Been in a bit of a rut lately. Lots of reasons – stress, working a lot, travel exhaustion, etc. I actually wrote an entirely different blog post about hopelessness yesterday, but it was kind of a downer, so I decided not to publish it.
One thing that I’ve been trying to do is consistently get out and take photos. You can see this reflected in my pedometer. Basically the only exercise I get is walking around taking photos (my commute to work is pretty minimal).
Exercise is a pretty great antidepressant, and it seems to be working for me.
Even in Italy last weekend, exhausted from a day of people, Ashley and I left the party early (about 10pm) and went back to the Airbnb to relax. On our way home, we saw some really cool photo opportunities, so after regaining our breath, we headed out again with a tripod and some cameras. Super-cool.
I also brought a polaroid with me to the conference and got some cool shots with friends, both new and old. I think holding photographs is a feeling that’s been lost due to the advent of digital photography. Regardless of how you feel about the film-to-digital “progression” in society, you have to admit that holding a physical photograph is a far more magical experience than seeing it on a smartphone screen.
So yeah. Photography is relaxing. After yesterday’s panic attack, I walked around and took so photos and I felt a lot better. Expressing one’s self is always cathartic. The exercise it gives me makes me feel better, too.
I’ve been stocking up on film. Ordered some Bikkuri Cases of film to mix things up. I’m not concerned about the “discipline” of shooting only one film or with one lens – the way I do photography now – by exploring the medium with different techniques, films, and equipment – makes me happy.
I’m hoping to shoot through all that before moving to New York in February. I’ll process a lot of the monochromatic film myself, but the lab does a better job of scanning than I do.
I’m really happy that I’ve found something to help me. It’s a form of self-expression, a form of exercise, and for me, a form of therapy. If you’re struggling with depression, I can’t say that photography will help you. But I hope you find something that does.