The year is almost over and usually it is a good opportunity to look back, evaluate the course i go and set a new one for the next year. This time it hits a bit different as i am feeling like i am stuck in the air, at the brink of a depression, unsure what to do (the pandemic has changed any resolutions anyway). Mostly i can hold a facade and i would consider my (mental) health as not extremly bad but not good either. However i can feel the toll of the pandemic situation and other external factors which leads to cracks in the facade. I am really thankful for meeting people recently i hold dearly, because i would have certainly drowned over time in the blending mush of days going by. Also going out and taking pictures is my coping mechanism as well. Just the little meditative moments when i am just in the flow and only focused on my camera and the enviroment while forgetting everything else for a brief second like my anxiety, my fear of death and all the other things that are thrown in my way.
Sometimes I wonder why I should even bother? The environmental situation looks bleak, a political change and drastic innovations are unlikely and if even my bank questions giving me long-term financial plans because it is unlikely that I will even reach retirement age … then yes … then I’ll end up in a situation where my mind wonders “Why should I even bother? What have you achieved at all? Why should i even care? What should i do with my life?” and “I’m sick of all this!” combined with the background noise of my anxiety and the music of the thought-merry-go-round.
Weirdly enough, it is this situation where sometimes ideas or thoughts are emerging which are worth to exploring them further. It is just hard when at the same time i want to run from myself although in the end, we are always isolated in ourselves, our own inner cosmos. But maybe this is just the task we have to give ourself to find purpose in the chaos that is life.
So what where these ideas or projects? Well, it is not set in stone and just some loose thoughts but maybe i can set up a new goals for my (photographic) life journey:
I often thought about it, how to translate my fears or feelings into pictures. I didn’t find a way yet, but i want to try it, although these are not easy topics for me. Topics like death, spirituality, dreams and purpose (maybe i should try Black-Metal-Cover Pics). I think this will keep me busy for a long while.1
The other bigger (and not so gloomy) project i want to finish is the publishing of the legacy of my greatgrandfather and my grandma; photos they took from the Second World War, photos of Moscow in the 1950ies and more with a certain personal or historic value. It just needs time to sort and prepare it (like talking with archives, gathering information etc.).
More exercises and experiments. With the last pictures i took, i noticed that i should get a better feeling for lighting and how i could achieve a certain mood. I will try a photo settings diary. Maybe then i can get a better sense on where to work on.
Learn to develop film. I don’t think that i will do that regularly (i don’t have a good scanner to get something out of it), but at least i want the experience to develop film i shot myself. Also i want to use all the old photo development equipment in my cellar at least once.
And finally, make a small zine? I am not sure about this, but i play with the thought of making one in a small number just for friends.
I think these are goals that are reachable in a year (provided that my health or the situation doesn’t get more worse). Although, despite on the ambitious sounding of that, in a way i still just want it on a hobby level. I want to do it for fun and that it makes me happy or at least gives me some meaning. I don’t care if others are better or something. For me it is important that if you have the interest and ability to pursuit a task that gives your life meaning (and honesty about yourself) then do it! Perhaps that is all that really matters.
Pic shot on Lomography Fantôme Kino B&W ISO 8