I was very kindly loaned the new Fujinon XF 35mm f2 by Fujifilm Singapore some weeks ago. I’ve been testing it out over the last few weeks, expecting it to be a slower version of the beloved 35mm f1.4, but it’s turning out to be quite a different beast, both performance-, optics- and general use-wise. A review is forthcoming, but first, a picture. This one was taken on the afternoon I picked the lens up, waiting for the bus home.
Picture: Denmark to Germany – ferry from Rødby to Puttgarden. When I first left for this voluntary nomad life at the beginning of 2013, I was scared. Throw-up-on-my-pants-at-boarding-gate scared. I was secretly hoping that a whole other me would emerge after some time intrepidly living in strange places. You know the one – the smart, courageous, bull-horn-grabbing adventurer. Pffft. Right after I started this journey, I fell sick. I was sick for 3 months out the first 12. My body, subject to the effects of the preceding 10 tense years, immediately realized that it could relax and fall to pieces without repercussion. My memory decided to do the same. Waking up and not knowing what the date was, was normal, but not recognizing my own name when it was called, wasn’t. When my father died at the …
I didn’t shoot a single still frame the whole of December. Largely due to making the XF 16-55mm F2.8 promo movie, but that was a more productive photographic dry period than usual. I don’t invoke these dry periods deliberately; they happen when my brain has had enough of one kind of input – in this case, photographic – and they last for various lengths of time. Much has been written about the perpetual flood of images on the internet. For me, this is enriching because of the many lines of inquiry it offers, but taking a rest from thinking about images all the time is equally restorative to the general self, creative or otherwise. In these times, I read, I write, I consider (read: drool over) graphic and industrial design, I agitate over my experience of the world through its products, …
On 17 January 2015, I celebrated my second anniversary on the road. Two years have gone by so quickly, this realisation hit and ran. I have absolutely nothing profound to say about the last two years. It’s been a whirlwind, one that’s often left me staggering from the highs and lows. It’s always intense. Life is unpredictable. I’m still catching my breath, and my memories. A timeline of notable milestones, by location, because my memories are heavily flavoured by place. 2013 Departing Australia Leaving my old life. Puke-scary. Mexico La Paz, sun, sea, and a first encounter with Mexico. Mexico City: a complete shock to the system, and stepping into a darkroom for the first time. The USA Making my first movie – Beyond. It proved somewhat popular. Learning to shoot landscapes in Texas with Jerod Foster at …
The other day I discovered that Singapore is the 3rd wealthiest nation in the world.
A week before I returned to Singapore from Australia, Mum had to put the pug down.
30 April 2014, Singapore: I’ve been in Singapore for six months. This is the longest time I’ve been here since I left fifteen years ago.
March 2014, Copenhagen: I’ll always think of Copenhagen as the place where things came together. The crossing of impossible borders by actually getting to Europe (I still cannot believe I got there, and am going back again), artists to collaborate with, a different atmosphere, and overall, a different (better) kind of self to be.
Walking is in my blood. My father was never one for it, but my mother is a walker. It wasn’t unusual for her to walk for hours for the hell of it, with unfailing regularity. Now in her mid 60s, with troublesome knee joints, she still possesses enough enthusiasm to out-walk many people half her age.
2013 has been the best year of my life so far. I say this not only for the great parts of the journey, but the shitty bits too. I say this because through it all, it felt like I’d actually lived for the first time in my life, rather than just existing for no discernible reason.