Photographs have always fascinated me. I could stare at them for hours whether it’s in a newspaper, an art gallery, in a book shop or online. They remind me of visits to the library with my Dad. Deep-routed, hazy memories of being around seven years old, sitting in a corner, with a dozen books around me. I was awestruck, not only by their words but also the coloured pictures, while Dad lingered, waiting patiently for me to finish.
The snapshot in my head is already writing a story
At weekends, I like to go somewhere interesting either in the countryside, near some water or somewhere else unusual. Our expeditions are always interrupted by me stopping and taking numerous photographs. To help you understand, for me, taking or looking a photograph has never been that singular simple act. I have always seen more than what is right in front of me. The snapshot in my head is already writing a story, playing for me like a film on a cinema screen. I know where it takes place; the characters; names, description, quirks and the part of the story I want to progress. Then the first line pops into my head and I’m there; living in the world of my imagination. I am free. Standing there, stock still, enchanted by what’s before me and its accompanying soundtrack, I do what comes naturally. I capture the image.
This photograph was taken on a murky Sunday morning at a country park near our home. I wasn’t even thinking about my fantasy series at the time. Instead, I was wondering why I had left my gloves at home that morning. Then I turned a corner at the loch, and wham, in that moment, I had the start of my next chapter. I didn’t see the mist falling over the trees or the reflective, clear glass water. Instead, I saw the breaking dawn on the day of battle. I saw the fear in my characters eyes and I felt the adrenalin pumping through their veins. I was so close I could smell the sweat off their bodies and finally, I could see who survived and who didn’t.
That’s what creative people do, whether it’s going for walk, staring into space or enjoying that shot of caffeine. The creation is always there in the background, forming, settling and anticipating its inception. It’s alive within you. You just have to set it free. So if I could leave you today, with one parting wish, I would like it to be this. Don’t be afraid to let your imagination go wild. Drink in what excites your senses and let it inflame your soul. For that image may turn out to be the spark that lights your passion, giving you the story that will change you forever.
It’s the kink in my machinery and I love it.