My time us up. I’m unlikely to write until May. By then I won’t be in this blog.
I learnt photography from my dad. He was in the military, and carried a camera with him to Kashmir, Golan, and other similar places in the 1960s and 1970s. I remember photographing when I was six years old. Two of the cameras I used then are ones that I still have (and used till recently): Asahi Pentax Spotmatic, a reflex camera from the 60s, and Olympus XA, a compact camera from the 80s. I remember getting the XA as a camera I could handle easily when I was small. I also remember carrying a light meter when I was seven or eight.
The one thing about photography back then was that it was not available to everyone. Having some relatively fine piece of kit and a light meter did give you an advantage. With my dad we photographed quite a few local events in the South of Spain. Soon we started selling photographs to local magazines. At times I don’t know where my photographs end and his start, or vice versa. The only problem was that it soon became a job. I didn’t see at the time any means of personal expression in photography. It was mainly about getting a picture to set the scene, couple of portraits, maybe a landscape. In hindsight, I think the archives at my mum’s flat in Spain must have interesting photographs from a time when the South of Spain was moving from the 1980s to the 1990s. Things changed a lot. You can judge from the Ole magazine front pages that there was a sense of a time gone by to the 1980s. Some of our photographs are in there too, not quite sure which or where. I can’t remember
By when I was 14 I was quite fed up of the whole photography thing. I did carry on a bit but I quitted. I did other stuff instead. I wrote horror and sci-fi short stories. I did a degree in psychology. I learnt to write code.
I picked up photography again in my mid-late twenties, this time having seen how it can be a personal thing (and not just a job to do the biding of others). I had seen a man jumping over a puddle and I was aware of flashy photographs of seagulls eating chips. I enrolled into a documentary photography evening course (that I didn’t finish). I picked up a camera again and tried to take more and more challenging photographs. Not technically challenging. I tried to find liberating photographs that would put me in challenging situations. I wanted to see what I was made of. I tried to get these photographs to express something that was beyond the thing in front of the camera. And I burned, burned, burned. Projects had become too ambitious, life too chaotic. I was assaulted a couple of times. Exhausted of challenging myself over the years I quitted again less than ten years before picking up photography again. Running a gallery and helping photography via others was more soothing, but still hard work.
So in 2014 I decided not to pick up a camera again. At least for the many years. In the summer of 2014 I took some rolls of film to be developed. I moved house. Forgot about those last rolls of film (which I had developed with the intention to be the last). I picked them up in the autumn of 2015. I’ve not scanned them.
They look sad and melancholic.