Conceptual photography

We don’t necessarily make life very easy for ourselves, with the D4 Photocollective. We like to challenge ourselves to improve our skills. Next to our urban safari’s (which today will actually be a nature safari) we have monthly homework assignments in which we set a theme and have to come back after a month with a maximum of five photos on that theme.

This months theme is Fear. Could be anything of course, from fear of spiders to fear of hight, from fear of water to fear of dogs. Of course I want to make it more difficult than it already is and want to do something with my fear of dying. Or, well, no, it’s not per se a fear of dying but more a fear of not living. Like not making the best of it, not getting everything out of life that’s in there. (Although I did dream I died last night, as I was sitting in the front row of a plane which landed on a highway and crashed right into a truck. It was a weird feeling, to see that truck coming towards me and knowing there was absolutely nothing I could do about it, it would just be over in a matter of seconds and that would be the end of it. It was very calming actually.)

A former colleague of mine died last week, he had a braintumor. If you look up ‘life’ in the dictionary, his name would be there as an explanation. Everytime we bumped into eachother he’d say ‘we have to go DJ together, that would be so much fun!’ and then I’d say ‘yeah, let’s go do that!’. It never came to it. He died last Wednesday, only 34 years old. I’m so grateful I have known him, he’s a beautiful example. Take care, Ron. (And thanks Marcel for writing a beautiful post on him.)

So yeah, life is cruel and I want to make the most of it. I have to make the most of it. Like I said earlier, we owe it to those who don’t get the chance to make the most of it, live it completely. It can be over before you know it, before you want it. And so I want to do something with those thoughts for this month’s theme but it’s hard. How do you photograph making the most of it without taking the obvious photos like people bungeejumping (which is so not what I mean with making the most of it) or showing a graveyard? Part of my fear of not living life to the fullest is being forgotten, blending in with the masses and becoming one of them. Not standing out is part of my fear. So I could do something with shooting masses, people doing mindless boring shopping on busy Saturdays. But I’m not sure that’s really what I need to show my fears.

Conceptual photography is difficult and so far I haven’t found proper examples either, people who do conceptual photography and are able to really tell a story without it being too obvious, but also without it being too farfetched. It’s alright if the viewer doesn’t get it immediately but I hate it when you get the feeling they just made up a story afterwards. It’s what happened in artschool all the time and it really annoyed me. So my brain is still doing lots of heavy thinking to come up with images that -not too obviously- talk about my fears. I’ll  let you know when I’ve come up with something. In the meantime: don’t forget to live.

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