Dreamless

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Sitting by the ocean, sky full of menace, water rustling and the night was never ending.

Recently I have revisited some forgotten images I made at different times. And whilst looking through these lonely small pieces of exposed film one of my favourite pieces about photography came into view in the form of a fellow Photographer writing about his experience on carrying his Camera for a year without any film in it. He still made photos, just not onto film.

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This stuck with me and I recount the story now and then, mostly getting puzzled looks and scratched heads. Many don’t get the why of it. I do.

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I stand somewhere, I look, I think, I carefully line up the compositions in my head. I pull out my camera, I expose film. Then nothing. I haven’t been scanning them in. They sit in their pages waiting for The Moment to arrive. But that is not even all true. It isn’t that they are waiting for the moment; it is that they are waiting for me. And this is largely because what I want out of the process I have already achieved: the rethinking how I look at the world, the rethinking how I look and go about photography. I don’t need some finished image to do this. I just need the camera and a place and peace of mind. I’ll gladly expose the film with the plan to get to it at some point but by the time silver halide crystals have reacted to light, my intentions have been met.

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So my drive to keep making photographs has remained strong, I just have not had much drive to create something finished. This is good and bad, I suppose. It definitely hearkens back to my philosophy that I do my photography for myself and the photos are a beneficial side product that comes of that way of life. But those completed images have a value that is only realised in finishing them and the sharing that generally comes afterward. I enjoy the sharing and inspiring and the teaching and the motivating. But my own motivations focus on other aspects of this process.

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I know what you abandon dies. What you leave leaves you too

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I know you can’t go back. If there’s nothing to go back to

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http://www.berndkugow.photos/

For All Time

AT2Two are sailing on the ocean, two are in a boat
One knows the stars
One plots the course, not apart, remain unite

Night is falling, morning appears
They find each other for all time

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Two are scaling mountains high
Two are climbing to the sky
One looks at the world
One seeks the light

The earth still lying flat on the hand
Two are close to clouds, sea, land
And hold each other for all time

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AT5Two already in the shade, two are sitting on a beach
One feels tired, one feels unwell
The long search for peace is within reach
Already all has been said
Already all has been dared
They held each other for all time

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Just don’t forget to soon

What once was, was my life too

What remains

What now remains

Are friends for all time

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http://www.berndkugow.photos/

Welsh Gold

Yesterday saw the last of our puppies depart for its new home. Rigby is going to live in Wales with our good friends Mark and Juliet.

RIGS1 They came bearing lovely gifts. I had absolutely no idea that there is such a thing as a Welsh Single Malt Whisky. And if it tastes half as good as it looks I am in for a treat.

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And like the other Aur Cymru used to make jewellery worn by kings and princes down the ages, Penderyn single malt is also rare and highly priced.

To those who love it, it’s a new kind of Welsh Gold.

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As for Aur Cymru, I have been sworn to secrecy about  the location of this River. One of the very few places the rare Welsh Gold can still be found.

“Iechyd da”!  To you all.

http://www.berndkugow.photos/

Silence Is Another Way

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To saying what I want to say.

I remember this image, because it was a triumph of sorts, albeit a small one. But then again, so many of the pictures I make are small triumphs. This photo came after a challenging time. Photography is perception. I photograph what I see, or how I see. So how I think, how I feel are all deciding factors. Go out in a bad mood, or get discouraged, sullen, glum, unfocused or frustrated and these things impede one’s ability to see clearly. I was under two clouds not long before I made this image. There were the literal clouds hanging overhead. Those I didn’t mind in the least. And then there were the other clouds we sometimes find ourselves under.

But this story has a happy ending, or at least a happier ending than it did beginning. Things were turned around, some choices were made, I zigged instead of zagged. Sometimes this isn’t easy to do, but it is important to do, especially as a photographer. I slowly made my way back to that place I like to visit as often as I can, that space where I operate with a sense of wonder and curiosity for the world, where there aren’t edges or boundaries and time flows and light flows and in this case, the ocean flows. I stood there having climbed down a steep ravine, the cool ocean breeze gusting around me, causing curious little dances around my feet and I watched and waited and exposed and breathed and looked and found myself again. At least a bit of myself for a little while. But that is how it goes.

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We need our places to play and to just be our ideal selves. I have found many places in the world that suit this purpose for me. I’m glad this image happened, then, for all the reasons partially explained and many others not.

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http://www.berndkugow.photos/

Less Is More

L1Home 

The more cameras and lenses I tried to use in the past, the less creative I was. Too much gear is too much complication, and stress. I fell into decision fatigue. I now make the best of what I have.

L6Holmfirth Easter 

The less we complain, the more gratitude we have. And the more patience we have. Don’t complain — just feel pity for the other person. The less we complain, the more happiness we will find in our lives.

