States of Being

Charlene Winfred
Dec 27, 2016 · 2 min read
On the bus, SIngapore

Singapore, February 2015

I didn’t shoot a single still frame the whole of December. Largely due to making the XF 16–55mm F2.8 promo movie, but that was a more productive photographic dry period than usual.

I don’t invoke these dry periods deliberately; they happen when my brain has had enough of one kind of input — in this case, photographic — and they last for various lengths of time. Much has been written about the perpetual flood of images on the internet. For me, this is enriching because of the many lines of inquiry it offers, but taking a rest from thinking about images all the time is equally restorative to the general self, creative or otherwise. In these times, I read, I write, I consider (read: drool over) graphic and industrial design, I agitate over my experience of the world through its products, interfaces, social structures, individual relationships and environment.

All of this feeds back into my understanding of how/why images are made, consumed and shared, and how I do all these things in kind.

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” — Ansel Adams

When I am ready to shoot again though, my staple is always the streets, usually at night, and on foot, or from public transportation of some kind. I’ve spent most of my life regularly riding buses and trains, and learnt early that transit journeys are daily opportunities to reflect, or mull idly over the things at the back of my mind, while my body rests.

The image above was one of the last I made in Singapore, during one of the last bus rides home. The morphing of personas echoes another change of state in my life. Like the picture, the change was unexpected. But I’ll still have my daily transits on buses and trains, and find in their reflections, the artifacts of my unconscious mind.

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