A project I’m working on: “My Neighbours” - a working title. I’ve been meaning to do this photo essay for a while. I wrote it down in a notebook about 5 years ago! I even remember telling my next-door neighbours about it. So a couple of weeks ago I worked up the courage to knock on Kevin’s door, our neighbour to our right. Kevin is retired so he’s usually home. And sure enough he was there with his dog. I told him about my photography essay idea and he remembered that I asked him about it. He said yes and we organised a shoot date and I came around to see him with my camera the following week. I didn’t really know what to do but I felt re-energised. I just talked to him and told him not to pose. I wanted to capture him naturally in his home. He talked a lot. And he has a really interesting and moving story. I’m not sure what to do with the photos yet. I plan to give him some prints. I’d like to photograph a couple more neighbours before I venture out and ask other new people on our street.
What I’m watching: The Colony on Netflix - Did I mention this takes a long time to watch? I think we are up to the final season. It’s ok. I just need to finish it and find out what happens in the end.
What I’m listening to: Fujicast podcast #3
A movie I’ve seen: Capernaum - Outstanding. I was shaken to the core. Unforgettable.
A quote I’m pondering on: “If you are deliberately trying to create a future that feels safe, you will willfully ignore the future that is likely.” - Seth Godin
What I’m reading: I haven’t read a book lately except for the newspaper!
What I’m watching: Adobe Premiere Pro CC on Udemy - I’ve only done a couple of lessons. I’m not a big fan of video editing (mainly because it means I have to sit in front of the computer even more) but think I need to learn this piece of software. If you like learning from online courses you should check out Udemy. The courses are very affordable.
What I’m listening to: Fujicast podcast #2
A movie I’ve seen: On the Basis of Sex - This is a worthwhile story. Nothing spectacular but it is the right film for now. I don’t know anything about Ruth Bader Ginsburg but I hope she is happy with the narrative.
A quote I’m pondering on: “Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.” - Brené Brown
What I’m listening to: Freakonomics Radio Live: “The World’s a Mess. But Oysters, They Hold it Down.”
What I’m watching: Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road Adventure - I love listening to her voice. Plus the show is good too. It’s like an invitation to retire early and travel the world.
A movie I’ve seen: If Beale Street Could Talk - I’m a real sucker for good cinematography. This film is so mesmerising to watch. The deep rich colours, the narrow depth of field and the beautiful score combine to produce a gorgeous piece of pure cinema. My husband was not a fan. He thought it was a bit slow. So what. Make room for pause, I say.
A quote I’m pondering on: ”Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge.” - Lao Tzu
What I’m reading: Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon - I haven’t looked at this book in ages. It’s good to read it again as it reminds me that I’m ok and I should just go ahead and create work. “Stand next to talent”is a great quote.
What I’m listening to: Fujicast podcast #1 - I started shooting with Fujifilm gear last year. This podcast is mostly Fuji gear talk but still relevant for photographers in general. The interviews are refreshing and insightful. Kevin Mullins and Neale James are really lovely to listen to.
A movie I’ve seen: Ben is Back - I’m always deeply moved by stories that involve parents and children. Because I think about my own. And it scares me. Julia Roberts is amazing in this film, possibly her best work. The story is neither upbeat nor festive. But that’s what drug addiction is - unforgiving and relentless.
A quote I’m pondering on: “As the Zen Buddhist saying goes, how you do anything is how you do everything.” - Simon Sinek
What I’m reading: Past volumes of Smith Journal
What I’m listening to: Once More by Spandau Ballet
What I’m watching: Adobe InDesign CC Essentials Training Course on Udemy - I don’t know why I’ve avoided using InDesign until now. It’s such a useful and powerful tool for graphic design, typography and publishing. There’s nothing else like it.
A movie I’ve seen: Mary Queen of Scots - This film received mixed reviews but I liked out how it reminded me how awful men have been (against women) throughout history. Saoirse Ronan is a powerful performer and worth the price of the movie ticket alone. It’s beautifully shot.
A quote I’m pondering on: “Every artist was first an amateur.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson