I have been playing around with audio software in preparation for a potential podcast. I've wanted to do a podcast for a while, so to try things out I've been making some playlists and uploading them to Mixcloud. Check out the first two below!
They are basically some of my favourite songs. Be sure to follow me on Mixcloud.com/shotison to keep updated when I upload more. Eventually, I intend to have special podcasts where I talk to musicians about their favourite songs, key influences, upcoming releases and other things. That will hopefully happen when Covid decides to just fuck off and I can more easily meet up with people to chat about stuff in a casual way. Exciting stuff, I'm sure you agree! But for now, I'll be making little playlists like the ones above and uploading those to test out some audio recording and editing type stuff. It's all pretty new to me, so fingers crossed I get the hang of it quickly!
Well, 2020 has been a bit shit, hasn't it? My hard drive hasn't had much data added to it that's for sure. September has been a bit busier for me though, with a couple of band shoots, a model shoot and a group shoot with multiple models and togs, but the biggest development for me this year has been moving all my photography stuff into a studio space! Woo!
There's a shot that shows a bit of the space with Alice is Sleeping. It's pretty cool having a dedicated photography/editing space, especially when you're otherwise stuck in a flat the rest of the time due to lockdown. Now the plan is to sort out booking in some models and getting some art-making going on!
Another development in lockdown is the launch of my Patreon! The idea being it will get a little bit of funding to hire models and get some creative projects moving. If you, beloved reader, fancy dropping a few coins a month and get access to a lot of past and future photo sets, click the image below!
Upon its creation, I intended this blog to be all fluffy, fun, "look at the cool things I'm doing" kind of stuff. Super positive and all that. Obviously, there's a bit of a thing going on that is putting plenty of spanners in all kinds of works, so I will instead make a post with a more serious tone, but it's still positive, so not much of a departure from the original goal.
I was inspired a few months ago by a video from a favourite YouTube creator of mine, Sean Tucker. He made a video detailing how protecting the highlights is important in photography and twinned that idea with how we should approach life. If you're familiar with photography, protecting the highlights is literally about controlling exposure so you don't have a blown-out highlight that you can't fix. But Sean goes on to a more philosophical interpretation in which he uses the term as a way of saying that we should take care of the good memories, the positives in life, the highlights. It's important to realise that there is good when things seem to be quite the opposite, and it's important to recognise and preserve those good moments.
There is a second part to this philosophy, which is to respect the shadows. Again, photo stuff, recovering shadows, creating/reducing contrast, etc. But it's, of course, referring to how dark times are something we shouldn't simply ignore, but should look at in another way that has a positive spin.
Dark times are something our brains are wired to focus on, we have evolved to learn from our mistakes and so our mind and memories will give those mistakes a higher ranking when trying to figure a way out of a bad situation, creating an endless cycle of negative thoughts that can be one overwhelming. It's impossible to block those memories out, and in my experience, you should not try to ignore those memories. Attempting to shut them out is not healthy, and to allow them to overtake us is also not a good thing. Personally, I find that to respect those memories, realising that I have gotten over bad times before, I learned from our mistakes is the best thing to focus on when things aren't going my way. Usually, for me it's financial issues that trigger a cycle of negative thoughts, as the related stress and self-pity from bad financial choices swim around my mind. So in light of current events, I would urge others to keep preserving the highlights, however small they may be, and if darkness creeps in, acknowledge it, realise why it's there, that you have gotten past before and will again, and go back to those highlights.
I do have some highlights in the distance that I'm focussing on right now, but that's for another day. For now, wash your hands, look out for each other and only take what you need.
Check out Sean Tucker's video here: