Puh, it has taken too long and too much effort for me to try and settle for a new “look” for my photos. I wanted something with much stronger colours but at the same time felt “timeless” and incorporated things I liked with black and white photos.
Here’s an older photo that I took with my OnePlus 3 that I experimented with and I think I’m getting there. But the look mostly works with sunny Paris haha. So I made a preset for it to have a starting point but it only works for photos taken with my old OnePlus so need to do lots more tweaking for my other cameras.
Looking Back at 2019
I keep doing my daily photos but I seem to be only doing the bare minimum, it is as if I like the idea of being of being someone who photographs everyday instead of actually doing it. I say I am passionate about photography but I have to show it too and all this is mostly to myself. Photographing everyday shouldn’t feel like a shore, it should be something I do without even thinking about it. So it seems even in my pursuit of my passion I’m totally lazy and “faking it”. Not only is it that I don’t learn anything new this way but I don’t grow as a photographer. I can’t show anything good from it either. I’m using the circumstances of my life as an excuse, always thinking I can’t photograph what I want because either I don’t have any money, I don’t have a place to do my photography, or what ever the reason might be, the truth is that I’m too much of a coward. Let me explain. The thing is that I’m scared of, is not knowing how to do something, photographing I know, but it’s finding people to photograph that I have trouble with. That is a problem I have for life in general, I’m too isolated and feel it’s never “a good time” to reach out to friends or people, feeling that I can’t trust my future enough to allow me to make commitments or to come through my promises. The same with my photography, if I manage to find good opportunity for interesting photos. I get scared and hesitant that I won’t be able to pursue it because “reasons”.
So that’s how my 2019 pretty much was, me looking at people from afar and most often not even looking at people but inanimate objects because that’s “safe”.
I want to experience life, experience the world and thus always be in a good position to find good photos. What my photography has always been is to have a reason to explore, to travel, to experience, and to meet people. It’s the best tool I have to do what I want to do in life. So when I fail at my photography I fail my life, so that has to stop and something I need to concentrate on making a genuine effort going forward and not be held down by my self-esteem issues.
What I want photography to be. Finding a core, an essence of me and the world I see and the world I want to find. That should be my primary goal, why else would I be doing this? How else can I even do something that might be good? I have to look onward not just for 2020 but it should set the tone and foundation for what will be my photography for the foreseeable future. I might be putting too much pressure on it but it’s more about feeling and seeing where it takes me. I have to figure out what I really am interested about and explore it, whatever it is, even if it is just to try it out.
One experiment I did, or tried to do was to only drink an espresso per day for 30 days. I thought I could cut down on how much coffee I drink and especially just how much time I spend in cafes. My plan was to see if that made me be out there living life more instead, photographing more.
And I failed miserably! Just managed to do a few days. I didn’t spend any less time in cafes and would often buy several espressos. I don’t even like espresso that much, I do prefer regular black coffee! So I just realised that why not just get what I want and went back to black coffee. No regrets!
For awhile now, I’ve done some small and big experiments in various ways in an effort to find out just what makes me tick and how I can maximise my enjoyment in life and I think also foremost to learn more about myself.
I’ll write about them no matter if I succeed or fail, either way I will have thoughts about them.
With what I think about love it might surprise some of you that there is a part of me that wants nothing more than to get married and start a family. I might have an old-fashioned and delusional romantic notion of what life is “supposed” to be, even if I know better. I really envisioned my life like that, that I would meet someone, we fall madly in love, choose and decide to spend life together, get a house near nature and have kids. Looking back at what I really waited for, pined for, what I firmly believed in, that I just had to meet the right one and the rest would follow naturally.
Wow just wow. I was never in a position to attract anyone to such life with me, and even if I did, I’m not sure that is what I really actually wanted. Probably just what I thought love was supposed to be, and maybe it wasn’t the kind of love that I really wanted or needed.