L9Builth Wells 

The less you have, the more you have.

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Hobson Moor – Winter 

Why make photos or be a photographer? For me it is to experience the world in a more connected, conscious, and appreciative way.

We live in an insanely distracted society.

Now, is this a bad thing?

I think so.

If we’re distracted, we cannot savour living.

L7Robin Hoods Bay 

To me, love, joy, and life is all about sharing our day, sharing our philosophies of life, and empowering and uplifting one another. If we’re being distracted by random crap on Facebook, Phone or the Internet, we cannot be present with one another.

L8Hebden Bridge 

Now, I think photography is a good way to fight this distraction. Photography forces us to pay attention.

DSC_4928Palma 

Photography is an experience of looking at images, and feeling a sense of gratitude, awe, inspiration, or emotional change.

L2Home 

When I look at my photos, I feel a sense of gratitude for the past, and a sense of appreciativeness for the growth I’ve had in life thus so far.

L12Home 

Photography is an experience of interacting with the world differently.

L4Borth (Hinterland Location) 

It encourages me to wander, to explore, to look around, and talk to strangers. Photography encourages me to walk more, which is good for my physical and mental health.

L10Wales 

Photography is a creative and spiritual outlet. Instant paintings. Instant art. Making photos makes my spirit feel uplifted. Making photos helps me make social commentary and critique, which I hope changes the hearts and minds of others in a positive way.

img810Home by the Sea – Dungeness

Ultimately, I consider photography as a form of experiencing life in a much richer, vivid, and beautiful way.

L4Delamere Forest 

Photography is like salt, pepper, butter, and garlic for everyday living.

L3Susan

I love life, music,  photography, and you.

http://www.berndkugow.photos/

Precious Light

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It is a lovely thing to stand here and watch the play of light and shadow on a landscape like this.

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Light steals the show I suppose, it is most likely that what you noticed first or foremost are the subtle realities that these are images as much about the unseen clouds overhead as they are about light. Those slowly drifting clouds, and the patches of shadow they cast down upon the land. Were what made the play of light and shadow so exquisite.

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If I could paint, I would love to imagine more pictures like this, rich in subtler qualities.

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But alas, I cannot paint well,

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so I make photos instead.

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http://www.berndkugow.photos/

The Moments I Once Knew

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I was having one of my silent conversations recently about the concept of infinity. Any in-depth examination about that concept will at some point make your head feel like it is going to evaporate. The notion seems bigger than our brains can hold. There are some other ideas that have a similar effect. What happens to us after death, or imagining how old the universe is. The ocean is on that list for me, too. And on that note thinking a while on Fermi’s paradox and Drake’s equation. It is all heady stuff.

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Take for instance, that you can stand there and watch the waves roll across its surface and figure that the number of waves that will ever roll across the ocean is essentially an infinite number. The waves started at some point a long long time ago, when the most advanced life on this planet were simple-celled organisms swimming in a primordial soup and the waves will continue to roll quite possibly long after humanity has either ceased to exist or long left this planet; they will roll in until some point in the far future when the Sun finally expands and crisps this ball of rock, evaporating these massive bodies of water. Use those parameters then to try to imagine just how many waves there will have been. And if that consideration wasn’t big enough, take the clouds. We watch them play across our horizon, not even aware that our clouds are sometimes just the toes of giant systems that spin across vast surfaces of our oceans… spaces so vast that they are some of the few places where we can actually see the curvature of the Earth. How big does something have to be that you can see the curve of the planet within it? And those clouds, so immense they can cover whole cities – cities that dwarf us and themselves are dwarfed by these clouds, which in turn are often dwarfed in size by the oceans they drift over.

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And yes, I think about all this or some mix of it when I stand there looking at scenes like this. It is all so vast and immense, either in terms of distance, or time or depth that I am lost no matter which measure I use, but lost in a way that is strangely comforting and terrible all at once.

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Such is the ever changing view.

Where are the moments I once knew?

http://www.berndkugow.photos/

Love Anyway

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When you choose love you get the other things thrown in or find they’re not necessary to the situation.

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While I hope some will find and appreciate my images, it does remind me that ultimately I am making these photos for me and despite how skilled I may be with a camera or how eloquently I write, there will always be details in my images that I am the only audience for, meanings that are meant for me alone. This is OK, because while I do enjoy sharing my work and fostering inspiration or motivation by doing so, I make these pictures for myself first of all. I am my first and most important audience.

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I would go on, but the responsibilities of puppy play demand I wrap this up. But it is something worth remembering and considering in a social media-driven world where sometimes we unduly let our external audiences influence our decision making, to have the courage to make photos that at the least mean something significant to you.

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http://www.berndkugow.photos/