When the government flops and flounders and screws you twice over, there is little left to do but to fume, do what you can virtually, and dig deep into your comfort drawer. What’s a comfort drawer? Every person needs one – that special go-to place full of lovely mementos that never fail to pick you up when you are down, dry a tear or mend a soul crack. No, I’m not taking about the snack cabinet in the kitchen or the bar, this is that drawer tucked away somewhere in the room where only you have access to and the contents makes sense only to you, and you alone.
For me the healing haven was basically my entire apartment once I started living alone, but now that I share the flat with my daughter, my sacred space had to be re-configured. What brings me most joy when the journey gets turbulent is re-visiting photographs from wonderful trips, full of precious memories. I find re-editing very calming and satisfying, basically because it’s like time travelling – I get to travel back in time with the skills and knowledge of the present and fix a few flaws here and there.
Virtual travel is all we have at the moment, anything else is either discouraged, not allowed, or fundamentally irresponsible. We’ve come to terms with our confined living, and make the most of it somehow. Here are a few rejuvenated images:
The Ponte Vecchio in Florence has been photographed ad nauseam, included myself but it’s a sight that I never tire of. I personally love it most during Blue Hour in winter, which is oddly specific but that is my quirk. I find the priceless Tuscan Gold too distracting so I tried a black and white rendition and am quite happy with the results.
Lesson: drain the superfluous elements to draw out the core, and whether we are talking about photography, writing, personal or professional lives, it applies.
Those of you who follow me on Instagram saw this posting today. When I first edited it after the wonderful road trip to Paete, Laguna in the Philippines, I was not happy with the results. There was too much going on and I just couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong and why it didn’t come out as I had envisioned, so I shelved it and basically forgot about it. When I revamped (again) the FrogDiva Photography website yesterday I stumbled on the two stranded bangkas again and took the same approach as with the bridge. Suddenly everything made perfect sense – it wasn’t the amount of vegetation but the sheer myriad of colours.
Lesson: less is more.
Shot in Manila Bay at my favourite spot, this has undergone several versions, from the dreamy to the eclectic bold colours but when it came down to it, my daydreaming mode was on black and white and this is what happened. I love the fact that you can’t really tell whether that is the sun or the moon in the background (FYI it’s the setting sun) and the bangka becomes symbolic for a meandering of the soul in the deep waters. Uncertainty? Perhaps, but also the freedom to dream and interpret life at your own leisure and pleasure.
Lesson: indulge in day dreaming, somewhere among them you will find inspiration and motivation.
In the good old days before mobile phones and internet (yes some of us actually did life through those years!) chatting meant actual conversations in person! Hard to believe, and actually quite sad, how our lives have been reduced to virtual realities, and the conversations we carry out are simply figments of our digital thoughts. Sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie? On some days I think it is, and particularly during lockdown I mourn the loss of actual chatting over a shared bottled of wine and decadent amounts of cheese. Nothing beats sharing a meal with a good friend and unloading.
This image was shot in Goa, India and is a poignant reminder of how important dialogue is in our life. Again, this is one of those revolving edits that have undergone many transformations. Don’t get me wrong, I love the coloured version I have of this as well but I realised that in order to drive home the message and shift the focus on the three boys on the beach, I needed to take the gold away.
Lesson: a meaningful conversation need not have many words, but true presence is essential.