'Mid March 2020 and I was in Chicago shooting 'The Great American Railway'. I was on a bridge enduring a chilled wind from the North, waiting for a goods train to begin its journey West. There was nothing unusual about the day and the images are somewhere within the pages that follow ...
Then everything stopped: Upon return to London 2020 hit home and I become acutely aware that for the first time in a picture taking career of 35 years to date, I couldnt go anywhere.
The positive slant to this on the work side has been the ability to continue in the studio with print and framework and I'm now looking at finished framed product which has progressed significantly in the past year: colours are brighter, edges are sharper and the black and whites have that extra depth on the amazing new papers so the February 2020 work in Venice looks like you could walk into the picture in the new larger format 160cm x 110cm frame sizes. This is massively exciting and where photographic art should excel as a depiction of what was there when the shutter was released.
With light at the end of the tunnel its time to move and 'the location list' changes on a daily basis. Its all still out there and now more than ever its ours to save as natural and unnatural disasters and our often flakey political players continue to remind us of the fragility of it all.
Africa is high on the list with delayed work from 2020 due to happen around August/September time.
America has become very exciting again and work on the 'America Before 8am' project awaits. I love America, It comes from growing up on a hillside in the North of England watching movies where the sun shone brightly every day and with a filter or two kept shining during the night (see anything with John Wayne in it).
With Winter biting hard in Northern Europe, Iceland and Northern Scandinavia are in focus as soon the light returns, I notice the sunrise is 10.48am in Bodo Norway today as I write: sadly if I were able to go there (Lofoten being the destination) the sun would set again at 13.32 and I'd be back in the cafe under normal ciscumstances, like ... there's a cafe and its open.
Technology has moved forward and I'm hearing a lot about mirrorless camera's so it might be time to take the Hasselblad out of the glass case and buy some film.
You can always trust technology to move forward.
Be safe in 2021
Neil Emmerson Photographer