The Injury Chronicles – Part Two: Assembling The Watchers

We have all felt fear – that sense that something is wrong even when we can’t put our finger on it.  Perhaps it is a gut feeling that tells us not to walk down a certain street one evening, despite it being on our usual route home.  Maybe you have felt unsettled in a lonely parking lot, your eyes constantly scanning while you hurriedly unlock the car door.  I know that I felt unsettled many times as a paramedic, such as when we would approach pitch black houses at 3am or when we were surrounded by a crowd that was turning angry on a scene.  Fear is an intrinsic thing, primal in nature, and because of that it is used by many creatives in their work (I’m looking at you Stephen King).  

When I am out shooting I will occasionally use an emotion as a source of inspiration for my photography (happiness, surprise, fear, etc).  Over the last year I have had the idea of “The Watchers” in the back of my mind… a feeling that maybe there is something dark and foreboding following us that might be a threat.  As an exercise in creativity I have been working with composition, darkness and silhouettes to try to create this feeling in some of my photographs.

This is the first time I have put some of these images together in a series.  I am definitely still exploring this idea of shooting to a specific emotion, but I thought I would share these first steps with all of you.

Cheers,

Ian

Note:  The Injury Chronicles is a series of photo essays, with minimal text, that I am posting while I rehabilitate a hand injury.

The Injury Chronicles – Part One: The Streets of Toronto

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted many new articles lately.  It isn’t because of lack of content;  I’ve currently only edited personal work up to July so I still have a lot of new work to share.  It is, rather, that I am rehabilitating a hand injury that has become a roadblock to shooting, typing, and playing guitar.  You know, just the main things I do to make a living and for personal enjoyment.  🙂

Having something small get in the way of my work (like a hand injury) was frustrating at first.  There is always a silver lining though, and I have come to appreciate this quiet period of time away from the creative process.  I am viewing this break as an opportunity to be with family, to re-charge as a person and to get inspired by the world around me again.  I’ve been making notes, conceptualizing ideas, storyboarding projects, and I’m excited by the possibilities once I have full use of my hand again.  People often have a fear of missing out on things or of falling behind, but the truth is that breaks are good.

…and in the meantime?

Well, I have a lot of photo essays sitting on my computer that I haven’t posted yet.  They are random and diverse, and I’m going to use this opportunity to post several of them over the next few weeks.  We will start today with a collection of new images from the Toronto street photography workshop that I taught this past July

I hope you like them!

Cheers,

Ian

Using Photography to Heal From PTSD

I am so damn excited to finally be able to share this with you:

Over the years I have written a lot about my journey with PTSD.  I have spoken about it on podcasts, on countless stages, in magazine articles and over coffee with friends who needed to talk.  Putting yourself out there and speaking from a place of vulnerability is never easy.  On the contrary, it can be terrifying at times.  But, there is magic in doing it because it helps people.  

At my core that is who I have always tried to be… a helper.  For so many years I did it with my hands, with IVs full of medication, with bandages and tourniquets and with defibrillators.  The tools of my trade have changed now of course, I traded in my stethoscope for a camera a long time ago, but I am still trying to help by telling my story to anyone who will listen.  

I tell it because I know it has helped other people who are struggling, much like I was helped by hearing about the experiences of others when I needed it the most.

Here is where the plot thickens…

A few months ago I was contacted by the lovely people at Muse Storytelling.  We spoke about this new project that my friends at Fujifilm Cameras were doing.  It was a  video based project that focused on the creative process, on why we make art and on what drives us to do what we do.  There would be no talk about camera settings, or which lens is better, or what accessories you should buy.  It was going to be a celebration of life, of people, of art and of storytelling.  It was amazing, and I knew right away that I had to be a part of it.

And now, finally, all of you who helped me on this journey can be a part of it too.  You are all amazing.  You saved me, and I will be eternally grateful.  

Please follow this link to view my video in the Create Forever series.  

https://fujifilm-x.com/en-us/create-forever-ian-macdonald/

I hope you like it.

Cheers,

Ian