Archive: Kiso Fukushima・Kumbh Mela

Portrait of a man in the snow - Kiso Fukushima.

It feels like a good time to start from scratch. Again.

Looking at my photography archive I find myself underwhelmed. Too many cycling-related or bland photos of mountains, most of them lacking story.

Now would be a good time to re-evaluate what photography is about for me, and build a framework so that I can move forward — finally decide on a project or set parameters for when I photo would be worth taking. You see, I’m too impressionable — I see a book of photos and think that is the way forward, only to do a u-turn weeks later. Traces of incomplete projects and ideas scatter my photographic life. It’s depressing and feels wasteful. I doubt it’s unusual though.

I feel tempted to throw away all of my negatives and digital files and I know within me is the capability to actually do it. I wanted to do it a few days ago. Get rid of them all. Every last photo. Burn the past and start again.

But that would be folly and a betrayal of the last decade of my life. Life is learning, right? Perhaps burying them deep in the closet is better.

Here are two photos with a hint of what I wanted back in 2013 and have found myself gravitating towards again — A portrait of a man in winter, in Kiso Fukushima, Nagano Prefecture (above), and one of a man on the Ganges, Allahabad.

A man on a boat at the Kumbh Mela 2013. Allahabad, India.

I wanted to explore Japan and India to connect with people back then and I want to do it again now.

I explore, yes, but do I really connect? I don’t know. I remember chatting to the man in Kiso Fukushima for a few minutes as he went on his walk around town. It was a few days before the unfathomable spectacle of the Kumbh Mela on the banks of the Ganges. At the Kumbh Mela I talked to everybody.

Exploring, connecting, communicating.

I was proud of these photos at the time. It felt like I was moving forward. 

Have anything to say? Feel free to email me. And even better subscribe to Restless, my occasional monthly newsletter where I tell you more about what I’ve been exploring, thoughts on Japan, and what music I’ve been listening to.

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