During the whole of 2012 I travelled. I spent the year exploring new places, discovering Lomography on the way. But, coming home was the hardest thing. Could analogue save the day?
For the whole of 2012, I travelled. After living in Glasgow for 6 years I decided the time was right to explore new places, different cities, new people, and to rid myself of my old life (bad job, no apartment).
I left with no real plan; I knew where I was going first, but after that, it was a utopian line on a map. This was the best decision I have ever made, and the whole of 2012 was a fantastic mixture of random encounters and happy adventures: Winter in Scandinavia, spring in the Baltic, summer in Poland, Autumn in the middle of nowhere in China. But, after a few more adventures in Europe, Christmas arrived and I was back in my hometown in Kent. Christmas WAS lovely, but nothing compared to floating about the world on a whim.
I found myself sitting around, watching television, applying for crappy jobs. I was living a life I did not want to be living. So, despite the weather, I dragged myself out of the house and into the towns and cities I grew up in and knew, far too well. But this time, carrying my trusty analogue collection. My nearest and dearest Smena 8M, Agnes the trusty Agfa Silette LK, Recesky the plastic fantastic, and a new addition,the PetriFlex V3 (though he has only made it out once, he let me down).
I was determined to see my old haunts, the places I had spent 19 years of my life growing up in, through new/old analogue viewfinders, to solve my travel blues by looking at my old world from new perspectives. Initially, feeling down and depressed about being back, it was really hard to see my world through anything other than dull, boring eyes. But slowly and surely, the world became a little more interesting.
I used my old ‘Warsaw technique’ of diving up little alleyways, and down dark, scary looking lanes to find new worlds. The river from a different bank, getting as close to the derelict submarine as I could, finding the highest hills, finding the little details. The things I’d missed for 19 years of life. Needless to say, coming home was difficult, but analogue photography brought me a new world, a new eye, new geography, new ways home, new dead-ends, new angles, new exposures. Analogue? Never old, always new!
However, there is a twist to this story. Did analogue convince me to stay? No.
I went back to Glasgow with the thought of staying there again. I intended to give it time, to see how it felt. But just one week later I was on a plane to Lisbon. Lomography had helped me survive my time, but it hadn’t convinced me that staying was the right choice. So, why Lisbon? I missed the sunshine — yep, it was a BIG part of my decision — and I realized that I needed something new. Going back doesn’t always work out. Go new, go analogue, go towards the unknown, or go home!