Here We Go Again

Iksan, South Korea. Tmax 400 at 1600.

This just about sums up 2020. It’s been a year to remember. Or forget, depending on your prerogative. For me, 2020 has been a bit of both for me. Certainly some negatives.

Not everything has been f$%ked, though.

Iksan, South Korea. Tmax 400 at 1600.

Photographically, 2019 was probably my worst year in, well, years. I took hardly any photos and barely enjoyed it when I did. One thing I can say about 2020 so far is I’m enjoying carrying a camera again.

Iksan, South Korea. Tmax 400 at 1600.
Iksan, South Korea. Tmax 400 at 1600.
Iksan, South Korea. Tmax 400 at 1600.

I think at some point in 2019 I started to feel pressure to take photos. Pressure to take “good” photos. I felt discouraged because I didn’t feel like I was doing much of that. I felt embarrassed to be “just” taking photos of my cats.

Iksan, South Korea. Tmax 400 at 1600.
Iksan, South Korea. Tmax 400 at 1600.

Sometime in 2020 I came to the realization that I don’t “need” to be good. I don’t need to be someone else’s idea of good. I don’t “need” to be taking a certain type of photo. All I really “need” to be doing is having fun again with the camera.

Step 1: Carrying a camera.

Iksan, South Korea. Tmax 400 at 1600.

I had a lot of issues with cameras in 2019. From Leicas being sent back to Germany to my beloved Rolleiflex spending much of the year waiting for a donor for its own repair. It’s not an excuse, it just is what it is. I think these things contributed to it being a downer of a year.

Iksan, South Korea. Tmax 400 at 1600.

2020 has felt different. I don’t care as much anymore about what I’m taking photos of. I don’t feel pressure to take “good” photos. I walk around in the morning with a camera and just enjoy the walk, taking a photo or two along the way. I listen to an audiobook and just wander. I’ve not done that for years.

Iksan, South Korea. Tmax 400 at 1600.

While I think 2017 Josh wouldn’t have been very happy with the output, 2020 Josh is just happy to have output. And that’s fine. Maybe it’s even good?

Iksan, South Korea. Tmax 400 at 1600.

In 2020 I released a zine. I already started working on a second for the year based on my time in Toronto. In 2020, I hired a manager to keep me honest. In 2020, I’ve made an actual effort to get my YouTube channel going. I even made a video last week: “Sorry, Ricoh.”

I even spent money, REAL money, on a camera 2017 Josh would have laughed at in order to actually try to be more of a creator.

Iksan, South Korea. Tmax 400 at 1600.
Iksan, South Korea. Tmax 400 at 1600.

I’ve got a lot to say. I didn’t make a YouTube channel to make money. It isn’t about that for me. I made it because:

I’ve got a lot to say.

So, what WILL I be saying? Some of the upcoming videos include a “review” of the Leica Digilux 2, a talk about photography as a relationship and photographing loved ones, “reviews” of the Pentax MX and Rolleiflex T, some bag reviews like using the Peak Design Travel Duffle on a photography trip, and even a bit of other technology like editing photos on a “headless” Macbook Pro for Adobe.

Honestly, for the first time in a long time, I’m excited by all of this. Excited to get a fresh start. It’s almost like that feeling of stepping out of the shower after a humid day.

Refresh.

Iksan, South Korea. Tmax 400 at 1600.

And just if you’re curious, these are photos from my most recent roll. Nothing special, but, that’s hardly the point I guess 😉

If you have any ideas for what you’d like me to cover on the YouTube channel feel free to let me know!

Until next time,

Night kiddos.

5 Comments

  1. I miss this. thanks for your words. and photos. and finding your mojo. look forward to the 2020 ride, should be fun

  2. Love your photography, Josh. But I love your writing and thinking almost even more. The video you posted on Daido Moriyama and phones was one of the most insightful and helpful things I think I’ve ever heard about how to think about what we do. You’re a firehose of inspiration, man, :- ) Best, Robbie J

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