My last post here in Measuring Light was 6 months ago. During this time, I’ve had readers texting me in private, asking me what’s going on.
Why no more posts.
This reader even asked if by any chance Covid got the best of me. And then there was this gentleman telling me he missed my posts, and not only my photo related articles. He missed reading my opinion on things, to use his own words.
Notwithstanding these messages, I still couldn’t find any motivation to write. I felt totally disconnected from photography and the other things I randomly wrote about.
Photography is still a passion for me. It has always been, ever since I took my first pictures with my father’s Olympus Trip 35. It still is, with all the ups and downs. And it will always be a passion.
It’s just that time is not a stretchable matter. Time is not a rubber band.
And for the past 10 months time had not allowed me any time to dedicate myself to photography. Because – and I wrote about this here and here – I’m now obsessed with road cycling, which quickly took over all my free time.
For the past 10 months I’ve been cycling every morning, 6 days a week. In average, I’m covering 250 km a week. I’ve covered over 10 000 km ever since I started this. In the weekends my rides may last as long as 4 hours, amassing 100 km in a single session alone. Once I went crazy and decided to cover 200 km in a 7 hour ride just because… why not.
I’ve lost over 10 kg since I started this journey with cycling. I’ve had to downsize all my clothes and get new business suits.
I was invited to join a local cycling team, participated in a competitive race where I was knocked by a fellow rider that crashed me down while fighting for the top positions. In the meantime, I’ve already spent the equivalent of three Leica digital bodies in cycling gear alone.
So yes, I’m serious about my cycling and, with this, photography had to give way.
But then something happened
A friend of mine who is a photo enthusiast called me one day, spoke to me about this group of local photographers – some professionals, but mostly enthusiasts like myself – setting up a project for a photo magazine. I was invited to join and, to be honest, my initial reception was lukewarm at best.
Because, you know, cycling.
But then with a couple of meetings, e-mails and WhatsApp conversations, the project gained momentum and evolved to the point of becoming a photography association kick-starting things with a blast collective exhibition from the founding members in a local gallery.
The idea of having a photo printed, framed and hanged on a gallery motivated me. Yet what really brought me back to photography was the process of selecting a keeper for the exhibition.
Going through all my photos taken over the decades, going down my memory lane, revisiting my past.
It made me think heck, I have all these photos here and not sharing them. I have all these precious cameras here and not using them.
I went through so much over the past two decades, my live changed so much from being a university student in Europe to moving back to Macau, heading a family with two kids, going from a newbie in my trade to what I do now in a senior position of a well known company to earn a living.
This is photography to me, encapsulating my state of mind on a given period of time, a specific moment of my life. Irrespective of aesthetics, the end result, good photo or bad photo, keeper or not. It doesn’t matter as long as revisiting your photo makes you experience the past, relive the moment and recollect details like who was with you, how was the weather, what clothes you were wearing and what music you were listening to at that exact moment.
I started sharing my photos on Instagram. Some taken recently with digital, some taken with film decades ago. It slowly brought back my passion and made me open the dry boxes and bring out my beloved cameras that were left untouched for the past 6 months.
Batteries were all drained out. I had to recharge them, reset the date, time and all those details that returned to default factory settings due to the long idling time. My minimum display items, my preferred AF modes, the mapping of the different buttons and so on. Details that transform the camera into a personal tool, an extension of your body and your eyes.
So the photo association was formally created and its constitution published in the local Government gazette. It’s called Halftone.
With the combined effort of the founding members, a website was created: http://www.halftone.photo
You are welcome to have a look and navigate around, although it’s still early days and contents are still being created. At present you will find short biographies of Halftone’s founding members and their respective portfolios with a dozen interesting photos.
In the meantime, we spent our weekend at the art gallery preparing things for the exhibition. Everything is ready now and inauguration is on May 27th. Promotional material was created and, dare I say it, quality is excellent.
Local media was informed and articles came out in newspapers accordingly, which was nice. This is really happening and we have to document it, celebrate it. A photo of mine was published in the paper, which is an interesting milestone in my portfolio as a human being trying to make useful things for society.
A couple of our founding members were invited for a radio talk show and made a brief presentation of Halftone as an inclusive photo association.
So what’s next? Well, plenty of work for Halftone as the exhibition is just an appetizer, an inauguration event of sorts. The real work lies ahead. More events, workshops, contents for the website. I’m rolling up my sleeves. Game on.
All good, all set. Time to celebrate photography again.