It has been a very rough ride to get to know oneself and unlearn and relearn everything, even basic stuff like that. I am in a much more healthy place now where I can envision having relationships but with the life I’ve chosen for myself and the future building for myself I have accepted some things just isn’t in the cards for me. My life is and will always be way too messy and I’m not sure I want to subject someone to it but if someone insists on being in my life then I would gladly share this journey with someone.
However about family and children, I still do really want to have children but it’s a strange combination of my intellectual side and my biological side. Biological side is simple, it comes from my lust wanting to impregnate all the pretty girls that I see daily. Intellectually it is based on the knowledge that I am the last one in our branch of the family tree that is humanity and if I don’t have children it ends with me. All those ancestors before me, meeting up and fucking since the dawn of mankind, always making the next generation when so many never get to pass on their genes. It’s hard knowing you can’t have children because of how your life is but at the same time your instincts are screaming.
So only time will tell what the future holds but at least I feel I will be ok which ever shape it takes.
Attention, I will go into detail about stuff and might be things you don’t want to know about me, so you’ve been warned.
Me never feeling loved has led me to only feel intimacy and or course validation through sex. People wanting to be my friend, or people admiring my work, while appreciated, never mattered in the same way because that doesn’t acknowledge the side of me that is in the most need of attention and validation.
When love wasn’t there and then the lack of sex, it is that which has shaped so much of who I have become. And what has fueled so much of my depression.
I use my lust as a coping mechanism against my depression but it is also the source of it in many ways. It’s easy when depressed to close down completely both emotionally and sexually, maybe more so sexually. For me, my lust has always been a huge source of inspiration and creative energy, the best way to get that “boost” in morale. When the lust isn’t there I sink deeply into apathy and it is very easy to get stuck there. So at some point in my life I started to make an effort to build up my sexual drive, mostly by letting myself enjoy porn, looking lustfully at random girls but also making an effort by resisting to cum as long as I can, also called “edging”, I used to mostly do it by masturbating for hours everyday while watching porn and being thirsty online and exchanging nudes and camming with random girls.
My hornyness is often the only source of positive feeling, in by building of lust and when I manage to get the hornyness to so immense intensity that I don’t think about anything else than sex. When I don’t think about anything else, well then I don’t think about all the bad shit in my life, I can be fully in the present and not worry. It’s a combination of escape and filling myself with the strongest and most positive feeling and sensation. It brings colour to my world and it’s an amazing feeling to look out and actually feel something, even if it’s just an intense excitement seeing a pretty girl have some little extra revealing clothes.
There is a downside, if there is no outlet for the lust, somewhere to direct it and if the orgasm isn’t shared it only amplifies the depression by enforcing the feeling of being lonely and as a failure. And the plunge into a very dark place is very hard and drastic. It takes a long time to recover and can pretty much only be done by making new successful efforts to become horny again. When wanting something more than anything else and when there is no way to fulfil that need, to cope with that realisation it tends to be a very primitive reaction, since I don’t really have any other firm ground to stand on, it all comes crashing down, it is in a sense life defining to the core of myself. In that moment it really feels like the truth about me is what it is, which I’ve been denying all this time, it is the culmination of everything that is me. The thoughts usually during that moment when unsuccessfully attempting to not be alone, is that no one wants you and will ever want you. The feeling that something is genuinely impossible can’t easily be overblown since it is a very toxic place to fall into and the longer you are in there the harder it is to shake it off.
I honestly have no idea how to not have that negative self/world-view as my base a lot of the time. Pretty much all the time I “know” that I have to spend the rest of my life alone, that I will never have what I want the most. Like by some accident I am the only person in history that is in fact unlovable. When knowing all that, you have never felt so alone as when you feel completely unseen.
Now I know, most of the time it’s all in my head because I know there people who would gladly be with me, but that’s the thing with depression, it’s fucked up.
Love might be the biggest contribution to the broken mess that is me and the disbelief I got for it.
I have never really felt fully and utterly loved, and I mean romantically so. My love for someone has always been a painful one, mostly it hasn’t been returned. There are those that have expressed their love for me, but either I didn’t feel it towards them and thus could disqualify them or there were other factors that made me question the validity of their claim. Like how could they love me, when I have kept my distance?
