I know it is coming, and I think about it almost every day. The door closing, the life ending. The peace to know that I cannot change a thing and the acceptance to say that I have had a good life: I have lived and I have loved, and in turn I have been loved and lived my life as best I could with others, with my family and friends. A door is closing, but I am thankful it was ever open at all.
The ties that bind the population to the land can seem inhuman: mechanical structures that can stretch across the landscape, not embracing the natural features in any meaningful way but instead perch delicately on top or silently underneath. The hidden foundations, tunnels, and pipes that anchor these structures are violently forced and rendered into and through the land, yet here is where the beating economic heart sits, almost contentedly by the sea.
Only we have learnt from the lessons of the past few centuries and slowly our gaze is turning to how we can instead ally industry with nature, working with it instead of against it. Is it too late? Only time will provide us with that answer. . .
Another beautiful accident with film:
The state has abandoned you, the forests are on fire. Your material possessions will not give you comfort nor rescue you. Where are you representatives now?
The Nationalists are here, the Centrists want your vote. You are of the wrong skin colour, the wrong heritage. Vote for us or your body will line the unmarked graves that we have prepared.
Your voice has been silenced, the villages are burning and will never be re-built. The sun does not forgive, your body will dry out in the desert. The oceans are acidifying, the animals are dying.
They are perverts, scum, ignore them and vote for us! Watch as the poor burn in their vertical prisons. Watch as the taxes rise and the services are cut. Watch as the rich profit from the misery of the poor, and the ill die in corridors.
Become one of us! Rip your heart from your chest, castigate all that you love, throw away any semblance of charity.
Join us, become us. Give up any hope of hope itself.
I have been shooting incorrectly for the majority of the time; it took me just one trip with the well-informed to tell me that. I should have known, I shouldn’t have shot from the hip, wasting film and time combined. Honestly, I have learnt my lesson, just hand me that last roll of black and white film and I’ll get your shot, the one that we both dream of on long hazy afternoons – the body laying silently, awaiting a brief exposure with your eyes focused on mine, the twin cradles of hips and shoulders turned towards me and only to me. As if in a dream the thin rivulets of your flesh cascade gently against the cold leather couch.
On developing I can see the flames licking the border of the shot, the deep blacks and greys helping to create shadow against the brilliant white of immovability. The mistaken shot turns into something more, an image captured that I had not originally cared to note.
Taking turns to sleep, taking turns to keep watch. I wonder what my life could have been like if I changed just one of a thousand choices. Would I still be alive? Would I be living in a different country? Would I still be as thankful as I am now for what I have got, or would I be hungry for more, oh so much more.
Taking turns to keep watch, taking turns to sleep. Does she know just what I’ve done for her, even as I keep scanning the horizon, searching for the ever present threat of a life in the balance. Would he still be dead? Would I still be living in this country? I’ll keep my watch, I’ll keep my silence.
The guitar leans silently against the wall. Both the pint glass and the cup are empty, the plate too is bereft of what was once resting upon it. He is sated, fed and watered, content to watch videos streaming on the computer laid out in front of him. There was no conversation taking place here, no exchange of ideas or of intimacies, no special spark between a bond shared. It was as it was pictured.
That the walls once rang out with the thrill of love and the laughter of friendship was not deniable, that this would occur once again a known truth. For the moment though this was a simple moment to relax, to enjoy the stillness present at this known time of deep changes. For the walls did not move but the foundations surely did shake in their silent scream of protest.
Photograph by the author using a Pentax Super ME camera and lomography colour film (if I remember rightly), please attribute if used elsewhere.
Let the light shine, let me follow the path that I think is the right one,
Cast you aside like I thought you deserved, only I didn’t know you.
Hold on, hold on.
Let me follow my light, let me journey along the path that I know is wrong,
Let me make my mistakes, let them kick me in the face.
Hold on, hold on.
Your body is cold but still I’m warming up, and now I know this is wrong,
But hold on, hold on.
Let me kiss you one last time, let my lips linger on yours.
Hold on, hold on.
Photograph by the author using colour film and a Pentax S1a, if shared please credit as appropriate.
The wall cuts the country but the gate rusts.
I’m still trying out my new film camera, an early 1960’s Pentax S1a model, trying to figure out what settings I should use for what types of shot and how to compose scenes. It would be fair to see I’ve got a while to go yet before I get to where I want to be, to create the type of photographs that I want. One thing however that probably won’t change is my using film rolls instead of digital cameras.
I just love the look of the film photographs once they have been developed; to my untrained eyes the photographs they produce look hyper-realistic. I’ve still got around 6 rolls that are resting in my draw that are waiting to be developed at my nearest supermarket, so I’m hoping some shots that I’ve taken will come out well. There is also the odd roll that does not develop, some probable light leakage going-on in certain photographs and the inevitable re-winding problems, but it is these accidents that make me love film more if I am honest – that there is always the chance for a mistake to improve the actual picture.
There is also the nervous wait to hold the pictures, to see if a photograph you have taken comes out as well as you have hoped. There is no room to look again at the picture once you have taken it, like there is on the screen of the digital camera, you just have to hope for the best when you take the shot! It is also the very realistic looking nature of the photographs that film produces, in comparison say to the smooth and often photo-shopped products from digital cameras, that truly captures my imagination and that alone makes me want to get better at it, although it will always remain a hobby.
But I am getting ahead of myself. The photographs below are pictures of some of my friends that have been taken over the past few weeks since having the bought the camera and experimented a bit. Enjoy!
All photographs taken with a Pentax S1a with black and white film or colour film. Please use Creative Commons licence if shared or replicated.