Huge thanks for that really nice letter. Yeah, basically I am totally and completely, in every way, enveloped, addicted, and generally speaking, quite simply mad about photography. Everything is a photo…It seems like it should hurt…but it doesn’t…It feels like it should be burning my eyes from the way I look at it, but it hasn’t yet. If feels like after 70,000 or 80,000 some odd photos, I should be getting sick of it but rather quite the opposite is true.
I have an impossibly long way to go but I think I am just starting to get it, and when I say ‘it’, really what I mean is the process of losing yourself and surrendering to everything, yet simultaneously owning it all. Fucking it and being fucked by it. Raping it and being raped by it, Loving it, and being loved by it. Losing it and being lost by it. Finding it, and being found by it.
I said last year, about this same time, that this is all I wanted to be doing but a year later, I find myself sitting at a desk, looking out a 35th floor window, onto the infiniteness of Tokyo, wishing I was out there shooting it, avoiding work by talking about it, tired from staying up till 4:30 last night really diligently and pensively and mindlessly working on it (because my current situation affords me two choices, 1. sleep or 2. photography. I can live without sleep…)
I have a show this weekend. I just finished two shows last week. I sold 2 pieces. I also gave some away. I am happy to be making stuff. I really like making stuff, but to have this hollow illusionary carrot hanging out in front of me is torturous. If there were a way to really live it, I would, but I am no closer to believing that is possible. I desperately need a new way to deal with this.
Yes, I got lucky with cameras. Somebody gave me basically one of the nicest cameras money can buy. Just gave it to me. I would love to tell you about it, not so much the camera itself but the process of shooting with it. The other one you are talking about is a Mamiya RB76. Its a beast of a camera, more like a hammer throw, and will make you feel like a MAN to handle it. But it takes the most gracefully looking photos you’d mistake it for a woman. I recently started taking polaroids with it, which makes me think of you. I made a camera a few months back, but it has yet to produce a single decent image. It may require some more coaxing…I have several others, I guess I am amassing small collection. I have one lens for each, nothing repeats. Some days/situations/people/moods/light require differ equipment, so I just go with the flow.
I was just thinking about you this morning. A pair of legs triggered a machine-gunning of memories of you through my head, which ultimately left me feeling satisfied. It inadvertently made me appreciate everything I have now. Shortly there after I passed through a corridor to the bright outdoors which lead to me instinctually reach down and change the shutter speed to from 125 to 250, the aperture from 2.8 to 5.6…and a 1/2.
Hope all is well…