11 (which are apparently fixed in the latest beta) but mainly because it did a better job at exporting a book-like PDF of the work saved—something I found invaluable in order to actually browse the material and not just accumulate. Recently however, I had to split this curation across several notes: too many images in a single file would crash Bear on iOS during export. So I did. Not the end of the world but it made for more clutter than I would've liked.
And then I realized I’d gotten the metaphor completely wrong: it shouldn’t be notes at all—it should be a journal.
I won’t dive into the benefits of journaling—I’ll leave that to self-help gurus. Let’s just say I do it, until I don’t; until I take it up again. These days it’s part of my daily workflow, in multiple forms. It informs the present but it’s also quite fascinating to read about past struggles or anxieties and realize just how unimportant most of these became. How we always overcome in the end, one way or another. But I digress. The idea of an inspiration journal isn’t at all about writing down “deep-thoughts” or reflecting on life, the universe and everything. It’s basically the same scrapbook I’d been keeping except the tool has changed: I’m using Day One, a bona fide journaling app. This means I get a timeline of the images I save, as opposed to either a flat container or a mess of hundreds and hundreds of notes. I can export to PDF without a hitch, according to date range or tags (if I choose to use them). And I also get the benefit of Day One’s image view—which is much more convenient than the one in Notes and a great way to browse through the collection.
It’ll be interesting to see if there’s an evolution of the curation over time, periods that favour a certain style or colour. At the very least it’ll provide insight into what triggers a reaction, which might be a way to understand my own work. I think we can all benefit from this sort of awareness.
Day One is now subscription-based but the free tier—while limited—should work fine for this sort of scenario (unless you need syncing and more than one journal). Of course there are probably a host of other options out there, I’m just mentioning the tool I’ve chosen. Funny how I’ve owned and used the app for years but never even thought of it for this type of project until a couple of weeks ago. Now it just seems so obvious.
Ok, two additional tidbits for you on this Friday morning...
I gave an interview to the very nice Stephanie Baxter of Fujilove and it’s available right here.
We managed to pull together and bring a new issue of KAGE Collective online. This time we focused on music, using song lyrics as a starting point for our essays. Check it out at our usual digs here.
That’s it for now folks.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend :)
A reset of sorts. Days spent without care for time or the usual obligations. It makes you wonder about the lives will lead, frenzied and tumultuous. I’m taking so many steps back these days, like I’m hovering over most of my existence, watching and attempting to learn. A lot of it feels like chaos but there are flashes of insight, small epiphanies hinting at possible tweaks, perhaps new movements to attempt. A body acknowledging reality.
I accept my visual obsessions. They are leitmotifs meant to deepen knowledge of the subjects. They are the second and third reading of the same book.
At all times, we must learn to “inhabit with intensity”.
COUTURE (X-PRO2 & XF 35mm f/2)
ROOMS (GFX 50S & Pentax 50mm f/1.7)
KITCHEN (X-PRO2 & XF 35mm f/2)
It’s spring break this week and we’re all off—a first, due to very recent changes. All good by the way, just a different work beat for Cynthia. We thought we’d do something special—the zoo or the planetarium...and then we heard about a storm on the horizon. So we packed our bags and drove to Maricourt.
Sometimes you simply go where it feels right.
As much as I bitch and moan about winter...I was happy to see snow when we woke up this morning. I spent an hour forest bathing, even sat against a tree to meditate for a bit, listening to the ticking beat of snowflakes against my jacket. I ran and I walked and I breathed.
I have most of my gear with me, even the new Profoto remote I picked up a few days ago (more on this in the coming days). But these are just iPhone images snapped along the way, edited with Snapseed while sitting in the living room. The snow is still falling and the wind has picked up.
Wish you were here.
I opened the notebook, picked up a Uni-Ball pen and wrote a couple of words: “This is a test to begin anew. Wow...my handwriting really IS terrible. 25/02/18”
It’s crazy how little I’ve written as opposed to typed these past 10-15 years. My entire life has been digital for so long that I’d forgotten the feeling of paper, of letting thoughts flow on a physical surface. It’s slow—incredibly slow—but it also allows ideas to breathe differently. And despite all the “searchability” of our devices, the ubiquity of all our content through the ether...it’s still surprisingly clearer to browse through physical pages. I really had forgotten that.
That said, I was busy writing on my iPad when I noticed the light on the table, the shadows being cast by the paraphernalia I’d left there after my morning brainstorm. I grabbed the X100F and took a few shots.
Sent those off to the cloud.