JULY 7, 2021
Sorry, snacks are gone already
Everybody seems to be striving to feel alive. But what does 'alive' feel like? I think it generally gets associated with the feeling of doing something special, an adventure, a high, an adrenaline kick. Going downhill on a longboard, summitting a snowy mountain, dipping into cold lakes, telling someone you love them for the first time, climbing an epic wall. However, I feel like this doesn't do the word 'alive' justice. Reversing that logic would mean the insurmountably greatest part of our lives is spent dead, or undead, however zombie-like you're feeling today.
I feel like a better definition of the word 'alive' would be a certain clarity of mind for the moment you are in, the place, the people. My observation has been that this clarity is what unites adrenaline-laden and rather quiet moments of happiness, and I don't feel that the lack of adrenaline disqualifies those mellow experiences from feeling alive. I call it clarity, you can call it awareness, zen, even unagi - if you're a lunatic and happen to like Ross from Friends. In the end, it is a feeling of calm, focus and determination.
The summer house in question
Now, why do I unload this philosophical rant with absolutely no base or expertise on you here, a photography blog? Well, for me, photography is one of those things that allow me to reach that state of clarity. When I look through a viewfinder and I know, I just know somewhere here is a good image, everything in me opens and clears up. I'm sort of gliding, aware of my surroundings, yet focused on my motive. It's a wonderful feeling. The images here are an example of just such an occasion.
This was the last night of our Switzerland trip. Niko's friend Lea had invited us to her family's summer house near Zurich for barbecue, swimming, and board games. In the evening, the light went from already good to absolutely fantastic. Lea had her 35mm out and nudged me a little to shoot some film as well. I'm so glad she did - this roll is the most memorable, if not the best I've shot. I spent golden hour thinking in compositions and light, and there it was - clarity. In the calmest of moments, being in a safe place with good people and good food, I felt alive. It was a magical evening, and I hope the photos convey the magic at least a little.
Niko and Lea
My favourite image