The long history of unrequited love, all my teenage loves were unspoken, unwelcome, and certainly unhappy. All that has naturally led to extremely low self-esteem when it comes to someone choosing me, falling in love with me, the real me. Of course I know those are insecurities that many have but after a while I started to take it as truth, that I might actually be unlovable.
So I stopped trying and depression was the only thing I had left. What’s the point to do anything if I will never experience what’s good about life? One would also think that the longer it goes the easier it would be for me to fall for someone, like take the first person comes along, but the opposite is true, sure I might be open to most people but for me to fall for them is very hard. I’m not sure if it is because I don’t feel that I deserve to be loved or if I have impossible unrealistic views of what love should be.
Having never experienced what healthy love could be has also made me a disbeliever, not that I reject the concept of love, more that I don’t think it is what it is said to be. Together with they disbelief I did however reject the concept of relationships and family. I have embraced that fact, that I don’t have to try and find someone to have a family with, that I don’t have to have children.
Dropping out of the race, it is to be honestly just me accepting and making It my choice to not be loveable or relationship material, accepting that I won’t find love and thus closing that part of me down for good. I do however have a strong suspicion it is self-preservation on my part, it’s easier to not believe something is real than to accept that you don’t deserve it.
There is immense freedom in that and it let’s me pursue a completely egotistical life, I don’t even have my cats anymore so I really don’t have anyone else to think about. At the same time it does feel strange not being part of anyone’s life in any meaningful way. It takes quite a bit of internal struggle to shut down the hope that it could happen, that sometimes turns up after meeting someone that really triggers my romantic side, I have to forcefully remind oneself about principles and goals.
What remains is the need for intimacy and it only comes in form of sex. Come back tomorrow that part.
In the end of mars 2018 I was in a creative crisis, I simply asked myself, me as a photographer that doesn’t photograph, what am I? So I decided that from then on I would take one photograph at a minimum everyday, but not only take it, I had to post it online. My thinking was, that even if I can’t really photograph what I want to photograph, meaning erotic photography, then at least I should photograph something, if nothing else to practise and to experiment. So I started doing street photography. I decided also that I wouldn’t care too much if actually managed to take a good photo or not, this project would be mostly about experimenting and actually feeling like a photographer, which means thinking and looking like one at all times which I kind of lost because how life went and not keeping up with photographing.
So now a year later, I have to say it was way easier than I thought it would be. Sure there were some near misses where I almost forgot but the vast majority of days I managed to capture something. I also very much appreciate that I gave myself “permission” to not have good photos because I do feel I get insights with my experimentation with filters and colour. Those days when I was being overly lazy and mostly want to do other stuff I had to figure out how to still take a photo, so knowing I had that loose quality freedom made it all much more fun. I’ve mostly been using my phone and that has been a hugely humbling experience, since I again have to learn about technical limitations but it also makes me realise that a good photo is still good when it’s technically bad. So to be able to always take the photo is far far more important than any technical issue.
Some problems that I realised about myself were as I mentioned I can be a bit lazy, I spend way too little time each day actually taking photos, some days I just take one or two photos. I am also a huge coward, you can tell in my photos that there are no risks taken and there is always a distance. I have to also get over my “shyness” where I often don’t go near the subjects and avoid interacting with them, mostly because I don’t want to get stuck talking with someone and just want to be on my way. That leads to me not really exploring anything to any real depth, so everything is kind of things I don’t really care about, because if it would be something I cared about I would have to actually make an effort.
Going forward I will continue my experimentation with colour and filters, because I’m trying to figure something, not sure exactly what but I feel I’m on to something and I need to find it. I will also try to do more explicit and vulgar experiments and I really need to try and explore more sexuality and erotism in my photography, even if it is street photography. I have to start doing what I say I am about, what I care about.
At the end of each month I will post some photos from the last years month, a look back. Starting next week with April.