Hidden Places

Avondale, Auckland NZ 2012 (photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

Explore in your own backyard.

Or go walkabouts to places unknown, get lost and figure out your way back. Venture out for a surprise like I do (usually with my camera in hand and a stash of film).

I was on assignment by Metro Magazine to get images from several markets in Auckland City, including the pic shown here taken in Avondale Sunday market. More of a flea market, there were hidden gems everywhere. Finding people of all shapes and sizes, looking for knick-knacks, fresh vegetables, and some clown heads to toss balls at in exchange of prizes.

I have a genuine love of people, and when I am behind the camera I feel I create a sense of closeness. Maybe it’s more of a desire for something raw. When I don’t have a camera I notice I keep my distance and am considerably more reserved.

Wherever you find yourself, notice your instinctual responses. This self discovery can happen daily, it needn’t wait or become monumental. This daily reflection process has helped develop my work and the way I approach my practice.

No one moment is most important. Any moment can be something.”

– Garry Winogrand

Mirror

Auckland, NZ 2011 (photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

A window is sometimes really a mirror. But do we consider that life reflects back ourselves to us?

Our state of being is sometimes overlooked, instead disguised by matters of doing. Of course, we are not human doings for a reason, yet often our identity is defined by what we do, simply consider the all to common conversation opener ‘so, what do you do?’

When we put all our distractions away, and simply look through the window, we look onto what appears to us as our reality. Everything that you see, smell, and feel are all part of your experience. Of life. Of your life. You are a part of something larger than you, or what you do.

Your experiences as a human being are not mutually exclusive to your identity, in fact I believe that we are all universally aligned to a higher energy, or resonance, beyond our individual selves. It is physical in a way, and if that is the case, then the window is really a mirror and our universe begins inside of us, not out there.

Dust in the wind. All we are in dust on the wind”

– Kansas

We are Infinitely Small

Night over Doha, Qatar 2018 (photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

Discover the world.

Take chances, take risks.

Follow your instinct, trust yourself.

Create the environment for you to flourish.

Invite others to collaborate with you.

Laugh more and spend more time with friends.

Make time just for yourself.

All things you can find on a Hallmark greeting card, but maybe it’s all true. Try it and find out for yourself, and see if you’re life becomes more rewarding.

Project of Self Discovery

Self portrait of the author, 2011

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.

– Aristotle

Phase One: Initiation

The need to reassess life goals became a priority. Identifying key skills, experience, education, and inherent passion were all contributing factors in determining the direction of the project. The appointment of the Project Manager was made (myself), key stakeholders consisted of close friends and family, and project schedule was defined.

Phase Two: Planning

Building from the initial concept and goals, the deliverables were set. We had to identify any and all potential risk upfront – we couldn’t afford to have any surprises. Budgets were drawn up, planning was signed off, and we were ready to execute. What would follow would prove to be the hardest weeks of my life.

Phase Three: Execution

Rejection, failure, observation, self reflection, and repeat. The movements were always agile, and there was room for iterative changes to the scope. Daily tasks became repetitive at times, but communication was always consistent. Staying clear of the project mission involves collaboration, bounding ideas, and anticipating sudden changes in cost, scope, or schedule. Sometimes the project seemed to have no end in sight, while other times we achieved great success. The acceptance criteria demands personal growth in all areas.

Phase Four: Closure

While this project is still in flight and not yet closed, I can’t yet comment on this phase of the project. I learn lessons every day, I can tell you what has worked and what has not. Final analysis will show that we achieved what we set out to on this project, and the cost was worth it. Future milestones in life will depend of the successful delivery of this project, and one day I may look back with fondness and pride at what was accomplished.

Your Home

Auckland during the Rugby World Cup 2011 (photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

We grow up at home, we learn our place there and we nurture what would become in later years our oldest habits. The sense of taste and smell from our home, unlike any other. It is the place we learned and failed before anywhere else, but it’s more than a place or a location.

When I left home life became a new adventure for me. I was carving out my own path, seeking to find myself in the world. I stumbled and fell and I developed a thicker skin for it. I was molding, shaping, and tuning myself. It was a new frontier I was traversing, yet I felt totally fearless. It was an age of experience for me, and for nearly 15 years I worked like my life depended on it. I threw myself into anything I could to get work and experience, and that usually meant days and nights every day and every weekend. I was burned out but I felt I had reached the apex of my knowledge and skills, and I could rest easier for it. But as I have come to realize, this wasn’t home for me.

Home is timeless. Home is our self. I think we go back there because it grounds us. This is not the place we grew up, or a physical location or people rather, home is the shelter for us to create our truest selves. To pursue our purest work.

Take that look of worry
I’m an ordinary man
They don’t tell me nothing
So I find out what I can
There’s a fire that’s been burning
Right outside my door
I can’t see but I feel it
And it helps to keep me warm

– Phil Collins, “Take Me Home”