The other day, someone was telling me how Dubai is virtually a photographer’s nightmare – how can one aspire to take beautiful, genuine images from the heart in/of Dubai, when the country is, literally, built on structural foundations that lack a measurable depth of history.
This was something to think about.
There are elements of truth in this, of course. It’s a new country, its’ growth can be compared to the growth of the internet generation – in 2002, the internet had just started flourishing, now we are surrounded by social media/nightmare. Dubai’s growth since 2001/2002 has been on such a similar exponential curve.
While this is no history lesson, people who are living during historical times really are the last person to give an in-depth account of such because they lack the outlook from a third person perspective.
I do wish, sometimes, that I was in more pleasant settings where I would be surrounded by a field of sunflowers (or lava-filled volcanoes) and surrounded by numerous options to make photographs. Instead, I am surrounded by tall skyscrapers that have been captured to death in postcards, and beautiful sand dunes where I’m more prone to melting than taking images.
It’s no so bad though.
In my opinion, your inner self is just as much responsible for what you put out in your images, not just your ambient surroundings. Isn’t it a photographer’s job to make one’s vision a reality? The reality may not be pretty, but who said it had to be all pretty? Isn’t art subjective anyways?
I’ve experienced insurmountable depth of breadth of love and hope and sadness and thrill and faith, irrelevant of my surroundings. In fact, in my opinion, if you haven’t felt the sting of love and sadness and loss and ecstasy as a person in such surroundings, I dare say cotton-candy sweetness that you’d otherwise put out can get boring pretty fast. I like that I’ve gone through moments of happiness and shittiness, it makes me appreciate the little things in life, and makes me appreciate and want to put out things that I yearn to feel.
At the end of the day, it’s not the place – it’s the people.
There are moments when I just want to leave. Get lost in a jungle and live off the land with animals. I’m pretty sure I will have better luck communicating with them than people.
And then there are moments, however fleeting, when your heart is filled with so much hope and faith and love and all things mushy that you cannot fathom anything more beautiful, and you just want to take it all in and enjoy that bittersweet moment for as long as it lasts.
I love it all – The stings that make me appreciate the happiness, and the triumphant fits of glory that make one absolutely delirious on life.
Nothing is ever lost, that cannot be found again.