In the year and a half since I first registered this domain, I’ve seen more personal change take place in my life than in many years prior. For this reason, and many others, I’m putting this blog on the shelf while I refocus and reimagine what I want to achieve from my online presence…
Since the last update I made, a lot has happened for me. I’ve started a business. I’ve fallen in love. I’ve bought and sold many possessions. I’ve discovered new hobbies while abandoning others. I’ve made new friends and enemies. But most importantly of all, I’ve been forced to recognise what is really important on my life, and how critical it is that I focus on these key areas. So, with this in mind, I’m signing off:
When I first delved into the world of blogging, I was a completely different person to who I am now. Or perhaps my goals, expectations and aspirations were different. In either case, I’ve changed my view on what this website should consist of.
The biggest area of concern for me though, is the quality of my work. Admittedly, I’m rather critical of myself in many areas, perhaps a little too much, but in this case I do feel that I’ve got a long way to go before the images that appear here will truly satisfy me or my viewing audience. This has been on my mind a lot recently, and has prevented me from reengaging with the sport of photography with the same passion I had applied in the past. I felt that unless I threw everything I thought I knew out the door and stared from scratch with a clear vision, I’d be disappointed. So, I simply haven’t been shooting for months.
A fellow creative colleague and good friend, Stefan Haworth, tells me this is common and that I should expect the fire to come and go, to dwindle every now and then. I do agree with him, but what I don’t think is common is the headspace that I’ve occupied… I’ll be the first to admit I’ve taken on way too much crap and not dealt with it all that well. In this case, I think the fallout from my overcommitment was a little delayed, with me not realising the impact the change of lifestyle had on me until it had truly taken hold.
While I can make it sound bad, the reality is quite different… Things are actually rather brilliant right now!
My professional career is going exceptionally well, and while there have been some difficulties to cope with, the overall picture points to a brighter future with greater financial security. I’m currently running or helping to run four companies; my own IT/Creative Consulting business (DeepFocus Limited), covering for a close friend who is on annual leave and taking care of his client base (QTIT Limited), building up my family’s creative entity (We Think | Design & Print) and administering the IT and Creative aspects of a local Architecture and Engineering business (GreenBeing Limited).
To add to the mix, I’ve fallen in love with an amazing woman that I met through business. The story of how it happened is an incredible saga, and as a close friend said to me when I told him; “you can’t make this shit up”. The transition to being in a relationship again brings with it its own challenges and adjustment period, but for the most part the past four months have been fantastic, and I’m thrilled to share my time with someone so special. More on this to come.
Onto the subject of photography…
As I’ve outlined above, I feel it’s time to start afresh and revise my process to get results that are properly satisfying. I’ve seen some close friends pulling off some wicked stuff (see here and here for some truly inspirational stuff from Codie Westphall, the guy who originally got me into all this) with little more than basic filters and tweaks in Lightroom. This confirms what I’ve felt for a long time; that heavy post-processing is unnecessary and in many ways detracts from the end result. When I talk about “heavy” post processing, I’m not talking about the obsessive approach to get every little detail right, thats completely acceptable. I’m talking about modifying the frame to the point where the result barely resembles the scene in its original glory. I’m talking about HDR, and bad HDR at that.
I think that High Dynamic Range photography has a place in the profession, but I’m on the fence as to whether it’s really where I want to focus my energy. I see fantastic HDR work from colleagues overseas, but when I look at it alongside the more natural stuff, I feel the latter is a more appropriate style for me to focus on. With that in mind, I’ve pulled my camera out on a few occasions to get my brain used to shooting without unnecessary post processing…
This result is from Lake Pukaki, looking towards Mt Cook in the distance. While lighting conditions were far from perfect, its a departure from my usual style and one that I hope will set the scene moving forward. This is the sort of photo I want to be taking on a regular basis, but with everything else going on in my life, I need to refocus and find time to enjoy what is purely a hobby for me, not a profession by any means. When people have asked me in the past “hows your photography going?” I’ve usually responded with “It’s not going at all, I’ve put it on hold…”. And that’s the purpose of writing this post, explaining for those who care why I’ve been absent lately, and what I plan to do with myself moving forward.
As for this site, I will certainly pour time and energy into the rebuild come the new year. I’ve got a long list of publications to draw inspiration from, and I have a very clear idea in my head of what I want it to look like. I’ll still publish photos, but I’ll also be using this blog as a forum for discussion about other areas of interest for me… So stay tuned for that!
That’s it for this year, folks. I’m literally about to pack for a trip to Stewart Island where I plan to relax for the next several days and clear my head. I’ll be offline for most of this time, enjoying the sun (hopefully) and the sea, going fishing and spending time with my other half.
I’ll be back in 2013.