What is consciousness? Are you conscious? Are animals conscious? Furniture? As humans, do we define consciousness? Does the animal kingdom have its own non-physical universe that we simply do not know about? What happens when we die? Do we have souls? Does our consciousness live on? Are we defined by our consciousness? Are we conscious when we sleep? Are we actually conscious, or are we subconscious beings meandering around the planet, only being “conscious” when society requires us to be? Are my feelings conscious? Are they me? If I feel angry, I choose how to respond to that feeling, but the feeling came from the ether. Did time exist before humans? Will it exist after humans?Time is simply the observation of change. If nothing changes, no time passes. That’s the difference between a photo and a video, or motion picture. A photo stops time. That’s its true power.
Man kann immer Zeit finden.
Whether consciousness even exists or not is an argument I love to have, so I won’t show my hand here, but it’s always enjoyable to talk about the universe and our very existence sometimes. It doesn’t stop me from talking about cars, watches, TV programmes I’ve binged watched (go and watch Stranger Things right now), and the weather (hell, I am British). But the bigger question always remains - what the hell am I doing here? Who am I?
This waffle perhaps might seem rather obtuse—in which case I hope the photos are at least worth looking at.
The photos from today’s post are shot at 35mm; my favourite focal length by far. I don’t know why, really. It's strange when we don't understand ourselves. It’s quite nice to have a favourite focal length, I suppose. It makes you feel at home. It does mean that I feel less comfortable at say 50mm than most would, which is funny, as 50mm is the default go-to focal length when you buy a “proper camera”. If you have a cute micro 4/3rds camera like the Olympus OMD range then you’ll have a 25mm lens for the same view. I find 35mm much more fun to work with. Photos have more context, are arguably harder to frame due to the extra field of view (so it’s a fun challenge), and there’s just something that looks “normal” to me. 50mm is too tight. 35mm is just how I see the world, photographically speaking.
It might be because I've played so many computer games over the years with such wide angles that 35mm even feels a little cropped to me. 28mm doesn't feel that wide, and 20mm isn't as special as it would have been to someone in the 90s. Perhaps I am just used to all of the lenses I have, and the type of shooting I do. I rarely take a telephoto out with me, but perhaps I will next time I go out with the camera. It's funny, because I find it more limiting. Harder to capture "scenes" but easier to look at the details.
Will time end with humanity? With the collapse of The Universe itself? Why are space and time related? Why can we move forwards and backwards in space, but not time? Are there other dimensions? Are we all actually connected in a hive mind that we don’t know about? Who set the rules?
Existence is strange. We came into being from billions of years of... death? Non-existence? Is death only defined by having lived? Possibly. The consciousness disappears with death. That's the interesting thing with time. It's just entropy. As more and more disorder and decay is witnessed then the river of time keeps flowing, in one direction. And we are not salmon. We cannot swim back through the river. In some ways I would like to be a salmon. In most ways, I would not. Salmon cannot operate cameras, so this website wouldn't exist for one thing. When we die, do we go to heaven? An endless infinity of consciousness? Or is that hell? In what state to we go to heaven? As we die? Lots of old(er) people in heaven? Or do we go there as teenagers and heaven is some kind of wholesome party with cookies and milk. What about people with mental illnesses? Is their consciousness a mush for all eternity? Doesn't sound like heaven to me.
It's certain that we will all die. Learn to accept this, and you'll be at peace. The problem is that death is like the end of summer. We know it's coming and cannot do anything about it. Who will look at my photos when I am gone? Does it matter? Who will remember me? We remember our immediate ancestors, perhaps a couple of generations thanks to improvements in living conditions, but my great-great grandparents are just a mystery to me. And before that, there's just a block of humanity trapped in different time periods like a theme-park in my mind. One day we will be a block of humanity, defined by twerking, bad haircuts, mobile phones, diesel burning, plastic oceans.
And beyond that, nothing.