Digital Silence #1 - Getting Back to Basics

A photo blog by Joshua Halford.

Me, taking a picture of myself with my chosen camera, a Pentax K1000. Kodak Portra ASA 400.
Digital Silence: Getting Back to Basics.
I know it may sound contrived, or cliché, but I've become tired of this particular strain of technological distraction. Over the past 5 years of my life I've been relentlessly harassed by tonal binary whispers. Chained to my phone by my smart watch and sucked into my computer by my smart phone, 8 hours a day with one task leading to another. Artificial light clouding my sight, unable to see my life for the screen before my eyes. One stage at a time, I slowly structured my life into digital space. Shop online, learn online, work online, play online, live… online. How did I get this far? When can I catch my footing? Where will it end? Oh, that’s right, I put myself here. I agreed to inhabit this digital landscape which now grates at me. 

*Ping, another notification slides into my view. Oh look, someone wants me to buy something I don’t need. Another second wasted.*
My brother takes a panoramic of the sunset with his iPhone. Kodak Portra ASA 400.
Of course, there are basics which I do need, but I’ve gone far beyond my necessities. Must I always carry computers in my ears, my wrist, my pocket and my bag? I crave tangible and authentic experiences, the tick tock of a mechanical watch, the velvety touch of leather and fur, the scent of a rose, the rising of the sun at sea. And most of all, I crave a mind free enough to enjoy it. Free from the constant distractions of the modern world telling me I don’t have enough. 

*My wireless headphones stop working, inexplicably switching between my phone and my laptop and then ceasing altogether. Unable to fix them, my mood sours. Another moment gone.*​​​​​​​
My wife filming the sunset for her Instagram account. Kodak Portra ASA 400.
So now you know why I must go. Why I’m leaving this digital wasteland behind me and venturing forth into my life. Goodbye smart watch, goodbye smart phone, hello freedom. I’ve decided to embark on a project to create a series of photos documenting this change in my life. It is this pursuit which has brought back my desire to create. Film is my chosen medium to capture the imagery evoking what I feel. I decided to get down to basics with my photography gear this time, no frills, no distractions. I'm going with a Pentax K1000, a workhorse mechanical camera. Its simplicity is sublime, forcing one to slow down. I pull the advance lever, satisfied as it whirs and clicks through its sweeping action. This camera ignores your schedule, it commands respect in composition, to release the shutter every time, as if it were your last photo. 
Sunset at Venice Beach in Southern California. Kodak Portra ASA 400.
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