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A story of the past few years

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by Arch-Angel, Jul 2, 2019.

  1. Arch-Angel

    Arch-Angel Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,912
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I've been thinking of writing this post for a while now, but always thought I would make it like I’m just being a big sook. I guess it has been a while though, long enough that the OG’s of this forum will know me and forgive me, and the newcomers probably won’t know me and/or care :)

    For better or worse, I used to post fairly prolifically around here. Photography was a huge part of my life, and not only do I feel like I was pretty decent at it, but I also had a huge amount of enthusiasm for it.

    I loved the tech side of things (from geeking out over new sensors, to the chemistry of the darkroom), I loved that it took me places (sunrise beach shoots with Mel and Kane, to urbanex with Dsankt), that it taught me new skills (from motorsport, to macro) and even loved that it practically paid for itself when I started doing professional work as a side-hustle.

    Lots of past tense in that previous paragraph, and its for a reason – in the past 4 years I couple of things have happened which have not just dampened my enthusiasm, but actually made my connection to photography quite painful.

    In early 2015 a woman who came to be one of my best friends (she was originally the photography friend of another one of my photography friends who I met here on OCAU) passed away unexpectedly. Aside from being one of the most amazing, talented, beautiful, funny and smart people I have ever met, she also became my muse. She was incredibly fit and active, and loved being outdoors and getting amongst it. I taught her everything I knew about photography, and in exchange she motivated and inspired me to be better. I took her in as an official partner of my little business, and with her keeping me organised we rocked everything from MMA events to weddings. She was the inspiration behind the most favourite picture I have ever taken.

    She died of brain cancer, and only told her husband and her mother that she had a terminal illness. She was tough and fierce and didn’t want anyone to see her at anything less than her best, or worse still, to pity her.

    Her death broke my heart. Her husband gave me her camera equipment and said that she wanted me to have it.
    I have never taken it out of the bag, and I didn’t pick up my own camera for about 2 years after that.

    Friends and family all told me that this isn’t what she would have wanted, and I know that that is true.
    So eventually I picked my camera up and started shooting again, this time only things that mattered to me – my kids, my wife and friends and family. I thought that at the very least I should document the important events in their lives.
    With three kids, I had plenty of opportunity. And while I didn’t break out any of the big studio gear, which I once might have, I enjoyed documenting ‘life’ with a humble 50mm.

    One thing that I wasn’t doing though, was processing the images I was taking. I decided that as long as I had them, I kept the master images, I could always process them when I was truly out of my glut. I did my homework and bought two separate NAS drives (one at home, and an identical one at my Mums house for safe keeping).

    About 2 years ago I had the two dives together for the first time to update them etc, and was transporting them in the back seat of my car with some other equipment. As I arrived home and was unloading, I must have had my back turned for just a few short minutes and the car was stolen – with both the NAS drives inside.

    They caught the person who did it, a 14 year old and his mates. They had been at a party on my side of town and couldn’t be bothered catching a train back home so thought they’d just steal a car and drive home…
    The car was found, and written off (they thrashed it). None of what I had left in the car was recovered, including the NAS’, and legally the police could not demand an answer as to what he did with them from him as he was a minor.

    I spent the next 6 weekends calling and driving around to every pawn broker I could find in his area asking if anyone had tried to sell one.

    The net result was that I lost every photo I had ever taken, with the exception of what I had hosted or put on forums (mostly at max 800px). That was pretty much the final straw for me. I have started taking pics again recently, but I barely even take them off the memory cards anymore.

    I even bought a couple of drones to try to promote myself to try something new… again I have a dozen or so full memory cards.
    I am at a point where I basically log in here every day or so to moderate and lurk, but I’ve given serious thought to selling everything… more that once… in the past couple of months.
    I thought about going the other way too, maybe a new camera will reignite my enthusiasm? Maybe rejoining a local camera club? I don’t know.

    Anyway, this isn’t meant to be a call for help or even a sob story. Shit happens, I know it, and for the most part I am really enjoying my life and family. I think maybe I just have a lingering sense that I didn’t go out on my own terms or something… unfinished business maybe.

    I welcome any suggestions, comments or shared stories, if anyone has them.
    Holly would have just rolled her eyes and said ‘harden up pussy!’ … so feel free to do that too :D
    I guess deep down I am maybe hoping that writing all this down will help me push through it.

    Thanks for your time, and I do still love f=48!

    -Steve.

    TL;DR – just an old man with a sob story, nothing to see here!
     
  2. power

    power Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Messages:
    63,433
    Location:
    brisbane
    your friend who died would not want you to be sad, she would be happier if you were to create new memories and experience your passion anew.

    losing your old photos is an immeasurably horrible horrible thing - but a moment of tears for them will not bring them back, you must move on or forever wallow in your self pity.

    There's a really great book/movie that is about the joy of love and photography, if you've never seen it I recommend watching "Bridges of Madison County" something I thought would be a soppy woman movie, but really isn't (ok it is, but it's a great movie nonetheless).

    Which leads me to my next suggestion, put the DSLR away for a bit and experience a new type of photography (I know you are fiddling with drones, eh they are ok). Maybe film or if you want to stay digital, smaller mirrorless cameras. Make photography feel new.
     
