I can’t believe Christmas and New Year is already over! Wasn’t it November just a moment ago? I had blog posts planned for November, then December but never found the time to hit the “publish” button between seeing friends, buying presents and working on my novel. Actually, I can’t believe it’s already been a year since I had my first English Christmas and wrote about it here on the blog.
November and I, we don’t get along. Growing up in Denmark, November meant the most grey, the most gloomy and melancholic month of the year. Long-browned leaves fallen of the trees, leaving the branches naked and stark, no school holidays, nothing to look forward to except Christmas and an even colder January. Just endless, boring days of thick, grey clouds hanging over the world that would make me feel melancholic and restless. The days that held any kind of sunshine could be counted on just one, maybe two fingers.
Years ago, before I went to University and began studying the relationship between literature and art, I started writing little stories inspired by some of the paintings I came across in galleries, postcards and reproductions my parents had on the walls at home. I made up stories about Picasso’s Blue Nude and Hopper’s Nighthawks. I wrote a few of them and then forgot all about it.
Something has really happened to my photography since I got my Polaroid camera. Shooting with instant film has made me look at the world differently. I am much more aware of composition and of light; how strong it is, the direction it’s coming from, the shadows it leaves behind. It has made me see things that I would normally have overlooked or would have seen as too ordinary to photograph. And it has made me want to learn the old school art of taking photographs with analogue film cameras.
As a former literature student, I sometimes wonder how my blog keeps ending up being very photography oriented. Not that I don’t work a lot with photography but I do many other things in my life, too. What the blog doesn’t reflect about me at the moment is my reading habits but I thought I would write a different kind of post this week, one about the books I have been taking the time to read lately.
I have felt a little lost lately. I have been getting up in the morning, heading off on my commute, going to work, coming back home, eaten late dinners and gone to bed early, and I’ve been doing it all as if I wasn’t really here. I haven’t had a lot of time or energy to write, to go exploring or to photograph. It has just felt like an endless amount of days on repeat. Trying to get through one day only to have it replaced by another that looked exactly the same.
For 4 years, I fought my way through university. Even before I started, I wondered if I would be smart enough; if I would be able to keep up with the reading; if I would be able to learn to write academic papers. This self doubt was my biggest enemy through all of those years, more so than the towering piles of novels, articles and theory books that needed to be read, the complicated and abstract theories that I needed to get my head around, all the deadlines and the papers that needed writing.
I am going to be so poor. The reason? I love, love shooting with instant film for my Polaroid camera. I have already build up quite the gallery, considering that I have only had my camera since Christmas. Currently, there is 1 last shot left of my third pack of film. My graduation is coming up and I know that it will mean that I will be unwrapping my fourth pack.
But that said, shooting with instant film has become a very careful and selective process for me. Because of the expensive price of film, I only take pictures of those moments I really want to capture for the future and of those motives that have been ideas in my mind for a very long time. So different from the mindless shooting I am guilty of doing sometimes with my smartphone camera or even when I use my digital SLR and don’t have to think about the price of film or getting the shot right with the first click. It has made me so much more conscious of what I want to capture and how. And even more importantly, why.
I’m not the most spontaneous person, I’m a planner; I love to write packings lists, to do lists and make plans. I like to know in advance what will happen tomorrow, in a week or in a month’s time. But you can’t plan everything in life! So it’s really nice to have a boyfriend who is much better at doing impulsive and spontaneous things than I am. It gives me experiences I wouldn’t otherwise get.
If you read my Christmas post you will know that my boyfriend gave me a Polaroid Spectra camera for Christmas. I was so excited and a bit awestruck about finally owning my own instant camera and it has really inspired my creativity and given me lots of fresh ideas for new photo projects. Almost every night I go to bed with some new idea of a picture I want to take, how I can use my camera or how I can turn my polaroids into special art projects.
I find it really hard to get outside during winter. It’s so much more tempting to stay inside under my soft blanket in my favourite reading chair than to go outside when its cold, windy, rainy or gloomy. But lately I have been trying to make an effort to get outside more, so when the sun suddenly broke free of the clouds the other day I quickly grabbed my camera, put on my green wellies and went outside for a little adventure around my neighbourhood.
I love presents at Christmas. I love the secrecy and excitement about finding just the right present for someone I care about and receiving something just as thoughtful in return. And I love wrapping them all up. So I hope this doesn’t make me seem petty but when I prepared myself to have my first Christmas away from home, I was dreading the little pile of presents that I expected would be under the tree. Because how would my family and friends be able to get my presents to England, when posting them would be so expensive!
As you might have noticed it has been pretty quiet on the blog lately. The past couple of months I have been struggling to find the energy, inspiration and motivation to do the things that normally gives me energy and make me feel happy. I haven’t felt like blogging, even when I had things to blog about and although I have been working a little bit on two new writing projects I haven’t been consistent with it.