Olympus OMD EM1 MK ii – Personal Photo Projects – Making Photo’s That I know I Wont Keep

This is a photo of an Olympus OMD EM1 MK ii
This is a photo of an Olympus OMD EM1 MK ii
(Click on photo for a full size image) My latest purchase.

Having recently received a small amount of compensation I have bought an Olympus OMD EM 1 mk ii. YouTube is a wonderful place to watch tutorials so that I can get to know the camera and how to set it up. Having to camera’s means that I can choose and attach the lens at home for each camera, and hopefully not have to make any changes whilst out. This will reduce the likelihood of getting dust on the sensor. It also means that I have quick options whilst on a shoot. This will be useful at Farnborough airshow, where I want a wide-angle lens for the static aircraft and telephoto for those in the air.

Having a break from my studies until after Farnborough has been wonderful. It has meant that I have caught up with so much of my personal photography projects. I have been able to complete much of my eating disorders photography, although I have no idea how I am going to shoot for PICA or orthorexia, these are also eating disorders, but I trust my creative process.

Naturally I have been walking around with my camera strapped around my neck. It would be wrong not to right? I have been walking around the same places that I have taken many photo’s previously, as I haven’t had the opportunity to travel this past week. I was fully aware that the majority of photo’s that I was taken would be deleted, so why do it?

Photography is about observation, learning to see and gaining understanding of light conditions, and for me it’s mindfulness. If my camera is in my hand I walk slowly, I look around for opportunities to explore composition, to find something new, to spot a bug or a butterfly and to exploit light and tone. This is all good practice and makes me more intuitive as a photographer. Mostly though I love photography.

Featured On Happiness Between Tails By da-Al

Good morning.

da-Al asked if I would submit a guest blog, which she has just published this morning. It can be seen here. In the post I discuss how I use photography to help/improve my mental health, especially when it comes to macro and bird photography. da-Al writes her own posts, but most of her site is populated by guest posts. Thank you for the opportunity da-Al.

Blogger Appreciation Award – Mental Well-Being With A Mental Illness

Blogger Appreciation Award

I have just received the blogger appreciation award from  Nash Christmas (link).

Nash is an author who believes in self expression, and he writes about all things human but especially relationships. He is a Serbian national who writes his blog in English.

guidelines for the Blogger Appreciation Award

1.Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their site.
2.Write a paragraph of something positive about yourself.
3.Nominate and notify as many bloggers as you wish.
4.Use the Blogger Appreciation Award image.

Something Positive About Me.

What is mental health?

Often when people think about mental health they think of mental illness rather than being mentally healthy. My slant for today is that it is possible to have a mental illness and still be in good shape mentally.

I am diagnosed with several mental illnesses, and life has certainly had its ups, downs and hospital admissions. However, I do my best to live a lifestyle that is positive for my mental well-being.

Mediation and trying to live mindfully are the mainstay of my health. I meditate for an hour each day. Living mindfully takes a while to get used to. Mindfullness – paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment, non-judgementally. This way of life is teaching me to just let circumstances be. Allow my feelings and thoughts to be there, without trying to chase them away with distractions, behaviours or addictions. Whats the worst that can happen if I’m feeling paranoid, having a panic attack, feeling depressed? The only way it can affect me is that I don’t like how I feel, or what I am thinking, and that I feel disturbed.

There are times that I sit watching a movie with my hand resting on my heart, this releases oxytocin, which has two effects, it’s a happy hormone, and it lowers the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenalin. I write five things down in my gratitude diary, things that have happened or that I have achieved during the day. It may be as simple as having hoovered my flat, spoken to a friend, or completed a bit if study. Making sure that I have breaks, and rest are important to me, as is being involved in my community. My community is my friends, my fellow students, and fellow bloggers. Giving back is also a vital component of my life. Giving back doesn’t have to be a big demonstration, holding a door open for someone, speaking to a homeless person, commenting upon someones blog, these create a sense of value and belonging.

Having a mental illness and being mentally well is not an either/or situation.

The bloggers who I am nominating are.

Jade from Crescent Raven

M A R I A

misschauhan from Shoot Me With A Camera

Cinnamon Buns and Roses

Old Boy from Movies From the Silent Era

 

Integrating Learning from Workflow Coursework into Assignment One -Feedback From Lyndsey Jameson – Time is a Necessity for Creativity

I would love to say that yesterday’s photography for assignment one -Square Mile – was enjoyable, but it wasn’t. ¬†Neither my physical or mental health are good at the moment, so it was hard work. It was made easier by a friend coming with me and being nearby.

I have been able to integrate technical skills, light and shadow, movement and story telling into my photography and I’m pleased with that.

