I am not going to share the story that lead me to create this image. Either you know what it feels like to feel like this image and you get it. If so, it is my wish that you find your own story in it and connect with it in your own way. Or you have never felt like this and this is just another image out there in the world that you will either enjoy regardless, or you won't. Either way, I thank you for taking the time to be here.
"Ebb & Flow...
A recurrent pattern of coming and going."
But I would like to share another story behind this image - one that is more practical/technical. This image represents a massive turning point for me on my journey as an artist...
Most of my work includes some form of compositing. Depending on the story I want to create, or the circumstances involved, the amount of compositing required will vary. However, this image is the first fully composited image I have ever shared. By that I mean that I photographed myself in my studio and then composited myself into the scene. Typically I prefer to create on location in the moment, and for the most part, this will remain true. But I have a number of reasons for exploring this form of compositing. And while there is a long list of reasons such as convenience, time, weather, ideal light, etc. my main reason was safety.
In mid 2017 I was mugged while out hiking in the mountains. Sadly this is not an uncommon threat in my part of the world. I head out for a 10 to 12km hike almost every weekend. It is a definite highlight of my week and I crave both the physical exercise and my emotional connection to the mountains. However, hiking alone in the mountains is not without its risks. I am very thankful that I was "lucky" and not physically harmed. Nor did they score much in terms of processions. I carry very little with me when out hiking, i.e. a small inexpensive backpack to carry water, tissues, a snack, hair clips, etc. The only thing of "value" was my iPhone. Which was locked and which I managed to get back the next day by heading out with the Police on a recovery mission. But that is a story for another time.
Luckily I was only out hiking and not out with my camera creating when it happened. But being attacked by three men with very large knives has messed with my head a little. It has certainly held me back at times when considering to head out to create. Sure, not completely, as I have still headed out to location on occasion. I am very grateful to live in a place where location options are plenty and there are still a few spaces I love and feel safe enough to create in, even though I work completely alone.
In truth, I have also found that my workflow has changed quite a bit over the years. Instead of heading out every weekend to create like I used to do when I started this journey, I seem to prefer, for the most part, to take some time out and create work in batches over a few days. Which I usually do while away traveling, either locally or overseas. And I tend to plan my vacations and travels around creating. I find this really gets me focused and I create with more intention.
There are times though when an emotion drives me to create. That the immediate need for expression is overwhelming. And this is now when I create in my studio and then composite myself into scenes. I am excited about exploring this additional option in my workflow. Although it was something I have been steadily working myself towards, this experience forced me to take the leap.