I've been quiet on the personal work front for a while, and it's time that changes.
Part of what's held me back was obligations at home, and the sheer logistical hurdles of planning and executing any kind of photography expedition to the places I like to haunt. A major setback was some severe damage to my vehicle when I hit a cow on a remote stretch of roadway in northern Namibia; it's taken a long time to get that sorted out properly. But now, inshallah, I should be back in a position to get some trips done.
One of the first things on my list perhaps does not sound so ambitious, but I'd like to shoot some landscapes. In particular I want to examine some of the less well-known – and consequently less thoroughly-photographed – nooks and crannies in western and northern Namibia. I'll have to travel rather slowly, because I'll want to be in certain places at a certain time of day; in my experience the light that saturates the country during the day is harsh and punishingly bright.
Which is not to say that I want to shoot twee sunsets and sunrises. Namibia is heading toward the rainy season, and with a bit of luck I'll actually be caught out in the rain. To someone from the developed world that may sound odd, but rain in the Namib and Pronamib is quite something to behold.
Another project that merits my attention is the Women of Namibia project. I'll write more about it in another post, but essentially the project is about photographing Namibian women without the "masks" that societal expectations force them to wear. I've done work on this already, but so far the project has, for practical reasons, focused on a fairly narrow demographic – the 20-40 year old creative, arty, musician set. It's definitely time to expand on that, and crucially to begin work to shoot in places other than Windhoek.
Yet another project I'm starting to formulate mentally is a series of photographs of tattooed Namibians.
Tattoos are a fast-growing body modification in Namibia, ranging in complexity from very simple little pieces to elaborate full arm, leg or even whole-body pieces.
What I'd like to do is to photograph them using an almost documentary style, trying to capture not only the look of the tattoo itself, but also how the presence of the tattoo impacts the self-perception of the person wearing it. Most tattoos have a story to tell, and I'd like to hear some of those stories.