I will review my photography during the week. My ideas for the assignment have changed over the past week and especially over the past couple of days. I really enjoy this process of allowing the spark of an initial idea to form over time. My process once I have an idea is to think intensely about it, then deliberately focus on something different. Do some research then take my focus to something else. I also meditate and when other ideas come to me I focus back on my breath and let the thoughts go. Having this gap allows the subconscious to process the ideas and all of a sudden when I’m watching TV or reading an idea will come to me about of the blue. Then I really focus on exploring that, and after a while I put my focus elsewhere.

I have gone from three ideas, down to one and with further thought I now have, what I believe is a strong plan for the series and how I want to present it.

My assignment will be a brief history of York presented as a photo book. I have valued the photo books that I have more than digital presentation. One one page I will have the photo and on the page next to it I will have the written history associated with that image. The first photo will link to the first century and then consecutively up to 2015.

I received feedback from Lyndsey Jameson in relation to my review of two of her paintings, which I will respond to once I’ve processed it fully. There are two things that will help me to develop my photography and my studies that particularly stand out. I like my initial process of critique, picking two images and then writing my initial thoughts. However I missed an overarching theme of Lyndsey’s art because I hadn’t looked through other paintings of hers. I missed some important symbology (being to focused on interpreting detail didn’t help either because I then introduced my symbology). My tutor Jayne Taylor has also discussed the necessity to look for symbolism in photography, as i had missed a critical metaphor when reviewing Walker-Evans. Lyndsey also talked through her process of moving from an idea to execution. The thing I gained most from this was the importance of discussing and developing ideas with friends and colleagues. When I see the results of OCA students such as Sarah Jane Field, it’s apparent how they involve others in the development and production of their work (and their assessment marks reflect this). I need to make more use of the OCA Student website for this.

References

http://www.lyndseyjameson.com/

https://uvcsjf.wordpress.com/

Paranoia Says…Mindfulness Replies…

Paranoia – The thought that my neighbours go to bed at the same time as me because they are spying upon me.

Paranoia – That feeling I get that the people who live on the other side of the road are spying on me as I make coffee and toast.

Paranoia – The cautiousness I have about talking on the phone because my phone is bugged.

Paranoia – That man talking on the phone, the one with the glasses. He’s watching me, following me and talking about me.

Paranoia – That car that just pulled up with the two men inside, that was on my street, in front of my home when I left this morning. Why are they following me?

Mindfulness – Naming. I am aware I am experiencing paranoid thinking.

Mindfulness – Acting opposite. I have decided not to follow the man who has been following me.

Mindfulness – Sharing. I have told a friend about my paranoid thinking because I know it will help me to gain a better perspective.

Mindfulness – Writing. I’ve written my experiences of paranoid thinking in my journal. Getting things down in black and white helps me to stop mentally creating the story of paranoia.

Paranoia – Shame. I don’t like to experience the feeling of shame, so I subconsciously create the story called “My Paranoia”.

Mindfulness – Meditation. I sit with my feelings of shame and say “Welcome shame, come and sit with me. Be as much or as big as you are”.

Mindfulness – Acceptance. When I accept my feelings, no matter how painful they are, I am far safer than when I create a story out of them.

Counselling – Camera – Photography as Mindfulness – To Give Up on Photography Would Be to Give Up on Life

I didn’t go outside before I got my camera. My anxiety was so high that I couldn’t. I didn’t talk with people. I stayed home – afraid.

I got a camera as a reason to go out. 10 minutes lead to half an hour, which lead to an hour, and now I can shoot an event, approach a homeless person, talk with them an ask to take their photo. I can even approach a shopping centre manager and ask to photo in their premises – on a good day.

Most days I struggle to get out for an hour as my anxiety is so high, and even on a day when I can mindfully observe anxiety I struggle. Often anxiety turns into paranoia and then I know I’m being followed.

Today was my day for counselling, and I struggle for two or three days afterwards. So I take my camera. I took a few photos for a series I’m making on mental illness and mental health – There is a difference. It was also an opportunity to begin to create a series for exercise 1.9 Soft Light Landscape.

Photography gets me so focused on the moment, the presence of being a creator and director, that I lose the image of a paranoid and anxious person. What is self if everything is transitory and impermanent?

I won’t go out tomorrow. I don’t go out the day after counselling, I stay at home as I don’t feel safe with intense feelings.

Tomorrow is my Lightroom day, and I will be developing some macro photography. Developing my photography is also an exercise in mindfulness. It takes me over and requires my full attention, it becomes a safety release valve. To give up on photography would be an act of self harm. It would be to give up on living, to give up on me.