We are following the blog of photographer Martin Middlebrook, currently based in Kabul. Martin has upped sticks from his regular life, including friends and family in the UK, to experience, document and raise awareness of life in Afghanistan. I can’t even imagine visiting this country much less photographing there, but reading Martin’s blog I am entranced and captivated and already have experienced a sense of the country and the people, and importantly, Martin’s journey, through his writing and photography.
As a developing photographer, my key priority at the moment is taking better pictures. However, to get there, technically, emotionally and physically, these needs all tussle with each other on a daily basis. My journey doesn’t involve guns and overhead Black Hawk helicopters, but it does get impacted by the weather, bureaucracy and money. It is fundamentally underpinned by that one source of driving inspiration and that end goal that keeps us all moving forward, whatever it may be for us.
The journeys of other photographers fascinate me. I attended three short lectures the other day at a camera event in London and while all in a similar photographic genre, the paths taken and the inspirations for each photographer couldn’t have been more different. I overheard some people discussing one of the lectures in the café afterwards…’But he didn’t tell us how he took the shot, what aperture and shutter speed he used’. I felt like looking up and saying ‘Lady you have missed the point…’ but I didn’t…
Each of these photographers was sharing a part of their lives, and their past experiences. Their journey had something for everyone to learn from that wasn’t necessarily what you thought it would be.
I have my own story of course. Aussie born and bred, threw it all in for an initial 18 months working holiday in the UK much later in life and rediscovered a love of travel and particularly photography. 3 ½ years later, currently hooked, moving to the locations of choice to learn and practice photography and living on the edge financially to try and develop a decent portfolio of work. But to me, my journey isn’t nearly as interesting as those of others that I have met and will meet along the way.
Social media, and blogs particularly are effective tools to find out about journeys of others and either become a part of them through the internet, or just actively read, learn and be inspired by them. It is true, there is always someone that we can learn from, someone who has a similar or even polar opposite set of experiences to help us be informed, inspired and motivated. Just today, I have discovered two more journeys that I will be following. Two more twitter accounts and a Facebook page!
So, as I sit here watching the rain pour down, and waiting for the Met office to decide whether it will be possible to take out the cameral today, I can’t help but think…what will be the next part of my journey.
What will be the next part of your journey and who will you meet and be inspired by along the way?