Well, here I am sitting on my couch, two blankets wrapped me and suffering from terrible food poisoning. While I should be resting, I’m taking this as an opportunity to finally catch up on a few things I’ve been meaning to start.
I’ve tried posting blogs and intended on doing it regularly, but I’ve found many excuses to not continue. See, my relationship with Shenzhen isn’t the greatest, and I still have a love/hate relationship with it. I’ve been caught in the trap most foreigners call the “there’s nothing to do in Shenzhen” syndrome. I’ve let my photography slide because of this and, well, I got lazy. When I first arrived, I was very excited to explore around where I lived and brought my camera everywhere. Eventually, I ended up going to Hong Kong all the time as time passed because I met some great photographers there who shared my hobby. Sadly, I’ve given up on finding any artists in Shenzhen simply because a) most people I found were businessmen who paraded cameras and didn’t appreciate my philosophies on photography b) they only spoke Chinese. Long story short, I barely brought my camera out, complained about Shenzhen constantly to my husband, and became frustrated because I was getting (for lack of a better term) ‘suckier’ with my photo taking skills. I became less bold than I used to, and if I couldn’t take a photo of a stranger in two seconds I’d shy away and get angry that the opportunity got lost.
One day, I forced myself to go out and explore where I did my food shopping, people watching and ate my meals. I loved it. I was bold. I stood waiting for photos. I was stared at and didn’t care. Through my camera, I was able to stop and really look around. Sounds silly, but my feelings for this place changed. I saw a slower paced Shenzhen, and people I normally saw as annoying were nice. I developed and scanned my film and I really liked what I saw.
The next week, walking around Nanshan district with a friend, I saw a friendlier side of Shenzhen. As we speak, I’m trying to scan my film. I am confident that I’ve gotten some good images from this.
I am hoping that this new lease on my photography continues. If I’m not keen on exploring a place, I’m not keen on seeing it through my camera. For a long time I wasn’t because I didn’t think anything worth seeing.
To get to my point: I’m hoping to continue doing this. I’m going to post images of any place I explore and hopefully it will encourage me to keep doing this even if there is nobody around to talk about it with. For me, taking photographs is a reflection of my relationships with places and people. My camera gives me a kind of courage I cannot explain. I hope to keep this up.
My film is not done scanning, so until next time…