  3. Hater

    Hater Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Messages:
    4,926
    Location:
    Canberra
    harden up pussy

    also video
     
  4. Yanoflies

    Yanoflies Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    Sydney
    Painful story mate, sorry to hear.

    It's not much consolation but life is unfair and you just gotta accept that. No use victimising or pitying yourself over what's happened -- what's done is done.

    You've lost the photos but it doesn't change the fact that you took those shots. In fact, if you think about it, nothing has changed at all with the exception that you can't go back and view them.
     
    die_piggy likes this.
  5. Stooge007

    Stooge007 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
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    10,934
    Location:
    The Shire, Sydney
    sorry to hear mate

    sounds like the only way you can go from here is up :)
     
  6. Deftone2k

    Deftone2k In the Darkroom

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2002
    Messages:
    15,707
    Location:
    Sydney
    That's a series of really shitty circumstances mate to have to go through.

    It sounds like there is some unresolved stuff there that is has been attached to photography for you. It's really sad as to what happened with your friend, but perhaps there is some things that need visiting regarding that so you can have proper closure.

    As for photography, it's hard if you dont feel the personal motivation for it anymore. If you force it, it kind of breaks it even more for you.

    I know a lot of the old hat arent around these parts much anymore, or lurk. It makes me sad as I talk about it nostalgically with those I have met from here and still see/talk too on a regular basis. f48 gave me my start in photography and changed pretty much my whole direction in life which is always kind of amazing when I think about it!

    So don't close the door on the photography chapter, maybe re-investigate the things that make it harder for you to pickup a camera nowadays and see how you can solve them. A simpler kit, something easy to put together and document your life. I think it's important to still take photos even if the processing/end result isnt seen for a long time (or seen at all). I personally still shoot a lot of my travels and landscapes but dont have any time to sit down and properly put them together. I have 5 big overseas trips I havent even scratched the surface of.. but it phases other people more than it phases me really. I know they will be there (do have the backups in different places and in the cloud) for when the time comes. I shot those for me, I enjoyed taking the photos and the fun has been had, the results are going to be the icing on the cake.

    So that kind of brings me to here now, the love of photography wasnt always for the final image. The time spent with others, yourself, the event, what you saw, what amazed you, what inspired you were all the things that made you pick up a camera, not the praise at the end.

    Hopefully see you lurk around a bit more and get shooting again :)
     
    herzeg likes this.
  7. OP
    OP
    Arch-Angel

    Arch-Angel Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,912
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Thank you all for the words of encouragement (and the message to harden up - I knew that was coming :p)

    I like doing drone work for the same reason I originally got 'into' photography - i feel like it makes me explore places I wouldn't usually go to. I've not familiarised myself with the best processing techniques for aerial shots yet though, so I suppose that is something I could work on.

    I also like the video suggestion. I toyed with the idea of doing some Youtube reviews, which might involve marco footage. Again, I'm not overly familiar with the post-processing or editing for video, but learning it might hold my interest for a while.
    My current setup is solid for still photos, but I don't have video capability. If I picked up something like the Canon 1DxMKII, would that do a decent job of it? Or should I opt for a dedicated video camera/setup? I have a ton of Canon gear, and studio lighting now, so keeping it in the brand has it's advantages (as well as potentially upgrading my current camera for stills).

    EDIT: film photography was also mentioned. I still have a MF film setup and all my darkroom equipment, but don't really have the room at home for it anymore.
    I think my wife might have chucked my bags of film from the fridge at some point...

    EDIT 2: Have heard of Bridges of Madison County, but never seen it. Didn't actually know it had anything to do with photography. Might check it out!
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  8. herzeg

    herzeg Iron Photographer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,090
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Just sending you some love, man - a tough run, but the only way is forward...

    D2K summed it up real nice; hope to see you around more.
     
  9. Hater

    Hater Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
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    4,926
    Location:
    Canberra


    i'd just start with a $100 550D and see how you go (cheapest canon DSLR that'll do 1080 @ 30fps, 500D only does 24fps)

    with youtube you don't need to do anything. you're in an emotional state, make emotional videos. post them up. don't post them up. do what you want to do. make something. do something. art is art. helps the brain

    mute the sound.

    or don't, i'm not the boss of you

     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  10. islade

    islade Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Messages:
    555
    Location:
    Gold Coast, QLD
    Dude, I was getting over photography a bit as I started it as a hobby then over time I was only getting out my full frame DSLRs when it was a paid shoot and otherwise not taking any photos.

    I got a Fuji X100T then later upgraded to an X-T2. There is something about them that is so much fun to use that i'm now getting lots more 'daily life' photos *and* enjoying the process of shooting again.

    Being small and light is one thing, but the Fuji is way more fun than a Sony even though A7 obviously has better image quality!
     
  11. Akh-Horus

    Akh-Horus Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Messages:
    10,872
    Location:
    Western Vic
    There are still a lot of important and incredible photos to be taken. You have a job to do, you still have to get out and do it.

    Just because you lost some pictures doesn't mean much in your lives journey.

    Your kids are always going to be in your life and you need to document that journey. You owe them that .
     

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