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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Leave the pictures in the past.

Watching the interviews and pictures of Henri Cartier-Bresson and his Leica. Trying to imagine how I'd like to use my Leica. And I wonder if I like his pictures more because of the settings and outfits that are over 60 years old. He shot only black and white and talks very passionately about his photography.

And then I thought, what if I got a chance to go back to the past and shoot Paris in the 1950's. Sort of like Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. And after I've spent a few rolls shooting in Paris, I try to come back, but I realise I can't bring the rolls to the present. I can only leave with the knowledge and the pleasure of having shot in Paris in the 1950's. So I couldn't never prove it to anyone, or tell anyone either, since no one would believe me.

If the devil offered me that deal, I'd take it in a heartbeat. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Dad means coming home

Dad.
The word that often starts at fear, but ends in relief. 
It provides protection that is invisible. 
You just always knew it
and felt it. 
It was always there.

Because when that word is spoken.
it feels like the worst things are okay.
Like every storm slows down. 
Every tornado pauses. 
Every fire mutes itself for a minute. 
And every flood drains. 

It’s words that have magic. 
“Dad!” for one. 
“Everything would be okay, son!” for another. 
that changes the ferocity of events without changing
anything. 

The storm still has its fury.
The tornado still wrenches its guts. 
The fire waits to roar again and the
flood will flood any second now. 

But time has stopped. 
You’re safe. 
Shielded by something invisible. 

You can’t tell what it is
Or where it comes from
Or that it’s even there
or was there
Till it happens. 
“Dad!”
isn’t a cry for help. 
It’s finding your way home. 
“It’s gonna be okay!”
doesn’t make everything okay. 
But it makes things okay.
When dad says it’s gonna be okay.
It isn’t always the truth. 
But it is
the truth. 




Wrote this manifesto for a project. It got shot down as too serious and heavy. Fair enough. I'm still proud of it. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Stranger's Gratitude

There are consequences to Portfolio Night that are hard to fathom before they happen. One of them is forming close bonds with people who have a heart of gold.

Recently in Miami during the craziness of the ADC festival, I realised that my German bank card wasn't working in the US. Thankfully everyone accepts credit cards in Miami - even cabs - so I wasn't left high and dry. But you can imagine my nervousness with very little cash in hand and only a credit card for the entire two weeks.

(I immediately emailed my German bank, who funnily enough, replied in perfect English, 4 days later, asking me to resend the request in German, without which they couldn't possibly activate my card for the US. I believe they call this German humour.)

On her last day, Laura Mendez​ came to me and handed me most of her remaining cash telling me that their trip had come to an end and that she'd like me to have the money, and that I could return it after I got back. She did this without me even asking, or stopping to consider if I would ever return the money. Andrew Stencil​ too, offered to help me as soon as he learnt about my situation.

The importance of this gesture I learnt only on landing in New Orleans, where trams, kiosks, Po' boy stands and even Jazz bars are cash-only. If it hadn't been for Laura's kind gesture, I would have had to face some embarrassing situations for sure.

These two, along with Zoltan, Lize-Marie, Vaibhav, Mélissa, Mars, Eva and all those who I've managed to meet me over the two years have only led to great experiences.

A big hug to these wonderful people who Portfolio Night put me in touch with. We are not just a bunch of creatives put in a room to work on ideas. Ultimately we turn into a gang of friends who don't have to hang out often to form strong bonds. Even if we've barely met twice in two years.