I don’t quite understand where time has gone. Old year, new year. London, Berlin. This year, I am turning fourty and although there is no reason to get nervous I don’t know how it could happen that just a moment ago, my life was all starting and now, has reached its mature middle (when I am lucky). When I was a child my grandfather once complained how short life was and being so young feeling time so vastly streched, I couldn’t find this remark anything but ridiculous. But now, every year gets shorter.
Life may get easier growing older; one benefits from experience. However, an aspect I can’t get used to is all these things passing by just to never return. And while remembering them, you even seem to lose your present.
There is always a social interest prior to the aesthetic interest when taking pictures. To document people’s reality, to document how people live, to document human environment is a main motivation. There are wonderful stories to discover in everyday life. And what happens in the photographic situation, what happens between the person photographed and me is more exciting than many other things in life.
What departing really means is that everything that is significant now loses its importance in the future. It is the nature of change that things one cares about now will become less relevant and drift from the centre towards the edges of one’s life. Once I’ve left the stream of London, the city will never be the same again. It will become a stranger and one day I might even wonder what I’ve ever found so appealing about this place. It is most likely that soon, I will never find MY London back. It will be a mere piece of memory, getting smaller and smaller.
No man ever steps in the same river twice (Heraclitus) – and no man ever steps in the same city twice. How much I fear what is going to happen.
Being a street photographer is a wonderful thing. Not only does it put a smile on your face at any time, as if you don’t manage to come across as a harmless and lovely person you may encounter hostility or aggression. But it also puts you in lots of situations in which you have to interact with people, with strangers. You need to be prepared for that people who notice you taking pictures of them or subjects which are not sights may react on you. Such happened with these kids who live very nearby my own home. They were watching me through the window taking photographs of their street before they left their home not quite knowing whether they wanted my attention and be photographed or whether better making fun of me. So they were partially posing and partially running away; a wonderful game for both sides and some audience passing by. And it gave me some candid images of these kids.
On my daily morning walk to Tufnell Park tube station I pass through an old narrow street which leads to a social housing unit showing some architectural eccentricities; a couple of oddly shaped conservatories, inwardly even more oddly designed are stringed together in however quite a charming and little metropolitan way. Passing by, I always encounter the same people. There is a blond woman, slightly aged but still strikingly attractive and stylishly dressed, leading a blond boy on her one hand, in the other a pushchair containing a girl; she appears to be stressed and over-worked. There is this woman with the slightly bloated face, looking somehow miserable but not disillusioned as if hoping for better to come. I miss the teenage girl I used to see who was always on her mobile, a gruff, swearing girl of a similar type like the main character in the film Fish Tank; I later saw her in a nurse uniform and was somehow relieved so as if one didn’t need to worry about her anymore. But of all my morning ‘acquaintances’ I like most a father and his little son cycling by. They speak Spanish, and they would often speak with each other, entertaining stuff as it looks, and sometimes they laugh with each other, the father in all his mildness, the son with a bright little voice, the father on the front seat, the son on the back seat. They convey this warm feeling of an intact family in which everyone seems to be protected against the evil of the world.