This time last year we were setting off for a classic Californian road trip down the 101. Two of my best mates live in San Francisco, and it was an obvious hop across the pacific pond to visit them:)
Our first stop was Yosemite, ever since I was introduced to photography as a teenager I have been dreaming about visiting Ansel Adams source of inspiration. The idea that even a landscape photograph could have an impact intrigued me, it made me realise that photography was more than just captured light. One of his quotes:
“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
It rings true, I find the more effort I put in prior to pressing the shutter, are the most rewarding. They may not always be the best “award-winning”, but they mean more. Although maybe we are reading too much into the quote and it was simply mistranslated from German “Du ‘nimmst’ kein Foto, du machst es.” where you say “make a photo”, not “take a photo”, or just maybe Germans encourage each other to take better photographs then?
Funny story, as we bedded down for the night locking our food and sweet smelling goods into a bear proof locker (oh yeh job done we are now safe), we walked 2m over to our barely wind proof flimsy polyester Kmart tent and zipped the fly up. While our ‘neighbours’ next to us bunkered down in a pickup truck securing a lock like there’s no tomorrow. So who got any sleep that night…well one of us did…while I stayed up all night listening to the awakening nocturnals. While I sat there wide-eyed, holding the keys to our Nissan Sentra (idea was to activate the car alarm and scare off any bulldoze-ring furry friends) – then at one point I hear a scratching at the tent side, I whisper to April, “is that you moving?”…reply isn’t what I hoped “nooo…*snoring ensues*”, my eyes widen further…I think to myself “well, problem solved then I guess, back to sleep…”. Nonetheless, we survived, dawn broke, and this image below is what we found overlooking us overnight:Read on…
King Ludwig II was historically scrutinised for his lavish constructions in this region of Bavaria, most famously Neuschwanstein Castle which basically bankrupted the royals. Or maybe Ludwig was simply an extraordinary visionary, seeing what an attraction it would become, well it didn’t quite workout for him though, having been deemed insane by the state and sent to Berg Castle by another idyllic Bavarian lake. A visit to Linderhof will confirm some of the King’s oddness for you though…many mirrors and a floor retracting dinning table to avoid other humans (although, not a bad idea nowadays amid social distancing laws)
Below is an image of this majestic limestone-cladded castle, taken from up above the beaten path, be careful though – I wouldn’t recommend this, as it was slippery enough with a sudden shear drop right into the Pöllat…plop. But if its a once-in-a-life-time occasion like a proposal why not, I mean you cannot say no with a backdrop like this…she said yes…see gif below!
Nonetheless, in the centuries to come the people of Bavaria would enjoy economic prosperity with vast tourism to the castles. Keeping the King’s dream alive, after all he never had the pleasure of seeing the final product – mysteriously dying seven weeks before Neuschwanstein opened (1886) – like most visionaries, their creations are often enjoyed by the generations to follow.Read on…
December 2019 we were lucky to manage a visit to my mate’s ‘second home’ in Vienna, Austria (woah, hang on international travel, whats that?!, ahhh pre-COVID, what a dream – funny how we are realising how much we take overseas travel for granted nowadays, it’s such a luxury of our modern world).
It will be sometime before we meet again in person, yet the memories we hold are now cherished more than we would’ve thought previously.
We certainly parted on a high note, after a night of playing cards and reminiscing on our recent travels (…”sprickan zzeeeee engleash”…) – not sure we have laughed so much like that before, at least in a long time! Anyway, below are a few images of our time in Wien:Read on…
My bro is now wedded to the love of his life and I’m lucky to have gained a sister out of it, not a bad move bro! Anyway, here they are all very classic british-fairy-tale like at Peckforton Castle (built in 1851) an hour out of Liverpool, England. The romance and colourful winter sunset glow made this photo sesh quite easy, plus my bro has been my model since I first started photographing 12 years ago; so it was just simply a natural winning combo. I’m very proud of the man he became, well mostly depicted, I had a bit to do about that…
Although the world is in isolation right now, yes unprecedented times, at least in living memory (re 1918). Understandably, there are few positives to this situation, but you might say we do now ‘have the time’.
In our continuous daily pursuits to make a living, it is seldom that we spend the time reflecting on what we have done. It is so easy to get caught up in whats next, whats planned, what can we look forward to. We often neglect what we have accomplished and celebrate that!
Now I’m not saying we should all pat ourselves on the back and hand out participation awards to everyone for existing. But, why don’t we enjoy the memory of the moments more regularly? Isn’t that why we take photos – we want to preserve that ‘Kodak’ moment! Oh wait a second, hang on, that’s so easy right – I’ve got stacks of images on my phone, I quickly take a snap with my iPhone, it stores the geo-location and there is my life all backed up in a solid state hard drive!
Now, let me ask us you this – how often do you look at those images, and when would you ever think of printing them out, hanging them on the wall and showing them to your family & friends. Well isn’t that for old people with grandchildren? Soooo probably never then. Yes, I’m guilty of that too, I haven’t printed or framed a photo in years for myself, and with this I’ve lost track of all the amazing life moments for those years, it’s like a big blur. This is my first post on my website in five years, looking at this void in time I cannot reflect on what photographs I’ve taken since then, it’s in a way forgotten.
So there are some positives to the COVID-19 crisis, we have the chance to reflect on our lives, connect with friends & family more than ever (albeit virtually), and maybe take that photo and frame it, hang it up, and remember the moment.
So challenge for you: print & frame a memory (or due to social-distancing rules, post it online for everyone to see), and remind yourself of whats possible!