January: Inspiration: Find your fantasy!
Never ever under estimate the influence that family & your childhood has in your images.
Whether it was good or bad has nothing to do with the fact that it will influence your work, so the great thing is that pain or pleasure can both equally be used in a way that defines your work. Use what you feel, whatever the emotion is, it can be the motor for better work. Every emotion is a plus in photography, art or other imagery. I see myself as unique and extremely lucky to have had two parents who would give their life for me should I need it. Even though they sure did not suit each other, they agreed on one thing, their children. Even as I write this I know the unbelievable luck I had in life, and have never taken this for granted.
Where does all this come from? Well, in December I had the privilege to honour a tradition my family had done for decades: a nice walk to the Devils Hole. One of the most beautiful places I have ever been (even if I have to admit that some childhood memories do influence my vision) the Devil’s Hole is a rock in the middle of the sea. Truly. Why is it called by this ominous name? It is a huge hollow rock with a small hole in the top, and every time the waves are big enough it traps air into the cave and blows it through the little hole. This creates quite an austere sound and shakes the foundation you’re standing on.
The walk is an extreme downhill, about 8km through the South African Fynbos, a plant type unique to Cape Town. That is why the beautiful Protea is our national flower. Anyway, so after walking steeply downhill you arrive to a spectacular beach with the sea at both sides. I do kid you not, SA is real pretty! Walk along this beach to it’s end and an almost-island beckons to your wild heart to explore! Across this wonderful island you have to travel and at the other side is the Devil’s Hole! But this is where the catch presents itself. The wonderful rocks that I, as a kid, thought could not be eroded, has been chafed by vicious mother nature and presents dangerously to the explorer. But to those who persist, you can get to the place where the sea speaks, rocks admit to the superiority of the ocean and humans become uncomfortable with their grandiose perceived notions. A place I try to visit every two years, just to make sure I remember my place in the bigger scheme of things.
Does it not sound like something out of Alice in Wonderland, or a pirate novel? It does bring forth the dreams you had as a kid, right?
Well, that is exactly the point. I know that everything I just told you is but simple facts of nature, with scientific explanations like erosion and time. Is it not more fun my way? Always remember the pirates of your childhood dreams or whatever it is that inspires you. See the world as your beautiful place. I have had these feelings of fantasy in the middle of the city or perhaps in my car if I drove somewhere, doesn’t matter. What does matter is the moment you lose the fantasy it disappear from your images as well. The point is to find your unique fantasy, your story. To see every day, every emotion as a delightful tale. This will shine through in your work.