I speak a lot about the feelings of single moments, or packets of moments where the feeling and the emotional side of things is overwhelming. Putting this into a photograph isn't always as easy as it sounds, and sometimes it's better described in a blog. Not always do I have the words to describe how it feels, but I think this one was particularly pertinent, so I've decided to publish it.
At the end of a long week at work, not a bad one, I had begun to feel that fuzzy-edged feeling that most people get, and solve with a pint. After several months of fighting a battle I didn't want to fight, today it had reached a head and I had felt more lost than ever, more unheard than ever and more frustrated once again, at the things I couldn't change. I love my job, this new one that has fallen into my hands by the good graces of those who believe that I have something to add. It's a tough thing when you lose that belief in yourself, you let others' impressions of you change who you are. It's not that you consciously do, but such long-winded battles scar us in ways that begin to make you think that it is you who is the one at fault.
Not to again let myself fall prey to these ideas, the fire that has burned within me for several years, Photography, always knew what the antidote was; Nature.
I felt an overwhelming urge to escape the city as fast as my car would take me, no matter how drained i felt, I knew I would get my cure from the earth, the sounds of it alive around me, the colour of the night sky and the wondrous colours that, for a few moments more, always signal a new beginning, every 24 hours.
It didn't matter how good the photos turned out. It didn't matter whether I got any keepers or whether I had wasted fuel to get there. It was about the escape. After moving around the area I had chosen to explore by expired-full-moonlight, I settled back on a place where i knew my zen would be returned to me. Feeling the effects of the pint and the overwhelming sensations reaching my nerve-endings, I set up my camera, firing off some test-shots to get my exposure right. With a full battery I told my camera to take 1001 shots, whether it reached that many or not, and go.
Every 33 seconds I heard the sound of the shutter engaging up, down the next 30 up in 3, down in 30 and repeat. Its regularity was calming, and I lay back between the rows of lavendar and stared up at the moon above. The clouds were racing, in fascinating shapes and low to the hill where I lay, lulling me into a meditated sleep. The wind was howling, rustling the bushes and stirring up the lavendar around me, creating an aroma primed for peaceful slumber. My camera didn't need me now, it knew what to do until the battery ran out, or until it reached 1001 shots. It provided the comfort, the purpose and reason as to why I wanted to fall asleep in a lavendar field, and wake up confused, but at peace.
As the breeze agitated the bushes around, the stars rotated through the skies like a record player playing the sounds of crickets, air, earth and the occasional bird, singing out into the cool, empty air. Not a soul in sight bar my friend who had come along for the ride.
I woke somewhat abruptly, but knowing that now I had come to the sunrise, the arrival of the new day and the small miracles that happen when the sun heralds a new day. I stopped my camera, nowhere near the 1001 shots but still going on a battery using its last vestiges. I stopped the process, grabbed my other camera with a full charge and began my ritual of documenting the sunrise from my point on the windy hill.
After all the light had come and gone I felt that sense of satisfaction; from here on out it didn't matter how the images had turned out, I had gotten my recharge from the wind, sky, moon and earth, I had gotten a series of shots that I could still use for an experimental image, and I had cleansed myself and my mind, from a place that I didn't want to go again.
It doesn't matter how the shots turned out, it really doesn't. What these images now mean to me, is the fact that they were there for me, the fact that I could escape into a completely different way of thinking, to create something positive from a heap of negatives.
And that, is the power of having an urge not to break or destroy things; to make things. The creative soul needs to create, in any way possible.